On show at the Herzog & de Meuron-designed de Young Museum, Contemporary Muslim Fashions presents 80 examples of women's garments and ensembles that span from haute couture to streetwear and sports apparel.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) organised the "overdue" exploration of the topic to dispel assumptions and stereotypes about this widespread demographic, and underline its importance to the fashion industry.
"There are those who believe that there is no fashion at all among Muslim women, but the opposite is true, with modern, vibrant, and extraordinary fashion scenes, particularly in many Muslim-majority countries," said Max Hollein, former FAMSF director and CEO.
"Contemporary Muslim Fashions is an overdue, much-needed exploration of a multifaceted topic as yet largely unexplored by museums," he continued. "This exhibition stands out in our long history of outstanding fashion exhibitions and will shed light onto larger political, social, and cultural understandings and misunderstandings."
The exhibition highlights the differences in trends found across the Muslim population spread around the world, shaped by both religious requirements and local cultures.
"Fashion is at its best when it both adapts to the needs of society and reflects its social and political undercurrents," said curator Jill D'Alessandro. "It is in this transformative moment where we now find modest fashion."
Among the pieces on show is the Nike Pro Hijab, which the sports brand launched in spring 2017 in collaboration with top Muslim athletes, like weightlifter Amna Al Haddad and figure skater Zahra Lari.
The stretchy single-layer head covering was intended to "change the face of sport for Muslim girls", although it proved controversial with Dezeen readers.
A burkini swimsuit, which similarly divided opinion when it was banned from French beaches in 2016, also features.
The work of established and emerging Muslim designers from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as the US and UK, is presented in sections.
There is also an area dedicated to the impact that social media and the blogging community has had on the development of personal style, and how Muslim fashion influencers have become role models for those who feel under-represented in traditional media.
New York firm Hariri & Hariri Architecture was responsible for the exhibition design. The team used themes of cover and protection to create solid and fabric structures to arch over the displays.
Lighting patterns with motifs found in traditional Islamic architecture and craft are projected onto backdrops and the floor.