Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fashion shows are fun and glamorous?

Fun and glamour?

Not exactly. Perhaps only for the audience. For the rest of us backstage and back in the workroom, it is a lot of tedious , repetitive work, checking, reworking, checking, unpicking, fixing ...

Tension Backstage

Yeah, a hundred and one things to do before we can give our friends and audience a splendid show - the many beautiful clothes carefully designed, cut, each stitched and put together to make an outfit - an ensemble.

Too many choices make it difficult

Besides finalising the designs, there will be some changes along the way and in the end the final result will look nothing like the original proposal. That is the fun part. It can be frustrating too - trying to acquire the right fabrics, textures, colours, shades and trimmings.

Remembering the needs of customer

Designing an outfit may look like a piece of cake. Well its not just drawing and doing what we think looks nice and may sell well. The costing is important because the wrong choice of fabrics may increase the final cost and make it unaffordable to the end customer. What is the use of making clothes at a price that customers cannot afford? It has to be balanced, affordable yet beautiful and practical enough to be loved by the wearer.

No time to relax

It is only fun after all the work is done and the show is over. Perhaps then people will relax and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. The fun lies in the challenge of designing and creating something beautiful out of a few pieces of fabric, some thread, beads and ribbons. The joy of seeing the working coming together and suddenly something fabulous is created. The process of creation is a very personal experience.

Always ready for a challenge

Yet designers love their work and the challenges. They would not have it any other way. They may worry, may fret, may moan but they will carry on with the show. Sheer drive and determination keeps them going under stress.

Fighting for time backstage

There is so very little time for the models to change into the next outfit. With just 10 minutes to change, clothes are flying into the air as they grabbed the next outfit. Everyone is frantically trying to adjust the outfit, put on the scarves, shawls, accessories and before its done, she has to go out to face the audience.

Looking Cool

Models are trained to keep their cool. Even if the outfit is not arranged properly she has to look calm and cool. She has to make it work. After all that is what professional models are there for - to help make the garment work even under intense stress and pressure. People did not go to see the women just to admire their beauty. They want to see what the clothes would look like when it is worn by real people. They have to bring the designs to life.

All in good taste, insha Allah

That's why we do not parade mannequins or robots. They will definitely not be the same. Nobody walks like a robot. Muslima fashion models are trained to walk naturally and gently, they do not strut and sway like non believers. They do not sell clothes by abusing their bodies. At least they are not supposed to as Muslims . There is such a thing as self respect and dignity.

Appreciate the efforts of people behind the scene

So as the models parade out in all the finery, let us appreciate the creative spirit of this breed of people called designers. Their work can be beautiful, bold, funny, serious, wacky and sometimes plain weird. Beauty is subjective and everyone just dives in to swim. We can only admire their zest for life and love for creativity.

We also acknowledge the dedication and supportive work carried out by all staff, tailoring , design , research and support personnel. Designers cannot work alone, they need constant support, feed back, in put and constant reminders to keep on track and on time.

Not outrageous or vain

Muslim fashion shows are preferably low key, models are generally not over made up for drama and shock value. All in good taste. The models are chosen for their height and also good etiquette. Punctuality, well mannered, considerate and cooperative. No divas are expected here and we know it is not only the model that sells the clothes. Allah SWT determines our rezeki so we just keep on working and improving ourselves.

A way to encourage women to dress modestly

One of the reasons for holding such shows is to encourage more women to cover modestly. Many of them think they will lose their beauty and be forced to become dull and uninteresting. This is probably because they do not realise that covering modestly is a requirement in Islam and when we submit wholeheartedly to Allah's commands, He will bless us in different ways.

Precious Jewel to be protected or trophy to be exhibited?

Have you ever noticed the nur or glow upon a sister who is covered modestly? Just compare her with someone who is exposing herself for all to see, to sample and to imagine. If you were a man would you like your sister or wife to go around half naked? Do you know that if a woman wears tightly fitted clothes that reveal her figure, even if she is covered from head to toe, she is considered to be part naked? She is showing her body to people who do not have the right to see her in that manner.

Would you want to protect and advise her or be secretly proud to show her off to other man like a trophy? Is she just another possession to be shown off? Are you treating her like your new BMW or new swimming pool?

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