efore started this project on contemporary Muslim fashion I
mostly wrote about dead people and their paintings and about dead
their books. It has been an entirely different experience
to be writing about live human subjects and what they wear, what they
design, how they shop, and what they discuss as readers and writers of
magazines, blogs, and social media. Because many preferred to keep their
participation confidential I can’t thank by name all the women and men,
Muslim and non- Muslim, who so generously shared their personal and
professional experiences with me, but I hope they will be able to see in the
pages that follow just how much I learned from our discussions, though
they may not always agree with my conclusions.
I am grateful to have received funding from the British Academy Small
Research Grants scheme for the initial stages of this research from 2007
to 2009 and subsequently from the Arts and Humanities Research Coun-
cil/Economic and Social Science Research Council as part of their Reli-
gion and Society Programme in 2010–11. I benefited from the range of
colleagues and approaches that I encountered as part of the program in a
lively community fostered by Rebecca Catto and Peta Ainsworth, and from
working with my coinvestigator Emma Tarlo and the project research as-
sistant Jane Cameron. Program director Linda Woodhead continues to
expand my intellectual horizons with her sense of how fashion and reli-
gion fit together.
The London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, has
provided a uniquely creative and intellectual home for me and this proj-
ect: I am grateful for the material support provided by the lcf Project
Fund and by sabbatical leave from the college and university, and I thank
vice chancellor Nigel Carrington for his interest in the research. Most
especially I wish to acknowledge my head of college, pro- vice chancellor
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