Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Night to Remember: Iszonica Fashion Show

Last night I attended a fashion show (BIG thank you to Maxine of Better Books!) - UMOJA (Swahili for Togetherness) organized by Iszonica Modelling School (IMS) and Trash to Treasure, under the umbrella of the Salvation Army. I loved it. It was an amazing show, bringing so much talent to the forefront for such a deserving cause.

The head ruined my picture.
There's always a head or a limb ruining my pictures.
Held to support the women at the Philippines embassy that are facing deportation (as well as to persuade people to recycle), the money raised will be used to provide them with counselling services and buy them materials and things they need. Michelle Johnson, Managing Director of IMS and co-host of the event (together with Heather Grinsted, Regional Officer of the Salvation Army), in her opening speech mentioned that women in the Philippines earn just 50 KD a month for the same jobs in Kuwait. And so they head here, leaving their families, looking for a better future for their children. While most of the women find good jobs and are happy, some others flee to the embassy to escape abusive employers. Tragic but true. The recyclable dresses were designed and tailored by them, giving them a chance to channel their creativity, time and resourcefulness into constructive activities.

On with the show! Click on the picture to enlarge.

I had to take a picture of the lighting.
Made the hall look so resplendent. 
Unfortunately, I got very few decent shots; there were a lot more dresses than you see here. The music was easily recognizable, some of my favourite soundtracks just 'pimped' - Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Devil Wear Prada...

In the first segment, the models (of various nationalities - in line with the theme) exhibited rugs made by the ladies at Trash to Treasure using discarded materials.

Next up, some of the Recycle Company Logo Dresses =) These were dresses made to showcase the logos of the sponsors of the event. The Cake n Bake drew a lot of oohs from the crowd!

Dress depicting logo of Cake n Bake
Better pic here and here

The above two dresses were made using Annahar newspapers, commemorating the paper's fourth anniversary.

Frilly blouse and a four tiered skirt
for Organica Fish & Chips

Sassy ain't it? Made with dried orange skin
and pistachio nutshells!
The next segment had guest designer Sara Karami feature some of her exquisite collection of rich blended fabrics and styles from her label 'Just Jazz, Just Sara'. She was my classmate in school and it's heartening to see your schoolmates go so far! Congratulations on your first show Sara! Wish you all the very best!

I would so wear this.

Chic. Love the look of the fabric.

This elegant dress was saved for last,
and very rightly so!
Michelle Johnson was the second designer. Her dresses personified grace, beauty with a hint of sexy.

The models then sported accessories designed by Hamac and Ja-Lynn. I didn't take great pictures of this segment, so to make up for it here's a glimpse of Ja-Lynn's stall.

Handmade Bags

Wooden bangles in vibrant hues
Chunky jewellery in every colour
Accessories made from discarded materials by the women at Trash to Treasure:

And finally, the dresses made by the women at the Philippines Embassy themselves, using fabrics discarded or left over by tailors. Here, when the models encountered each other on the runway they'd each do something funky, like check each other out with pretentious gasp =D It was cool!

Doesn't she look like she really enjoyed wearing that? =D The model's name is Krsytle Nazareth and she was in school with me too. It's a small world.
Don't miss the flower - it just about completes the look.

I love how her dress blurred in motion when she turned!

Blurred, but too ingenious to have ignored.
Those curving lines? Bottle caps!

Can you guess what was used
to make this dress?
No? Rice bags!
A variety of prints were used for this one.
Would make gorgeous harem pants.
I'm not a fan of any kind of checks pattern
(completely ignored the checked shirts trend)
but the flowers detail is beautiful

Looks like basket weaving.
The dresses of this segment were judged by three judges and awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.

Winners: Gold dress, Rice Bag Dress and Scottish Dress
An artist, Ferrah Haider was also displaying her work.

The origins of some bits of this collage are discernible.
Can you make them out?
The models walked the runway with a lot more but yours truly could not capture them on camera effectively. 
Had a lovely time. The level of imagination and resourcefulness employed in the making of each dress and accessory just blew my mind. 

Among the stalls, there was one selling Kashmiri handicrafts, unleashing a flood of Indian memories all of which I usually keep locked up.

Wooden table with an Indian royal and his...
well I'd say wife, but who knows really.
I'm not sure where the camel came from..

That stool looks comfy.

Bells. All the way from Kashmir, India.
I like this picture.
And finally:                                    

The designer, Sara Karami herself, poses with some of
her collection.

Next time you're about to throw something out, give it a second thought: do you have the imagination to turn that piece of crap (well it is if you're throwing it isn't it) into something stunning?

Which dress did you like best?


  1. Wonderful article sad I missed it now.

  2. Nice to see Sara on the runway!

  3. next year sitting besides me LWDLIK, my treat!
    Better Books

  4. Special thanks from DoubleD Sound & Light ( We loved your blog post, and most of all we liked your comment about lighting :)

  5. Nice article! Wish I went, seemed like a great event!

  6. @Mave: Yup!
    @Better Books: :D
    @DoubleD: Thanks - The lighting was fantastic, you guys did a great job!
    @Kenneth: That means a lot coming from a professional photographer, thank you :)

  7. It was a wonderful evening and so very nice to meet you.

  8. It was lovely meeting you too; hope we see each other again soon :) thanks for the follow!

  9. Fascinating Exhibit! I wish I could have seen them all! As much as it is a brilliant idea conceptually to minimise wastage, i wonder whether it would be practically possible to walk around in them. In any case, the theme is perfect, the dresses - ingenious and the effort - commendable. Keep up the great work and keep me updated of fun events :).

  10. @Sahar: Sorry didn't see your comment earlier. Next year :)
    @Shital: Thanks! :) I agree, I don't think I could carry off any of those recyclable dresses. I'm waiting on the blog link!


Exercise your freedom of speech!
Go on. You know you want to.