"Aheda Zanetti spent her youth afraid to go into the water for fear of contravening strict religious dress-codes. Five years ago, when the Muslim designer saw her niece playing netball in layers of skin-covering clothes, she became inspired. Now Zanetti's creation, the burqini, is part of a large exhibition in the State Library that examines the way Victorians have holidayed over the years, Victorians On Vacation. Inspired by the burqa, Zanetti chose the catchy name burqini, took samples to an Islamic and it was a hit. Zanetti's Ahiida Swimwear and Sports Apparel is busy churning them out for local sales and export and giving talks. Exhibition curator Clare Williamson says we have come full circle in swimwear - 'from the 19th century, when we covered up, to the 20th century, when suits got skimpy, and recently to covering up again, whether it's the burqini or awareness about the effects of the sun. What's interesting is that it has been embraced by non-Muslim women too, Williamson says. Zanetti fields orders from non-Muslim countries, such as the Netherlands and Poland, from local Christians, Jews, Mormons and others who prefer modest attire." - 'An itsy bitsy teenie weenie mellow burqini' in The Heral Sun, Harbant Gill, 25 Feb 2008.
I'm not Muslim, but I'm kind of surprised the burqa-wearing crowd allows those bright colors. I thought there was something special about black. And isn't more of the face supposed to be covered? I hope I'm not just being ignorant, but I was under the impression that only the eyes are permitted to be seen.