Iran Hosts Its First Fashion Shoot In Decades, & It Looks Fantastic



tehranPhoto: Courtesy of FSHN Magazine.
If you're walking through the bazaars of Iran's capital, two things are almost certainly true: You're not American, and you're in no danger of stumbling upon a fashion shoot. While the first will probably remain true for a while — Iran is, by all accounts, a highly conservative country, and one notoriously closed to the West, even after the election of the relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani — the second might be less likely soon, if the photo above is any indication.

The California-based magazine FSHN (Fashionable, Sexy, Haute and Naughty) commissioned photographer Afra Pourdad to shoot a fashion editorial featuring model Shabnam Molavi, with clothes by Zarir, in Tehran's Tajrish Bazaar and the Manouchehri House in Kashan.

Notably, Molavi is not wearing a chador, a common Iranian outer garment similar to the full-length abayas found in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Instead, she's dressed in bright colors and floral patterns, though her head is still covered for modesty.

That didn't stop turning heads, though. The man in the photo above looks startled, even skeptical at the model; but another, a tomato vendor, asked the photographer to be included in one of the shots. "When I walked into bazaar, I was very conscious about what I'm doing and where I'm doing it," Pourdad told NPR. "But then after a few minutes, I felt like: I'm doing this and this is the opportunity, so I can't really be too scared or be fearful of what I want to do."

NPR points out that this may be the first fashion editorial shot in Iran for an international publication since Vogue went there in 1969.

The editorial "aims to showcase the contradictions that exist within Iran today, with the new generation of 20-somethings pushing the boundaries that have defined...them over centuries," said the magazine in a release. "Staying with respectable limits of their religion, indigenous fashion in Iran is coming-of-age."

Check out more images from the shoot at Pourdad's website, or buy a copy of FSHN here. (NPR)