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For most of us, the only kind of fashion police we concern ourselves with are the kind led by sardonic sheriff Joan Rivers. Meaning we aren't actually held to hard-and-fast rules pertaining to personal style.
But, in the Iranian capital of Tehran, there's a much different reality — and authority.
As Time points out, a sort of morality police last week shut down design institute Khaneh Mode. The dispute was sparked last month when a fashion show held at the school included men in its audience — a group who, until last year, were not allowed to attend the all-female event. Furthermore, according to claims, the fashion show presented designs that seemed to have been created from the Iranian flag, featuring the country's colors of green, white, and red.
"This fashion show did not match the regulations of the Fashion and Clothes Management Workgroup and therefore we have taken legal action,” Hamid Ghobadi, the morality police's secretary stated, as per Time. The reprehensible actions in question — which Khaneh Mode did apologize for on its website — signify just one instance in years of tension between Iranian authorities and the emerging fashion industry in that area of the Middle East. In fact, crackdowns like this one have continued to affect the women of Iran ever since the Islamic dress code was re-enforced in 1979.
But, what may be most surprising is not that a real (and reigning) fashion police exists, but rather that the Iranian people — despite having to adhere to arguably unjust rules — are optimistic about the future of fashion in their country. In fact, Javid Shirazi, fashion director of Khaneh Mode, told Time the (hopefully temporary) closing was a "necessary experience we need to gain to go ahead."
To date, Iran has already loosened its regulations regarding fashion shows — now women are allowed to wear makeup and a broader range of designs beyond oversized robes, the report claims — but the right to be free entirely from judgement at the hands of the country's authorities has yet to be seen. (Time)