October 2008


Doll by Moschino

Doll by Moschino

World’s top fashion designers are creating a series of dolls to help raise funds for UNICEF’s vaccination program for the children of Darfur. The program gives money to centers that are dedicated to vaccinating children under five years old against the six most deadly childhood diseases.

The participating designers include BCBG Max Azria, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Christian Dior, Chistian Lacroix, Dolce and Gabbana, Dries van Noten, Emanuel Ungaro, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Jean-paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Moschino, Nina Ricci, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney, Versacr and Yves Saint Laurent among others.

These one-of-a-kind Raggedy Anne type dolls will be featured in an exhibition called “sweet face” at the Petit Palais in Paris which will run from November 18th to the 23rd, 2008- organized by UNICEF France. The designer dolls will then be sold at auction, either on the internet, or on November 27th at Drouot Montaigne- Paris’s prestigious auction house. All proceeds from the sale will go to UNICEF. (more…)

Asia’s most anticipated bridal couture extravaganza Bridal Asia celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Some of Asia’s leading designers showcased their bridal collections on the 4th and 5th of October at the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi. Celebrated Bangladeshi designer Maheen Khan showcased her bridal couture, representing sub-continental fashion. Her collections included Jamdani sarees in this season’s citrus colours with intricate zari work and A-line empire-waisted qameezes worn with skinny churidaars. I absolutely loved the bright colour palette and the easy fluid shapes which are very au courant. I applaud Maheen Khan for representing Bangladeshi fashion on a platform that has long been dominated by Indian designers. Its been high time!

Maheen Khan has her own design house in Bangladesh called ‘Mayasir’- that carries her clothing line for men, women and children including her jewelry and accessories collection.  She uses local materials for all her collections. Mayasir is located at House-26, Road-127, Gulshan Avenue Dhaka.

Dutch designer duo Viktor & Rolf premiered their S/S 2009 collection on October 2nd via their website. They moved their runway to the virtual world and made it available for everyone to see. Guests can get ‘backstage’ access as well as the opportunity to peek into virtual fittings.The entire collection was modeled by only one model-Shalom Harlow and was filmed using multiple cameras from various angles.

Viktor & Rolf broke the tradition of showcasing high fashion only through live shows.You can focus on details that can’t be seen even from front row seats at a live show. The camera zoomed in on details and accessories such as the seams on a pair of coral shorts, the enamel embellishments on a dress and shoes- fantastic and sky-high. I’m absolutely ecstatic that the collection has been made available to the masses and not the handful of industry insiders, celebrities and the fashion press.

A bold flame motif dominated the jewelry, eye-makeup and color scheme of some of the clothes. The collection featured couture dresses embroidered with 20,000 large swarovski crystals in various colours. The dresses took over 10-weeks to be created and weigh over 10 kg each.

This virtual fashion show has been applauded by audiences and fashion critiques all over the world. Now that the fashion industry has started to explore the many oppotunities of the digital world, live shows might just become obsolete in the near future.

I watched the documentary Darfur Now over the weekend and it left an indelible impression on me. I greatly admire George Clooney for raising his voice against the ongoing crisis in Darfur. In 2006, Clooney and his journalist father smuggled cameras into the refugee camps in Darfur to film this documentary.

I went online to gather more information about the Darfur genocide and ways to help stop it. During my research, I found an interesting connection to fashion. I learned from an article that fashion conglomerate Louis Vuitton has filed a lawsuit against a student artist for copyright infringement over her Simple Living campaign, a fundraiser for the victims of Darfur.

Nadia Plesner has designed posters and t-shirts dressing up a Darfur victim with a chihuahua and a Louis Vuitton inspired bag. The drawings are a mockery of the Paris Hilton-esque images that flood the media today. The artist said that the media has a distorted way of prioritizing between big and small world news, so she decided to use a recognizable image to bring attention to the tragedies in Darfur. All proceeds from the sale of the items go to the Divest for Darfur organisation.

Darfur- a region in the west of Sudan-home to 6 million Muslims of African descent has long been ruled by  fundamentalist Islamic leaders who believe that only those born of Arab descent are “pure Muslims”. People from this region are being systematically displaced and murdered by the Janjaweed- a government supported militia recruited from local Arab tribes. The genocide in Darfur has clamied 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people since 2003. The U.N. calls the genocide in Sudan today’s greatest humanatarian crisis.

I think that Louis Vuitton is acting a bit too harsh considering that the images are being used for a good cause. I am firmly against copyright infringements and support L.V’s right to protect its image and designs but I feel that this particular case calls for some concession.

What do you think?