Middle-eastern inspired designs spark debate

When Givenchy models took the runways in Paris this season, the plethora of gold cuffs, heavy veils, and harem pants sent tongues talking—and not just about Middle-East influenced fashion. This month saw the “great veil debate” rage on in France, with President Nicolas Sarkozy threatening to ban Muslim women from wearing headscarves, while Muslim women threaten to rebel by refusing to remove them. Designers don’t seem to be sending a political message, according to David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group (whose job it is to predict fashion trends). But in an age where woman still suffer from religion-imposed dress (ten women in Sudan were recently whipped for wearing pants in public), there are many who are uncomfortable dishing out the big bucks for designer burqas.