Jameelah………..In Name and Nature!
Modesty and fashion don’t often go together. Meet this educator, a fashionista who will make sure you don’t think about one without the other.
Name: Jameelah Shukri
Nationality: American (Mixed Ethnicity)
How would you describe your style?
I’ve never given much thought to describing my style. I just wear what I like. If I had to, I would say my style is more eclectic and eccentric because I am not afraid to mix bold colours, different textures, patterns and shapes.
How does your personality influence your fashion choices?
My personality completely influences my fashion choices, especially because I have always been outgoing, bold and slightly over the top. As a result of this, I’ve never played it safe with what I wear. Whether it’s spikes, chains, big chunky pieces, whatever it is, if I put on my body and feel that it looks good, I go with it, despite what others think.
Who do you look to for fashion inspiration?
Honestly, I don’t have one particular person. I kind of make my own clothes. My inspiration comes from my overall surroundings; what I see from different people (including my mom), when I go to fabric shops, the textures and what I want to achieve. For example, if I wanted to go for a fishtail dress with black lace, some gold embellishments, that’s something I just create in my own mind then I bring it to life. My fashion inspiration is east meets west, since I am a part of both worlds.
When it comes to accessories and shoes, a lot of people influence me. I look at what styles are out there then decide what I want to incorporate in my outfit. My mom has recently become more of an inspiration.
If you could choose only one accessory to ‘spice up’ your outfit, what would it be and why?
It’s a ring! I never, ever, leave my house without a ring. If I left the house and I forgot my ring, I would drive to the nearest mall, store or little shop, just to get something to put on my fingers. I love accessories in general, but for me it’s always about a statement ring. A ring solidifies an outfit for me. It’s that last thing that brings it all together.
Who is your favourite designer and why?
I don’t have a favourite designer. If I go into a store and I like what they have, I buy it. I am not a loyal person when it comes to fashion. I mix and match a lot. However, recently I have become a fan of some local based designers, since the region is known for high fashion. I found a great designer in Bahrain who I buy a lot of dresses from. There’s also this great shop in Oman called Passport from which I get Abayas and Jalabiyas. Then in Dubai, there’s a girl on Instagram who sells a lot of cute stitched Abayas that are very comfortable. There is also Lyaila Bags. She makes awesome stitched embellished bags that I have been ordering lately.
The western media portray the most fashionable women as non-hijab wearing. What are your thoughts and why?
I can’t say this is true. It’s funny because at one point, people like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and J-Lo have were wearing turbans. Tubans have become trendy.
I think fashion is very personal. I think if you are confident in what you wear; it becomes a statement. When it comes to the GCC, places like Kuwait are at the forefront of funky fashion, whether you cover your hair or not. I don’t think it should have any sort of negative connotation. I think it’s because some folks have just seen a big scarf and that’s it. Nowadays, if you are looking at the Abaya and looking at how sultry and seductive they are; or how girls are wrapping their turbans and being bold with the colours; or that now, they’ve got the bling all over the clothing… its very fashionable. I think, people all over are noticing that these women are to be reckoned with because they are stopping at nothing with their fashion. They are letting it all out. Whether it’s their dropping the latest labels or it’s local designers…..I have to say, Muslim women are doing it.
Most western designers tend to not look at the hijab as fashionable. Do you think it is important to change this perception? Why?
Not really! I mean, whether fashion designers find it marketable or look at it as being important is irrelevant, it’s something we are going to rock either way. If you are into fashion, if you are into looking good and taking care of yourself; you are not going to care about what people think about you or what you are wearing. It is about feeling happy; feeling good when you walk out the streets. It’s about stepping out and saying, “Wow, I look good and I’ve got this”. Therefore, I don’t think it’s really important if people accept it.
Below are a few pics of the Jameelah out and about.