In the last three years there has been an explosion of the production and designs of Muslim fashions as displayed and sold in shops, malls, traditional markets and households in Indonesia. This paper will look at the production, distribution and consumption of Muslim fashion as commodified goods sanctified as representing or constituting Islamic identities. Most researches on Islam in Indonesia have focused on the conventionally defined political and cultural aspects of Islam in the contexts of state-society relations, practices and interpretations of religious teaching, roles of Islam in politics, and recently on globalised security and terrorism. This project will conceive of Islam not only as a religious teaching or ideology, but it will treat Islam particularly as “fetish”—understood both in an anthropological and Marxist sense, which has endowed or enhanced consumed goods with either or both religious and economic values.
Treating Islam as a global cultural force and Muslim fashion as popular culture, this paper attempts to look at the dynamics of the relationship between modernity and Islam as well as the search for Islamic public appearance and public space. To a certain degree, the discussion will depict how globalisation is at work in a locality by demonstrating how local agencies (designers, producers and consumers of Muslim fashion) adjust themselves to the global trends and take benefits from the new programmatic media technologies to produce, disseminate, and consume cultural cum religious products. Through their religious expressions and production-consumption strategies, those agencies attempt to demonstrate the viability of their religious practices, reassert their identity in the national and global arena, and grapple with the plethora of other popular cultural products which are not sanctified with Islam.