March 5, 2019
Iranian police have summoned the organizer and sponsor of a fashion show in Lavasan, east of Tehran for exhibiting “immoral” Las Vegas-style clothing without a permit. They also blocked the organizer’s Instagram account, which had been used to promote the event.
Authorities ordered the summons on the morning of March 3, the day after the show took place. They were alerted to the event by Mehr News Agency, which had posted a video of it on its site, along with the headline: “This is no place for costumes like in Las Vegas.” Mehr also reported: “the surprising thing is that this show was publicly presented and promoted on Instagram and there was no supervision by any authority…Not only did the show not observe moral and sharia issues, the performances had almost nothing to do with Iranian culture and were only blind imitations of western culture.”
Shortly after the Mehr News report, Hamid Ghobadi, Secretary of the Dress and Fashion Regulation Working Group at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, urged judicial authorities to prosecute the organizer and sponsor and “strongly condemned” the event. “This show was completely illegal,” he said. “Last night we learned about this fashion show when a video of it was published and this morning we took legal action.”
He called the show a “transgression” and added: “Of course, the issue was not only the fashion and the dresses. There were also other issues such as cosmetics and the decorations. The fashion show just got more attention on cyberspace.” Ghobadi said as soon as the working group learned about what had taken place it “took necessary actions.”
He also warned that there would be repercussions for those who went to the event. “We have received accurate information about persons who attended this fashion show,” said Ghobadi. “The real and legal entities have been identified and the information has been passed on to responsible authorities.” He said this included “the organizing entity, the host and the company that provided financial support…The event had no permit.”
He claimed people from the Iranian fashion industry had complained about the show, but declined to provide evidence. “This event has been harshly criticized by designers and all those involved in fashion,” he announced. “The absolute majority of those in fashion and the dress business work within the legal framework and this transgressive act will harm the fashion and dress [industry] in the country.” He emphasized that any activity to do with fashion required a permit from the Dress and Fashion Regulation Working Group.