Monday, 15 June 2009

Baruch College Fashion Show

Reader's Contribution

Fashion Show
By Ammara Zaman

The daff beat that signals the start of our first runway show has started. The girls are all lined up and anxiously waiting, not more so than the crowd, who put up with a hour and a half delay. But, me, I am racing down the hallway of Baruch to find a model who last minute had to use the bathroom. And so begins our first fashion show at Baruch College, in New York City.

The Prep I

The idea for the fashion show was one I always hoped to achieve at some point of my four years at Baruch College. I was pursuing a degree in Entrepreneurship, and I have a serious love of fashion and I hope to fuse the two. More recently, during my final semester as the president of our student club Women in Islam, with the other members of our club, did the idea of a fashion show begin to form. It was my last year in Baruch, and it really was my wish to be able to pull a fashion show together. In November 2008 we had our first meeting for the show. I planned a few categories and I wanted to see the input of the other girls. For me, I didn't want to have styles that are simple and plain. After all, I am a girl who has been reading fashion magazines since I was 11, so of course I wanted looks that were a little more creative.

In the end, after many, many, many, trips to the student life office at Baruch, emails, and networking, we were able to set a date for our show as Friday May 1st 2009. We received the confirmation only 1 month before. To pull it together required a massive effort especially since our initial vendors for the clothing pulled out. We were left then with having girls lend us any items they thought we could use. The fashion show came down to three categories, Everyday wear, Evening Wear, and Cultural. All the looks featured hijab. I enlisted the help of my cousin's wife, Abqara to style the outfits with me.

The Prep II

I spent weeks collecting clothing for the show, right up until the last week. I basically would haul the clothing home on the train and then hang it up in my closet. Then Abqara and I spent a couple days styling everything together. The process of styling was fun for the both of us, but not without hard work. It worked well if only because Abqara and I were on the same page in terms of fashion: we both love fashion and love doing creative things so we didn't clash. We made a good team. To keep everything organized, we put each outfit in clear recycling bags with labels that had the model's name, the category, and every item in the bag. We also put labels on clothing, since everything was borrowed. We had 2 makeup artists that I emailed pictures from our run through the week before to give them an idea of the models and the fashion.

The Fashion

Our main focus of course was using the hijab and doing different styles with it. Originally we were supposed to have separate hijab stylists--but both of the girls couldn't make it. Abqara and I had experimented when we were styling, but it was evident that us being only 2 people, it would be near to impossible for us to also style hijabs while directing the models. It was fortunate that I had brought along my cousin Asleema, who managed to on the spot come up with several cool hijab styles. Without that, our show definitely wouldn't be as great.

We also used hats, headbands, brooches and flowers in different looks. For an evening wear look, we took a plain black cardigan and placed a couple brooches along the arm, and in another we used a headband with a flower pinned on it. In an everyday look we added a short sleeved jacket and a belt to an all-over print jilbab. We used pants, skirts, dresses and jilbabs to make sure we had something that every girl would want to wear. Since we were working with borrowed clothing, some of the outfits we used weren't as modest as we wanted--a dress would fit too sung on one model for example. At the beginning we had our host mention clearly that we just wanted to give girls some ideas we're not saying all of the clothing fit the Islamic requirements. That may seem counterproductive to an Islamic fashion show, but in one month trying to pull together clothing and models was not easy.

The Show

The first fashion show was set to start at 5pm. We got to Baruch around 12:30pm which sounds like plenty of time, but one thing I definitely learned was there is never enough time! With the models who came around 1pm, we started them on makeup, had them in their outfits and did their hijabs. There was so much to do: we had several last minute issues including two models not being able to make it in. And we were still coaching some of the models on their walk to make sure they got it right. There were other things like making sure a model had a shirt to wear under a sari, or a skirt under a dress with a thigh-high slit and deciding each makeup look with the makeup artists.

Up to the last second we were finalizing the order the models will walk in. We had about half an hour in between categories. While we tried to keep everything organized with the labels on the bags, it was not possible. Backstage (a classroom adjacent to the actual room) became a mess of clothing everywhere and girls trying to locate inside pieces to wear with the hijab.

In the end it all came together beautifully. The worst part of course was cleaning up afterwards. We had to reorganize all of the clothing and make sure everything was together. But the main thing was that everyone had a great time, stylists, models and audience included. Though it was very hectic the whole day and leading up to it, in the end it was well worth it.


Arfy Majeed said...

What fantastic outfits and accessories. I love the first pic (orange and blue)!

caraboska said...

It looks like the show went off fantastically, judging from the outfits. I read that Baruch is supposed to be the most culturally diverse higher education institution in the United States. This is a great example masha'Allah!

Le-Ann Mariamlelue said...

Oh MashaAllah,
All the pieces look exquisite and well orchestrated
With the given resources I think it definitely proved to be a success
Thanks for sharing the pics and story line of "behind the scenes" so-to-say :)

LK said...

I just passed by there the other day! Wish I could have seen it, everyone looks great. What a creative idea.

Aisha_D said...

although the hard work it has benn a wonderfull work i think!

Anonymous said...

Mashallah it looks like it was well organized show ...and it gives me new ideas of wearing hijabs. especially i like orange and blue
outfit and its hijab!

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum Ammara! Yay! You are in my group on facebook, "All Muslim fashion designers unite!" What a joy this was to read! I have a blog on this network too! Its called "Trying to design clothes." Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your experiance! This has been great! Alhamdulilah. I would love to come to the fashion show. Please give me the details. I will write you on facebookm sis. Assalamu Alaikum! :)

Lady Layla Hajar said...

Machallah this page is very fashion ¡¡
Grettings fron spain
island canary


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