The word “Iran” today conjures up images of women covered head to toe in hijabs and veils, social restrictions on women, Islamic extremism, and former hardline regimes that destroyed the very fabric of their society for a while. Today no one remembers, and very few people among the younger generation know, Iran was once a fashion oasis in the conservative Middle East. They have gorgeous women, and these women experimented a lot and created different styles until the late 70s under the liberal rule of the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi.
During those years, Iranian women were emancipated but retained their Iranian identity. Their appearance was stylish and elegant, but not vulgar. Skirts were long and full, showing as little body as possible. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a good balance between modernity and modesty.
However, by the end of the 1970s, miniskirts, shorts, skinny jeans and bikinis came into fashion in Iran. This was too much for a predominantly Muslim nation, which led to a controversial reaction from society. However, safety was not the primary concern of women.
Tehran’s department stores and boutiques sold the latest European fashion and cosmetics. Iranian magazines often showed young women in depraved outfits and provocative poses. State television even aired sexually explicit European series such as “Tales from the Village” (“Dastanhaye Dehkadeh”). Some historians argue that the issue may have contributed to the Iranian revolution and regime collapse in the late 1970s.
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