Just Because It Looks Like a Burka Doesn’t Mean It’s Inspired By a Burka

Givenchy Couture, fall 2009.

This month a debate on Middle Eastern veils has been going on in France. President Sarkozy supports a ban on Muslim women wearing them in public. Reactions have been mixed and heated. Not all Muslim women want to give up the veils. Meanwhile, Givenchy paraded burka-inspired looks down the runway for the fall 2009 couture collection. It's not the first time a prominent high-end label has drawn inspiration from this region of the world. Recall the turbans on Ralph Lauren's spring 2009 runway. Or the ubiquitous harem pant. Is this fashion's way of making a political statement about the controversial Muslim attire? Luxist reports:

"When I ask designers questions like these, they always look confused," says David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group, whose job is to predict trends for fashion professionals. "They operate so much from their gut. Whatever the media focuses on, the sensitive designers pick up the vibe, whether consciously or subconsciously. Fashion is an endless drug and designers look for the new high — anything that hasn't been seen or worked to death."

So probably not. But hopefully this means designers will give harem pants a rest come the spring 2010 shows. Some might say those have been "worked to death" by now.

Middle Eastern-inspired Fashion Pushes Buttons [Luxist]