For her first stock project, British-born photographer Nina Manandhar collaborated with Getty Images on a series called 'The New Mods.' Her latest work, available for Getty’s Creative Images library, captures a day in the life of a group of young women at home or out and about in West London during Ramadan. And like most of her labours of love, it is an exploration of youth culture and identity.
Manandhar, or @warriorprintess as she is known on Instagram, focuses on four young women (Johar Amer, Aba Shariff, Fatin Jameel and Fatma Sadiq) she met during London Modest Fashion Week while working on a street-style commission for “US Vogue.” The photos convey her understanding of how religious-leaning youth are choosing to dress and what modesty means today.
Via the distinct, inclusive and candid photos, we get a glimpse of the next generation of Muslim women’s individual styles while they dress according to their religious beliefs. Manandhar, who has exhibited at London’s Tate Modern and collaborated with big companies like Nike and Adidas, also highlights their authentic stories and how they go about dealing with their relationships.
“There is still a lot of negative stereotyping in the mainstream press about how a veil is a form of oppression or how it is the opposite of cosmopolitan,” the forever inquisitive photographer told “Huck.” “The images really show how people can negotiate their sense of multiple identities through style.”
“Modest style to me doesn’t only stop at Muslim-wear or hijabs, as I see modesty is required in other religions as well – it’s just a form of respect towards the religion and towards other people. I would describe my identity as religious and modern,” Amer, one of the youngsters Manandhar snapped pictures of while she giggled, prayed or modelled, told “Dazed.”
“My whole life I was known as ‘the religious one, but she’s cool’, and I guess that’s true. I was raised in an Islamic way, and Islam is more of a lifestyle than just a religion, but I’m still part of this generation, and I love fashion and expressing myself through style and art, so being known as religious and cool is fine with me.”
The shutterbug with a desire to champion authenticity is also the author of “What We Wore – A People’s History of British Style.” In the photographic documentary of street culture and subculture from 1950 to 2010, Manandhar, always inspired by people like Ted Polhemus, delves into how youth groups express their loyalties and who they are through what they wear.