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(generated from captions) I don't doubt that. I think that we can forget about
going back to the heady days of 40,000, 45,000 tourists a year, and quite frankly, I don't think
that that would be appropriate, but we need to plateau out now
to stop the decline. Once we stop the decline,
we can take stock, and we can start to move forward, and we've moving forward
hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth.

The man who will ultimately
have to make all this work is also optimistic.

NEIL: It's a magnificent island. It is the most beautiful island
that, I think, I've ever been to, and so with what it has to offer, as long as we can get
the promotion of it up, we will get the tourists back there. We're after the baby boomers.
We're also after young people. In the past, it's been known as an island for the newlyweds
and the nearly-deads. We need to change that.

Closed Captions by CSI

# Theme music

Hello there, and welcome to Compass. Fashion is a huge global business
these days. And while many of us might spend
a lot of time and thought and maybe even money on clothes, this becomes another matter entirely when what you wear
is intrinsic to your religion. In this story, we look at
a new and emerging fashion industry catering to women
wanting edgier designs that suit Australia's
unique lifestyle and climate, but which also match the requirements
of their faith.

Is everyone ready?

I can't rip it down.
(All cheer) Not in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined
I would leave Law to become a fashion designer. A new breed
of young fashion designers is turning heads
on the Australian catwalk. I'm a Muslim woman and
I like to dress very fashionably.

They're making their mark
with cutting-edge designs that appeal to the fashion-conscious. You don't need to expose everything
to be beautiful. Well, this, my friends,
is a little black dress. Their clothes are stylish,
versatile and distinctive. And they're breaking into
a booming global market.

We're pioneering a concept
for younger Muslim girls. This is a heady fusion
of faith and fashion, tailored for our times, and possibly coming to a shop
near you. # Come on, give me something # Come on, give me something. #

For Australia's Islamic community, the countdown to Ramadan,
the Muslim month of fasting, has begun.

I've got so much to do. (Laughs) Oh, my God.
I don't know what I'm gonna do. What's today? Tuesday. Oh, my God.

Aida Zein, a busy mother of three
with another on the way, is racing to get everything ready to open her new women's clothing
boutique before Ramadan starts, a time when everyone
wants a new outfit. Can you guys help? I'm gonna
set up the mannequins. You help me?

Oh, thank you, Murra. Aida's shop will showcase
her own fashion label, called Ninety9 in honour
of the many names of Allah as described in the Koran.

Oh, wow, Rusha.
That looks excellent. I got my fliers today. So excited!

100m away in the same
Western Sydney shopping mall, Tarik Houchar can barely keep up
with demand.

Is the six for you?
We've only got eights left. I don't know where
all the sixes have gone. I don't know if people
have taken them already. Have you tried on an eight yet or... I've been waiting since...
I'm sorry. For just over two years now, his shop, Hijab House, has been catering
to a growing demand for his uniquely Muslim
Australian label. It's going very well. As you can
see, it's really busy behind me. Hijabs just fly off the shelves.
Dresses are flying off the shelves. And everyone loves our designs,
as you can see.

It's not only the Sydney designer
shops doing a roaring trade.

Kath Fry and Eisha Sarlay, owners
of online fashion label Baraka, are busy dispatching orders
around the globe.

We send anywhere and everywhere. We've sent to Borneo, we've sent
to some of the craziest places. We always laugh. Just when we think we've sent it
to somewhere funny, we go, 'Oh, no. Guess what -
I got an order from Russia.' You laugh because you just think... Will Australia Post take this there?
Yeah.

Eisha, Kath and the other designers are at the front line
of a fashion revolution in Australia, triggered by a new generation
of young Muslim shoppers.

EISHA: About ten years ago, you would have seen women
importing their clothes from Saudi or Lebanon
or other places like that. And it just didn't fit into
the Australian environment. Like, it's hot and everyone else is
colourful and wearing light clothes. And you just felt like
you stood out. I think that's where
it's slowly changed, where people went,
'No, that's enough. We don't want to buy it
anywhere from overseas. We want to make it ourselves and put
our personality into it as well.'

That's it. That's fine.

That's really good... Tarik, who's studying
Business and Law, was one of the first to open a store
specialising in Muslim women's wear in a major shopping mall in Sydney.

Hijab House started because I have
a younger sister named Ranane and she had just put on a hijab
for the first time as a young teenage girl and I watched her kind of
struggle to reconcile her tastes and preferences
as a young girl with what was available to her in
the Islamic fashion industry. So I thought that there would be a
gap that I could fill in that sense.

Salam alaikum. How are you? Oh, wow! You already bought it. Cool. Wow, that's really quick. The best support that I get is from
the customers themselves because they all understand how difficult it is
to pioneer a new concept. And we constantly get people coming
in, a woman coming in and saying, 'I love your stuff.
I want to support you. I want to be loyal to you.' And I think to have that response
so early on is very gratifying.

Hijab House has had such a successful and such
a positive response in the community because suddenly we've got colour. It's probably like when people used
to turn on the television and suddenly it went from
black and white to colour.

Colour, I think, is really dependent
on your background. And I would say the same about
people who are from Indonesia or Malaysia or even African
Muslim women, colour is their life. But say that to someone who's from
Saudi or someone who's from Kuwait who has always worn black, that would be revolutionary
for them. So it really is your background and what you're used to
and how you've grown up with colour.

Aida's business story is similar
to the other designers in that it grew out of
her frustration with unfashionable imports.

I kind of said, 'OK, no, I have to make something
more suitable for myself.' Probably that size plastic button.
Beautiful. Basically, I used to just go out
and buy fabrics and just do little designs, go to a dressmaker,
get them all made, and it was just basically by chance,
I fell into it. Yep, definitely,
I think I'll add 5cm to that. And basically, everywhere I'd go,
I'd get stopped and they'd ask me, 'Oh, where did you get your
dress from?' or whatever. So that's basically how I started, just with a small quantity, and
I tried wholesaling to begin with. And, yeah, here I am today.
I've got my store. So it's exciting.

Oh, wow. I like that. Oh, wow... Born in Australia to Syrian parents, Aida specialises
in casual streetwear. Her signature fabric is denim.

Obviously, my faith influences
my designs, to keep modest. And just my little touches... You know, whatever trend
there is out there, I just try to incorporate that
with my designs along with the modesty. It's like putting
a cook pot together.

Dress is an integral part
of Muslim life. It embodies are moral
or behavioural code dating back to Islam's earliest days.

Today, while dress codes vary
from culture to culture, modesty remains the cornerstone.

The specific requirements
of dressing modestly is to cover to your wrists
and cover to your ankles. You must cover your ankle bone. Covering your feet is preferred. There are differences of opinion
whether to cover or uncover but to cover your feet
is definitely preferred. You should also cover
to the bottom of your chin and, obviously, wearing your hijab.

EISHA: You know,
no-one's going to force you. There isn't a police force that's going to go round and say, 'No, hang on,
you're not praying properly,' or, 'You're not dressed properly.' It's self governed. So we know we've got the framework and we can all read that and that's all contained
in the Koran. As to where you find yourself
on that journey, it's really up to you. We're not one woman
as a face of Islam. We're many women
and we have many opinions and we have different ideas about
even interpreting our religion and that's great.

Australian Muslims come from
over 70 different countries, each with their own
cultural traditions, languages and dress codes. But most of the younger generation,
like Eisha, are Australian-born.

My background is
Lebanese-Australian. My parents migrated from Lebanon
in the '70s. I've always loved fashion. My mother was very fashionable. We grew up with a lot of
designer clothes in the house. She loved French fashion,
Italian fashion.

So do you want the collar
a bit more square like this?

Eisha was studying
Business and Marketing when she met her soon-to-be
business partner, Kath, at a religious class in Lakemba.

I was looking to convert,
like, to know more about Islam. So that's why I was there. And, basically, Eisha wanted
to know more about Islam. She was questioning,
'What is Islam?'

My parents taught us
a little bit about Islam but I'm more the,
'Yeah, but why do we do this?' And they want, 'Cause.' And I went, 'No, "'cause" is not
an answer. Why? Tell me why.' So I went to the school
to find out why and I met Kath there and we just sat
in the front row. We used to draw pictures in class
of clothes... We should have been listening. ..and scarves when we should
have been listening to the class.

Ow! Horrifically...
(Speaks indistinctly) Your hair's showing. Salam alaikum. Hi, I'm Yuna
Oh, my God, you guys. It's Yuna! Salam alaikum, everyone.
It's YazTheSpaz. My head's not that big, is it? Everyone has their own opinion about what modesty is
and what modesty isn't. Delina Darusman-Gala is the creator of Australia's
first Muslim fashion blog. I started my blog because my friends
were asking me, like, where I got this top from
or where I got my hijab from. And, basically, I just got tired
about answering them and made my own blog to show them where
I got my outfit from.

I think the internet has had
a big influence in fashion. Does it look better like this
or like this? I think the trends start
from YouTube. Like, there's different types
of hijab girls. There's on from the UK.
She wears her scarf really big. Oh, my God.
I'm like the hijabi Barbie. In Asia, they wear theirs kind
of flowy. Like, it's to the side. So, basically,
it's just a click away if you want to see what's the trend
for hijab fashion this year or what colour's in. It's very simple. You don't
have to step out of the house. Not going out. Kind do my scarf.

In this internet age, fashion can now cross continents
with the click of a mouse. EISHA: We're now connected more
than ever before by the internet, by TV, by everything. We're not isolated
in our own little homes. We like what we see. We like those colours.
We like those styles. And the younger generations are
wanting those things. They want to interpret
what they're seeing into something that is still
compliantwith their religion. So that's the biggest change and that's the fusion
of both those worlds that we're seeing at the moment.

In Sydney's Muslim heartland,
Aida's big day has finally arrived. You guys look amazing.
Thank you. Her new shop is officially
open for business.

Well, almost.

Oh, my God.
I think I'm gonna pass out. Is everyone ready?

Aida's holding a fashion parade to celebrate the opening
and introduce her new range. (People cheer)

Welcome, everybody, today
to the grand opening of Ninety9. (All cheer) Anyway, recently asked to be at the
Powerhouse Museum for the Faith, Fashion, Fusion Week. I'm kind of renowned for my edginess
in most of my designs. Whether it's something simple, I'll
always throw some sort of, you know, trim or whatever it be, to kind of
just funk it up a little bit. Pretty much everybody needs to have
one of those in their wardrobe. That is just funky!

Thank you. Thanks a lot, guys. Alright, let's go. Welcome in.

I'm a Muslim woman and I like
to dress very fashionably. And with the fashion designers here,
they've made it very easy for us.

Aida's designs are unique. She's
more of the more casual, fun, funky. You can dress it up
and dress it down so you get the best of both worlds. I thought the design was beautiful. The detailing that she has,
unbelievable. No EFTPOS.

WOMAN: You know, what I love
about Aida's fashion is that she's got the whole funky
streetwear thing but with a modest twist to it. I'm wearing her clothes
and I'm not Muslim at all. I'm actually Christian and my husband's actually
a Baptist minister. And, yet, I love what she's got.

Thank you very much for being
one of our first customers. A lot of my stuff can be worn
in so many different ways. That's why I do get customers
that aren't necessarily Muslim.

A lot of people do like long skirts and there isn't
that much out there generally, unless maxi dresses are in, that's
when you can get maxi dresses.

These designers know
that the market for their styles extends beyond the Muslim community.

It appeals to shoppers often ignored
by the fashion industry.

KATH: Modest clothing,
it's not just a religious thing. We have a large customer base
of 40-plus women who just love to wear that
cool, comfortable, casual clothing. These women are quite forgotten in
the fashion industry as well so we have a lot of women
gravitating towards us because we suit their needs.

EISHA: What's happening is, you find the customers actually
spearheading this modesty movement. But the PR and boutiques
are slow off the mark so they're not seeing the customers'
needs or wants. In fact, they're so slow. They have
to be convinced about everything. But I think once the two meet,
it's just going to rocket.

And Islamic fashion
is big business too. High-end designers are now eyeing off
this lucrative market, globally estimated to be worth
close to $100 billion.

EISHA: This industry
is growing phenomenally. KATH: It's gonna be the tidal wave.
Yeah. I always say to Eisha, 'Hold on.'
You know, it's gonna be huge. And you can just see every month,
every month, it just increases. It's always evolving and changing and you're just seeing the momentum
building up so fast and it's crazy, isn't it? Really, it's phenomenal.

TARIK: I actually think we should... It's so tight. I think we should
just do front on, straight front on. It's just it's not...
It's really tight. You can see... You can see this
and you can see that.

Today, Tarik's directing a photoshoot
of his spring range in the NSW Southern Highlands.

When we choose the location
of our photoshoots, we generally choose places that
aren't too culturally significant and that are very universal
in nature. And today we've chosen
a country hotel that has a lot of European charm, but isn't overly contextual
and is quite simple in nature, but still elegant. That way, it can relate
to all markets, because we are trying to target
an international market so someone from Singapore, England,
France, anywhere in the world, can relate to what we're doing.

The new growth area
in Tarik's business is in online retail, or the e-tail sector,
as it's been dubbed.

It's about 50/50, so 50% domestic,
50% international at the moment. But we're really hoping to increase
the international sale sector. So we really wanna push that.

It's mostly the UK, France, England. We're also getting a lot of orders
from Japan, which is really odd because we never expected it
to occur. But I think it's because
the Muslim community has no options there whatsoever so they look to buy purely online
for all their products.

But Tarik's model today
is not Muslim. Nor is his photographer.

Because I'm a Muslim male, I wouldn't obviously be able
to dress a Muslim female because our religion does set up
parameters between male and female. However, we tend to use
non-Muslim models, just because it's easier, you know,
for me to be able to work and be able to kind of make things
as perfect as they possibly can be. That's perfect. Yep. WOMAN: Tarik is the first Muslim
designer that I've worked with. And I find it very different
working with a Muslim designer than with a Western designer, just the different challenges that
you have with poses, the outfits, the makeup. It's all very different but it's
very beautiful at the same time. And I believe it just adds something
different to my portfolio that not a lot of models
would get the opportunity to have.

MAN: It's hard because in fashion
editorials that I'm used to doing, it's all about sex
and being provocative, and fashion is sometimes very
suggestive, especially with women. They're allowed to show skin, you're allowed to look at the camera
in such a way, but with Hijab House
and Muslim fashion, you suddenly have to take
all that religion on board and all these rules and regulations. Suddenly, you think,
'This is a great photo,' but it's not allowed
to be published, it's not allowed to be seen. So you've really gotta take
that into account and it creates a difficult barrier, but that's why I took the job on,
because it's a challenge for me to tie religion and fashion.

WOMAN: So tell me about this piece
and where it came from. Meanwhile, Eisha, Kath and Aida
have scored something of a coup. They've been invited to talk fashion
and present their designs for a feature article
in Vogue magazine, the bastion of style. WOMAN: Modesty fashion is a growing
trend that we are interested in. And also I think it's
an interesting commentary on what women
want to wear these days. Where does your inspiration
come from, particularly, I guess,
for the new collection? AIDA: It's basically
whatever's out there. I love shopping.
I love going out there. I love reading through my magazines, you know, getting on
the different websites and just seeing
what is coming up for spring, and then changing it
into the modest way. Whichever way. Even if it's something cap sleeve
and then making it long sleeve. If it's see-through,
what can we do with it? What type of fabrics can we use? How else can we make it just so
it's a little bit more modest, not as tailored
and things like that.

If a customer's in my store and
says, 'Do you think this is tight?' I'll say, 'Yeah, it is.' I'm not gonna tell them, 'No, you
can't see any of your undies lines.' No. 'It's tight. But it's up to you
to get the next size up, 'whether you choose
to dress like that.' And the first question I'll ask is 'Would your husband let you
out of the house like that?' If they say no, I'll say, 'Well,
obviously it's too tight then.'

KATH: There is a certain limit. You know, you cannot have it
too tight and too fitted. And as designers,
we're responsible for this. We're responsible
on how tight we fit, how tight we photograph it
on the models, how we portray that image. ALEX: This is exquisite, this piece.
It's incredible print. Yeah, we found the print
and then we thought, 'Oh, we might just do
a little kaftan in it.' So, you know, you can just layer it
with some pants or you can, you know, wear some
tights or just wear it like this, you know, with a little slip
underneath. So this is all
in the new collection. It is. Yes.
This is our glass beads kaftan. And again, how would you accessorise
something like this? You would keep it quite simple. It's
very bright in terms of the print. But, you know, gold could work
really well with this as well. Great. Thank you.

(All say hello) Back in Sydney
a week after the photoshoot, Tarik and his designer Sophie have been commissioned
to create a wedding gown for bride-to-be Halima. So we've just got some
lace trimmings here. Do any of these take your fancy
for your hijab? Yeah, I like that lace fabric.
It's actually nice. Then you'd have the lace
gathered underneath... Couture design is a small but growing
part of his fashion business.

The head covering is singled out
for special attention. And in this instance, Halima has
brought a separate stylist to design this part
of her wedding outfit.

STYLIST: It came about... With hijabi brides, ten years ago, they didn't really have anything
to suit their wedding dress. They either had, like,
the really big hat or just a cap to cover their hair,
or a high-neck top. There was no variety. Now you can get
that awesome elegant look and have your hijab
properly put on for you and have everything covered
without having to worry, 'Oh, my hair's showing,'
or 'My neck is showing.' When I am doing somebody's hijab, I refuse to have the ears
or their neck showing or to work with a see-through scarf. It needs to cover. It still needs to abide by the
proper hijab guidelines of coverage. It's like how non-hijabis
have a hairdresser. The hijabis have a scarf dresser. So it's really nice.
Yeah. We've evolved.

Back in Bankstown, business is booming
in the final days of Ramadan as shoppers by up big for Eid, the celebration and feast that marks the end of the Muslim
month of fasting.

EISHA: To me, it's an Islamic
version of Christmas, really. And that's why it's so busy, because
everyone wants something new. KATH: It's not a religion,
it's a movement. It is a modesty movement for all
women who choose to dress modestly. And we don't want to claim it
for Muslims. We want everyone to be part of it. It's an inclusive movement,
not an exclusive movement.

All designers need to be
designing in this space because they're losing so much money
at the moment. They need to look at this market
because it just keeps growing. Yep.
But don't tell anyone.

Well, I hope you enjoyed
that program. We'd love to hear what you think. So please have your say
on our Compass message board at abc.net.au/compass There you'll be able to watch online a repeat showing
of Kevin Rudd and the God Factor, when, back in 2005, he spoke to Compass about his
Christian faith, life and his work. Next on Compass - # Then they took the children away # Took the children away. #

Music is a great place
to be able to go to if you're lucky enough
to have music.

I call it good medicine. # When Ruby left the river... #
(Sings indistinctly) Archie survived heart-rending loss
and life-threatening illness, emerging with his spirit renewed.

I see a bit more clearly now and everything seems a bit clearer
and brighter.

Archie Roach, next week on Compass.
See you then. Closed Captions by CSI -
Matt Whitmore

This Program is Captioned Live.

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