One of our students is promoting gender equality in Saudi Arabia through fashion. Lenna Abudawood is a Year 13 Textiles student and has created a stylish yet powerful clothing collection for her Personal Investigation Project.
Lenna is originally from Saudi and is happy with the recent political changes which have been happening in her home country. A recent law has passed which permits women to drive, something which was prohibited before. She explained to us how the recent changes in Saudi have inspired her:
‘There are clear misconceptions about Muslim women in Saudi Arabia and their freedom. Most women are seen as being prisoners of their religion, but in fact, many women are content with their role in society. But we can’t deny the fact that sexism in politics exists. Saudi’s current prince is 38 years old, he is listening to the younger generation and is willing to adapt and make changes, but the older generation does not see this with good eyes.’
She also talked us through her research process and further inspirations which helped her create this collection:
‘There have been a lot of brands which are using t-shirts to express political opinions. Dior made a “we should all be feminist” t-shirt and that sparked a lot of debate in the fashion industry. I used Vivian Westwood’s work for inspiration as well because she is politically outspoken.’
Lenna also explained how her project reflects the modernisation her country is going through but also highlighted the importance of keeping her culture very apparent:
‘This collection consists of 8 t-shirts and 2 garments. The t-shirt is a “western” piece of clothing so I included geometric patterns in the designs to appreciate and maintain my culture through these items. I want people to wear these clothes and be proud of their culture but be modern at the same time.’