Followed by television cameras, a team of judges — mostly men — circled the halls, grading the coats on their functionality, design and “Islamic-ness.”...According to the linked WaPo article, Ahmadinejad is posing as "a champion of civil rights" to win votes for his supporters in the March parliamentary elections.
[W]ith young adults making up the majority of the population — nearly 70 percent of Iran’s more than 72 million people are younger than 35 — religious conservatives have been waging an uphill battle to prevent young urban women from dressing the way they want, even within the framework of the laws that mandate coats and scarves....Unfortunately there are no photos of Tehran street fashion at the link, only of the government's more moderate fashion show. Maybe WaPo doesn't want to get these young people in trouble. You can Google "street fashion Tehran" or something like that to try to get to some pictures.
On any given day, women in the streets of Tehran can be seen wearing combinations of wide-open coats, heavy makeup and towering platinum blond hairdos held in place by large hair clips and minimally covered by brightly colored scarves. Technically, they are not violating the dress code, but they can still be arrested.
It's fascinating the extremes that one resorts to when stuck with some specific rules. Where the rules give some room individual expression, you go all out. So, of course, heavy makeup and hair teased high for under-scarf impact. Find a picture that shows one of these young people and show it to someone who doesn't know what restrictions that person is dealing with. See what they say, then tell them what they are looking at. Watch them go from derision to respect in an instant. As I say, it's fascinating.
My links on "heavy makeup" go to the website of a photographer who writes: "I now live in iran which has become way more exciting to me than New York [because] of all the diverse art and the energy of its youth."
Now, I feel like I'm almost unwittingly making an argument in favor of limitations! But no, I'm for freedom. In an environment of American freedom, you'll have a hard time coming up with something truly original and expressive. Heavy makeup and teased hair... it's not daring and transgressive. What is? Perhaps, ironically, modesty... or modesty with irony. I'll let you know when I find pictures on the internet of that. Googling things like "modest dress in america" only takes me into the realm of religion. Which is ironic, but not the kind of irony I'm looking for.
ADDED: From Hijab style — I love this one. And then there's this.
AND: Those 2 links ended up taking you to the same place. This is the one I meant to say I loved. And this is the other one I meant to point out.