had the pleasure of attending an inspiring event on Monday 12th September – Rise On The Runway – that paid homage to the continued support and willingness of the British Asian Trust together with the Sachdev family’s GMSP Foundation to raise more awareness around gender violence which is a widespread issue in today’s society. Fundamentally, the main objective of the British Asian Trust is to give a girl a future through positive action and, as Richard Hawkes – Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust pointed out in a welcome speech, to ensure children get a better education and mental health issues are improved to reinforce the trust of the Asian community. A key guest in attendance at the event was Laxmi Agarwal who shared her courageous story about surviving an acid attack at the tender age of 15 and who is now a successful model. What an incredible journey she has had, and a true inspiration to us all.
As part of the evening, a fashion show took place with Laxmi rising like a Phoenix on the runway giving guests a sense of empowerment, and through which fashion and creativity were seen to play a crucial role in translating real life struggles into a positive message. That said, models graced the runway in Raishma Couture gowns. What caught my eye in particular were the beautiful clutches by Shriyani created in collaboration with Tresor. Shriyani is a luxury handmade bag collection created ethically by artisans.
The beauty of the collection highlights a unique fusion of contemporary designs and traditional skills to convey a powerful meaning. For example, there are three limited edition clutch bags including The Lotus which is a sign of purity metaphorically speaking. Through this symbolism, we learn that the lotus flower remains unspoiled from muddy waters just like the resilience of women such as Laxmi has emerged as untouched from her acid attack ordeal. This triumph is celebrated in the lotus design with 100% of proceeds going to the British Asian Trust. As Sonal Sachdev Patel, CEO of GMSP Foundation, eloquently said in her welcome speech “fashion usually focuses on external but this evening we turn that on its head and shine a light on the internal scars carried by
abuse victims” On that note, it was refreshing to watch a runway show that focused on internal beauty revealing a partnership between a lady wearing a product to promote the dignity of artisans, and skillful artisans giving us the honor of sharing their story.
Written by #Styleiconnat | #TheLifestyleCollective | #GiveAGirlAfuture | Photography by Justin Goff