Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iraqi fashion returns and aims to preserve

(Photo Credit -- Sabah Arar)

A friend from Maryland Institute College of Art emailed me this CNN video today, just as I was going to view another runway video from Paris Fashion Week on mute -- only half-heartedly paying attention as I jotted down bullet points in class. I had never heard of Iraqi Fashion Week -- I didn't even know there was an Iraqi House of Fashion -- with over 300 designers, models, embroiderers, and artists!

My heart broke when hearing the Iraqi models talk about getting death threats from radical Islamic groups in their country, my jaw dropped in awe as I gazed at the translucent handmade fabrics sprinkled with intricate embroidery, and my lips curved into a smile at the poised courage of all the workers in the Iraqi fashion industry.

They work to preserve the beauty of their culture in a country that has become weakened and ravaged by war. Day and night, the Iraqi House of Fashion strives to be a haven for the country's creative minds -- preserving the ancient glory days of Iraq while facing persecution from radical groups. They refuse to be birds in cage, and they refuse to give up on their culture.

When the models walk down the runway, they do not pout their malnourished lips and strut their angular hips like Russian waifs do in Milan. They glide down proudly in garbs of iridescent color and serenely wave their hands in a dance-like manner.

Miss Couturable
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