In the name of identity

Put religious discussion aside, there are trendings with regard to how muslim dressing code is changing in recent Xinjiang (China), Southeast Asia, and central Asia countries.

Atlas silk (wiki: IKAT) becomes particularly admired by Uighur young people in recent 3 years. Several independent Uighur designers have become well-known by their atlas dresses and other accessories made of atlas silk. These atlas silk made products are colourful and elegant. Nevertheless, these are not all the reasons that atlas silk become many young Uighurs’ favorite. The atlas silk trend is intertwined with such argument that ‘black hijab is not we Uighur people’s tradition, and Uighur people is such an ethnic group who love music and dancing, wearing colorful atlas silk made clothes and Doppa’. While there are a number of Uighur starting to wear hijab, many young Uighur generations, struggling to find their identities, turn to resort to Uighur ethnic culture and traditions.

According to tweets from the most popular social website in China, quite a few Uighur people consider wearing the traditional atals silk-made clothes make them feel a belonging to their Uighur ethnicity, while differentiating them from other Chinese, and also those Uighur individuals with conservative Islamic dress code.

It is also worth mention that a recent article Central Asia’s Controversial Fashion Statements  published on the blog Qishloq Ovozi. The article pointed out that President of Tajikistan stated his displeasure towards several women wearing long black robes, regarded as ‘foreign’ Islamic. He added that such dressing code was not ‘keeping with Tajik culture and traditions’. Bruce Pannier also compared the situation in Uzbekistan where the state agency issued a directive that female performers not to wear ”half-naked’ at public events, and in Kyrgyzstan where there is a so-called small movement against western dressing code and a call for a return to more traditional dressing clothing for women in Kyrgyzstan. It is not surprising that all these criticism in terms of dressing point to Muslim females in these places. As B. Pannier stated that since 1991, all five Central Asian countries have been trying to find their national identities. The question needed to add here is why it takes them such a long time. One possible reason is that they conclude judgment based on wrong assumptions in relation to how other people in Islamic countries dress.

Muslim is not a race. Islam perceived differently in different regions. Uighur Muslims, especially who hold conservative opinion about Islam, could be surprised by the fact that Shila Amzah, a Malaysian winner of Asian Wave in Shanghai, turns out to be a Muslim who have been to Mecca. Uighur Muslims who have been to Mecca will tend to be more religious rather than secular. To British Muslims, perhaps the more surprising fact is females can actually sing in public( British Muslim fashion blogger Dina Torkia claimed that ‘singing in hijab in public just wouldn’t happen in England’ in the BBC documentary Muslim Beauty Pageant and Me).

Muslim females in southeast Asia could be fashionable while wearing hijab. David Robinson has a name for these fashion-conscious Muslim women, hijabster, in his article Southeast Asia Sees the Rise of Hijabster at Financial Times. According to D. Robinson, these hijabsters “typically sport bright colours, wear thick make-up and high heels, and are keen to show that they are modern, emancipated Muslims”. The FT researches show that in Indonesia, most of these females turn out to be better educated than the average, tend to be middle-income earners, typically tech-savvy smartphone owners and heavy users of  social media. D. Robinson mentioned at the end that  hijabsters with a high reputation are sponsored by retailers to model clothing.

Now the halal skincare products seem to make sense. Chances are that the aim of the retailers is forming a separate ‘halal market’ and make it a business. One thing is not clear is whether these hijabster do bring southeast Asia countries secularism.

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summary of two articles from IP Fashion&Design tutorial

In the first article, Sarah Cardwell wrote about that Darcy become a peculiar icon because of his differences from other predecessors in three ways: First, Darcy doesn’t exist same as other traditional icons; Second, Darcy, as an icon, is superior to the actor Colin Firth; Third, ‘he gained freedom necessary to become an icon’.

The principal idea Sarah demonstrates is that Darcy escaped into iconicity due to his resistance to those traditional generic characters imposed on him by 1800s and his struggling for freedom.

From my viewpoint, such point could be concluded as Darcy becoming an icon because his success of releasing himself from the restrictions, which completely fulfills the expectations of the targeted audience, of which the majority might be female. These audience expect that their imaginary Darcy would release and gain freedom and Darcy did it thereby his escape making him an exceptional icon.

Indeed I do agree with Sarah Cordwell for the reason that what makes Darcy an icon is his spirit of resistance to traditionalism. But I argue that he might not necessarily the peculiar one. It could be that he is the one born from the medium television, however, in music area, there are plenty of rock stars becoming an icon for their extraordinary performance of how they resist the tradition rules.

In the second article, Fiona Anderson discussed that how the mutual exchanges between museums and galleries, and others engaged in contemporary fashion system influenced the curatorship of contemporary fashion substantially in UK. With three case studies supporting her premise, Fiona Anderson claims that there are remarkable similarities of the approaches adopted by these three museums and galleries contributing to the dissemination of visual and textual information of contemporary fashion.

In the first Victoria and Albert museum case, Fiona demonstrated how designers and curators co-operates in having designer’s work display in museum is mutually of benefits. She also discussed the interactive way adopted by the V&A museum to display designers work had been admired by visitors to the museum.

In the second case study, Fiona explained the peculiar feature of freedom in Judith Clark’s small gallery, e.g. no permanent collections of object enables her to respond quickly to fast changing fashion information. In addition, she added this type of system aims to draw some of the funding to run the gallery, which, in my opinion, seems to be a quite efficient and sustainable way to run the gallery accrue to her close involvement with designers and curators contribute to the circulation of fashion information.

The third case chosen for the exhibition unburdened the traditional musicological responsibilities. In this study, Fiona Anderson explicitly described the exhibition of the representations of Hussein Chalayan’s work focusing on body display.

There are two interesting points made by Fiona. One is in the beginning of the article where she discussed the approaches to display designers work within museums and galleries. She suggested it would be better to show garments alongside with representation like photograph presenting a thought-provoking context.

I agree with this suggestion since high-level fashion sometimes is not that close to the public’s experience, and thus an appropriate context in approaches of representations would make the designer’s work more approachable.

Another interesting point she made here is that fashion’s low cultural status used to make it unlikely for museums’ association with fine arts due to low cultural status of fashion before, which in relation to traditional separation of education and entertainment in UK, yet postmodern epoch have vitally raised the social status of fashion, meanwhile museum’s educational function also contribute to the consolidation of museums with fine arts display.

I think Fiona gave a valid reason for the cause of fashion’s low cultural status; I cannot explain why, it convinces me though.

  • Cardwell, Sarah. “Darcy’s Escape: An Icon in the Making’.” Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis, London and New York: Routledge (2000).
  • Anderson, Fiona. “Museums as fashion media.” Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis (2000): 371-389.

Summary FT articles

Net neutrality refers to a basic right of equal access to internet no matter where you are and who you are. Daniel Thomas mentioned that Brussels regulators propose that it should be part of “a wider ‘connected continent’ ” reforms, including reducing soaring cost; while Mr. Obama press the Federal Communications Commission to guarantee equal net access.

Cable and telecoms companies, in the completely opposite side, states their willing to charge customers for premium services. According to Daniel, these service providers even limit those services ‘that have not paid for the upgrade’.

Skype, as a competitor with telecoms service, also was a victim of throttling.Recently Reed Hastings argued that ‘slow lanes’ is depressing the digital economy.

To justify their needing, these companies provide two arguments: to offer innovative services requiring higher net access quality, and to get fund of investment in next generation networks.

Meanwhile, net neutrality advocates’ claim of internet as a basic utility raises question like whether such right is similar to water and electricity utility.

Daniel Thomas indicates that, in the US, the FCC might consider Mr. Obama’s command, and in the Europe, the telecoms side probably lose the battle since officials seem to be affirmative to support proposals in question.

I personally agree with net neutrality. I consider internet is a type of utility similar to electricity. As said in the article mentioned above, dependence on internet is about the same as on such utility in western world. If individuals are entitled to have equal right to water and electricity, then it should be the same case with internet.

However, in other parts of the world, people indeed experience a different speed of internet access. In addition, premium users of online TV services in China can watch online programmes without any advertisement intervention from the beginning.

After all , the debate among legal framework is a great step or start toward net neutrality.

Summaries (FT articles)

Henry Mance reports that a controversial ruling made on Wednesday with respect to ordering BSkyB to provide its Sky Sports channels to YouView platform, its rival competitor. BSkyB, wihout surprise, argue that such ruling is unwarranted, while BT welcomed the decision. It is said that the Competition Appeals Tribunal had delivered a decision in favour of the former, but that ruling was repealed by the Court of Appeal.

I personally think that it will be beneficial to balance a healthy competition in internet television services area , provided Ofcom’s decision on identifying BSkyB as a dominant position in the supply of premium sports channel is accepted by the  Competition Appeal Tribunal and the “wholesale must offer” rule covers YouView. If Sky occupies a dominant position, then it might give rise to the possibility of monopoly in this service area, which will undermine the competition.

However, the rule might also have a side effect of threatening the most important benefits of pluralism, i.e., get access to a greater variety. If Sky sports are offered to other platforms, customers can get access to the same content in the different internet television services, and thus provided with overlapped information. Perhaps it should be encouraged to produce more varieties of content in such area.

  • Henry Mance, ‘BSkyB forced to offer sports coverage to BT’s YouView’, November 5, 2014 6:00 pm,

Tutorial reading task 2


(This is a note of the first essay I am supposed to finish reading it before a tutorial this week. To make it easier to reference to the context, I decide to write this note along with questions provided by the tutor and questions that I am confused with. Therefore, this note is not a summary of the whole essay, but rather more relevant to these specific questions.)

  1. Why is originality a requirement for copyright protection?
    1. In the US, is it sufficient to meet the ‘sweat of the brow’ standard?
    2. Referencing early UK copyright doctrine, would you agree with the statement that ‘what is worth copying is worth protecting’?
    3. ‘The most sacred…most personal of all properties is the work fruit of the thought of a writer’ (Jean Le Chapelier in the Paris Assembly 1791). What effect has such an argument on the protection of rights of authors in France?
  2. Copyright law in the United Kingdom only protects certain precise categories of subject matter (ss. 1-8, CDPA 1988). Consider the advantages and disadvantages of this system compared to the ‘open list approach’ adopted in other countries.

(Tutorial questions by tutor Leslie Lansman)

According to the essay ‘Copyright and its categories of original works’, Justine Pila states that the LDMA (Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works) categories is significant when discussing the similarities between individual works and whether such similarities are sufficient enough to support an inference of copying. However, in her view, these categories are not unchanging, and thus a subject matter might move in and out of copyright protection.

These points not be enough to answer the question 2 above, therefore, more research on this topic need to be done, which should be more readable than Justine Pila’s essay.

  • Pila, ‘Copyright and its categories of original works’, (2010) 30 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 229-254

Tutorial reading task 1

(This is a note of the first essay I am supposed to finish reading it before a tutorial this week. To make it easier to reference to the context, I decide to write this note along with questions provided by the tutor and questions that I am confused with. Therefore, this note is not a summary of the whole essay, but rather more relevant to these specific questions.)

  1. Why is originality a requirement for copyright protection?
    1. In the US, is it sufficient to meet the ‘sweat of the brow’ standard?
    2. Referencing early UK copyright doctrine, would you agree with the statement that ‘what is worth copying is worth protecting’?
    3. ‘The most sacred…most personal of all properties is the work fruit of the thought of a writer’ (Jean Le Chapelier in the Paris Assembly 1791). What effect has such an argument on the protection of rights of authors in France?
  2. Copyright law in the United Kingdom only protects certain precise categories of subject matter (ss. 1-8, CDPA 1988). Consider the advantages and disadvantages of this system compared to the ‘open list approach’ adopted in other countries.

(Tutorial questions by tutor Leslie Lansman)

Daniel J. Gervais, in his essay ‘Feist Goes Global: A Comparative Analysis of the Notion of Originality in Copyright Law’, collaborated the notion of originality in three different perspectives: common law systems, civil law systems, and international copyright treaties. His purpose is to demonstrate that Feist-like standard of creative selection doctrine has been prevailing in common law systems and that may bridge the gap between civil law systems and common law systems since a similar doctrine has been adopted in the latter systems.

There are two contexts helpful to answer the questions above: U.S and France. To focus on the U.S case, D. Gervais states that the feist case (Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Company, Inc.499 U.S. 340 (1991)) mentioned in the essay ended a definitional tension concerning to whether requirement of originality shall be creative selections or shall be ‘ sweat of the brow’ theory, and mandated a constitutional-based standard. Therefore, we could draw a conclusion that it is not sufficient to meet the ‘sweat of the brow’ standard in the United States. As for the France situation, D. Gervais argues that although it was and is adopting a highly objective standard test for originality, it is applying to the similar one with Feist by evaluating its standard on the basis of creative choices. However, I cannot find any arguments in this essay to support a kind of opinion that France is adopting such standard partial to protection of authorship. In this case, I should do further reading.

In addition, I might need to discuss the part referring to UK in the tutorial, the author suggested a couple of cases shall be reconsidered but I think the arguments supporting such opinion has not been explicitly demonstrated.

  • D. Gervais, ‘Feist Goes Global: A Comparative Analysis of the Notion of Originality in Copyright Law’, (2001-2002) 49 Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA 949-981