Engendered Presents Fashion Conscience 2009 in NYC
It is right around this time of year, with the Big Apple all done up in magnificent Holiday decorations, that I become more aware of those who don’t have enough to be able to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the upcoming New Year’s. With the arctic chill in the air, the frantic holiday shoppers becoming more aggressive than ever and the subway clogged up by tourists, I often imagine what it must be like to watch this frenzy from the POV of someone who is struggling for their next meal, or searching for shelter to spend the frigid night.
Of course, with all this talk of extra troops being shipped over to Afghanistan and roadside attacks on our soldiers being nearly double of what they were last year, my heart also goes out to those brave men and women who will be spending their Holidays in the midst of the most senseless conflicts – yes, I meant the ‘s’ – since the infamous and unmentionable ‘V’ word. But before I go down a road that is way too political and controversial for my own good, I am relieved that this year I have found a small way to contribute to some causes that are dear to my heart.
The Engendered upcoming event at Asia Society on December 19th is just one of those opportunities for me to put my money where my politically charged mouth is. It combines my passions for fashion and India, my enthusiasm for human rights causes and rolls it all into a great, sparkling red carpet party of celebrities, world-renowned designers and fantastic organizers.
One such wonderful person is Engendered Executive Director Myna Mukherjee, who said about Fashion Conscience ’09 “We wanted to end what has been a very successful year for Engendered with a bang! Our performance component is almost a spectacle, combining the most daring elements of fashion and different forms of South Asian dance traditions. We want people to walk in thinking about these themes, and we want them to leave talking about them.”
If we do believe the mantra which states that the past is always a great indicator of what the future will be, then I am quite sure that this event will be one of those fantastic, magical evenings those lucky enough to be in attendance will never forget. Just check out what this summer’s I-View Film Festival managed to bring to NYC, under one roof, all within three days. It would take me at least two months in Bombay to be able to see all that I saw at Lincoln Center in one weekend… But I am digressing.
Back to Fashion Conscience ’09. The evening will begin at 5.30 with a celebrity-filled red carpet and VIP reception inside Asia Society. Then the fashion show will take place at 7, followed by a celebration after-party with live DJ Kayper and surprise performances.
The designers who have contributed their collections to the event are India’s own maverick pop designer Manish Arora, Afghan wonder woman and bridge between East and West – recently featured in this Time Magazine article - Zolaykha Sherzad and NYC’s own up-and-coming Parsons graduate – and former Anna Sui, Ralph Lauren designer – Asher Jay. Each designer explored a particular theme in their collection, with Arora contributing ‘Positive’ – a line paying tribute to the resilience of AIDS victims – Sherzad contributing ‘Love’ – borrowing from Sufi traditions and representing prayers for the women who are victims of violence and displacement in their lives – and Jay’s androgynous line ‘One’ which focuses on gender non-conformity and non-dualistic desire borrowed from the Buddhist and Tantric myths of Goddess Kurukulla, deemed bewitching by both sexes.
Celebrity models walking the runway for Fashion Conscience 2009 will include beloved filmmaker and world activist Mira Nair, ‘Bombay Dreams’ dreamboat Manu Narayan, sultry actress and model Ami Seth and openly gay comedian Vidur Kapur. Of course, they had me at their fashion line-up, but people-watching is another one of my secret passions, so this great list of who’s-who of NYC’s VIP doesn’t hurt!
Come support a great cause this Saturday and be entertained beyond your wildest dreams, by a bevy of beautiful clothes, magical music and great company. And don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes… It’s going to be a night to remember! For tickets, click here and for more info about Engendered, click here. Oh, and one last piece of advice, this event will sell out, so get your tix ASAP!!