Iran Fashion Show Uses AR Technology to Delete Women Models from Catwalk

How advanced technology can enable certain cultures to move backwards, rather than forwards in regards to women's rights.

Iran Fashion Show

The Iran Fashion Show event using Augmented Reality (AR) took place in Tehran, with computer-generated ‘models’ on a virtual catwalk.

Iranian fashion and art magazine, Lotus, sponsored the event where invisible virtual models are seen strutting their stuff back and forth on a real red carpet runway. Onlookers were able to view all the action through the viewing portal provided by immersive technology provider, VR Vision.

The actual AR technology itself was developed by a ‘foreign firm’ which chose to remain anonymous in order to avoid possible sanctions due to the AR technology never being used before in Iran.

While one can see that there are some obvious useful applications that this type of AR technology can provide, such as; viewing various models in each outfit and providing a pop-up catwalk at any location. However, let’s not mistake the potential usefulness of this technology for the compliance of an oppressive Islamic culture on women’s rights.

Tehran AR fashion show

A fashion event using Augmented Reality (AR) took place in Tehran, with computer-generated ‘models’ walking up and down the catwalk

Posted by RT Play on Wednesday, December 26, 2018


The Iran Fashion Show Expo Director, Vida Jannesar, said the following in a video posted by RT Play

“We have some limitations. Our limitation is using a model in fashion shows. We have solved this problem with this company and we could have the virtual catwalk here for the first time. Now you see it in this event in the form of AR (augmented reality) and when you see it, it is like the models are walking; but the limitations of models have actually been deleted and there are no models there.”

Of course, when she says “limitations,” she is really saying “women’s rights.” Let’s not mince words. Even if Iranian women were to purchase this clothing, they will not be able to wear it publicly in an Iranian society.

Iran is an Islamic nation that has been known to suppress fundamental women’s rights for many years now. Women undergo many hardships under both Sharia Laws and backward traditions. Women suffer social inequalities such as lack of an appropriate job, not allowing to choose desired clothes, forced marriage in traditional cities, verbal and physical sexual harassment, and insecurity during hours of the day.

Official laws against women in Iran:

  • Article 1179 of the Civil Code states Parents have the right to punish their children within the limits prescribed by law.
  • Article 18 of passport law indicates married women requires their husband’s permission to apply for a passport.
  • Article 21 of Iran’s Constitution indicates the government must ensure the rights of women in all respects, in conformity with Islamic criteria. This leaves it up to the clergymen to interpret the laws pertaining to women.
  • Article 232 of the Penal Code, called the Law of “Hudud”, stipulates that the penalty for fornication is flogging 31 to 74 strokes of the lash, for unmarried male and female offenders.
  • Article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code indicates: Women who appear on streets and in public without the prescribed “Islamic dress (Hijab) will be condemned to 74 strokes of the lash or ten days to two months prison or fine up to 500.000 Rial (16$).
  • Article 115 of Iran’s Constitution states the condition for the presidential candidates the law states that: “The President must come from among the religious and political statesmen (rejal).” The word rejal literally means men of high achievement.
  • Article 162 of Iran’s Constitution states the head of justice department and attorney general must be ‘mojtahed’ [a religious man who is able to issue decree], honest, and knowledgeable in legal subject matters.”
  • Article 550 of the Islamic Penal code states that the “Diyyah” of a Muslim woman is half of the “Diyyah” of a Muslim man. By law the life of a woman has half the value of a man in Islamic criminal law in Iran.
  • Article 1105 of the Civil Code states in the relationship between a man and a woman, the man is responsible as head of the family.
  • Article 1117 of the Civil Code states that the husband may ban his wife from any technical profession that conflicts with family life or her character.
  • Article 1133 of the Civil Code states a man can divorce his wife whenever he so chooses and does not have to give her advance notice, referring to the conditions provided in the law.