By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

SOCIAL media and smartphones are transforming Iranian women's culture and fashion

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Many women cover their faces during the Tasua ceremony but rarely otherwise

French photographer Eric Lafforgue, 52, travelled to the Islamic country to capture how the internet is helping to challenge the normally strict female dress code.

Since the revolution in 1979 when Sharia law was imposed, women have been forced to cover their hair, neck and arms and to “maintain their modesty”

Fake designer products are available to purchase for western items such as smart phones

However, the introduction of iPhones and Instagram is influencing the younger generation to break the rules with branded chadors, make up and accessories.

Photojournalist Eric, who visited the country twice in 2015, revealed the introduction of western cultural trends is posing a problem for the authorities.

In smaller communities it is easier for women to get away with wearing bright colours
Traditional fabrics: Store with stacks of dark textiles in the bazaar

He said: “I read so many things about chadors and the rules in Iran, I wanted to see the things by myself and to ask directly the people how they have to deal with this.

“Iranians women are crazy about selfies and Instagram, so pictures are familiar to everybody.

In religious places the guards inspect the women to ensure they are dressed 'appropriately'

“I saw many situations where the women had problems with the religious police.”

Experimenting with make up and undergoing facial surgery is not uncommon in Iran as women want to ensure their faces look unique in contrast to their modest clothing.

Taking photographs and using social media, such as Instagram, is common in Iran

Eric said: “In Iran, the local law makes a lot of women appear to have the same silhouette, but they invent some personal way to look different.”

The strict laws are challenged by the women of Iran
Despite the laws, revealing bra tops are available for sale in the bazaar

The authorities claim that the rebellion against modest dress “poses a cultural problem” and consider it to be “a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the west.

Women wear Louis Vuitton headscarves that are pushed back on their head to show their hair

Frenchman Eric revealed thousands of police have been tasked with stopping the trend from spreading.

An Iranian woman shows off her Micky Mouse jumper under her chador

He said: “Recently, more than 70,000 policemen were sent to crack down on western cultural invasion. But they cannot look everywhere.”

It is not uncommon for Iranian women to get plastic surgery such as nose jobs

To see more of Eric Lafforgue’s photography visit: