Ottawa fashion designers gather for a night to celebrate beauty and peace

Elegance Fashion showcased the original designs of a variety of local designers at the Mosaic Convention Centre on Nov. 17, just in time for cultural and religious holidays. The event brought together various ethnicities and cultural backgrounds within the City of Ottawa to experience a variety of live art, with an emphasis on fashion. Hundreds […]
Photo: Eyssa Dahoma
Models showcase two of Amna Akrams newest designs.

Elegance Fashion showcased the original designs of a variety of local designers at the Mosaic Convention Centre on Nov. 17, just in time for cultural and religious holidays.

The event brought together various ethnicities and cultural backgrounds within the City of Ottawa to experience a variety of live art, with an emphasis on fashion. Hundreds of fashion enthusiasts were in attendance when the show started.

The event also presented awards to community leaders for their outstanding work in the City of Ottawa, such as the Innovative Community Initiative Award presented by Dr. Anuragh Sinha.

“The society we live in, each piece, each and everyone, is a blend of vision, craftsmanship and passion. So I congratulate the designers, the models and the way it has been presented,” said Sinha.

Ottawa businesses and food vendors set up promotional booths at the event, such as iKaz Fashions, Amna Akram, Nargas Boutique and Malak Boutique.

Malak Boutique (mb.malakboutique on Instagram) was one of many local businesses allowing guests to try on beautifully beaded and ruffled abayas. Their silk ruffled abayas graced the runway along with their asymmetrically beaded abayas. The garments are crafted and imported from Dubai and can now easily land in Ottawa closets.

The evening began with the MC for the evening, Israa Rahman, greeting the audience by saying, “Asalam Waleykum” (Peace be upon you) and “Namaste” (I bow to you), immediately creating a warm, welcoming and safe space for Muslim and Hindu guests.

The show displayed handmade Middle Eastern fusion fashion and jewellery, including earrings that were individually hand-painted. Designers took modern spins on saris while maintaining the traditional structure of the garments.

“They’re all my favourite. You can’t ask me to pick one, that would be doing an injustice,” said Rahman.

Models were flowing down the runway one by one with their brightly coloured scarves following behind them elegantly. The design complexities increased as the show went on, each design more extravagant than the one before. Sequins, gems and jewels could be seen shimmering from every corner of the convention centre.

Rahman expressed how guests were in for a show filled will many local designers showcasing their beautiful designs. “Beautiful make-up artists and hair artists as well. You will find that this will be a successful event and the plan is to carry on and go bigger and better in the future,” Rahman said.

Guests experienced a night of diversity, fashion and live performances, including dance performances and singing. Managing to engage all five senses, the event was more than a fashion show — it was a moment to celebrate Middle Eastern and South Asian artists.

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