On Saturday, June 1st, Fashion for Compassion (FFC) held its annual benefit runway show at the Dallas Contemporary, packing quite a different crowd. From guests’ style of dress, to their attitudes and agendas, this event stood apart from any other in the local fashion scene.
A modesty-wear fashion show, the goal of FFC is to promote and highlight modest fashions from both upcoming and established designers. But, despite what one might assume, this show wasn’t about how much skin you could cover up or how to blend into the crowd. Instead, there was a true feeling of supreme confidence and comfort radiating from each model as she bounded down the runway. Designers didn’t shy away from color or unusual fabrics, embracing their skills and bringing each garment to life with vibrant tones and draping techniques. Audience members were also encouraged to peruse a mini-market of booths offering the designers’ wares.
Another key difference was that this event was for women only. From production to models to audience members, there were no boys allowed. No guys lingered too long by the buffet, and the all-too-familiar photographer with just a little too much gall was nowhere to be found. Not to say that men wouldn’t have enjoyed the show, but this strategy helped realize FFC’s secondary goals – to break stereotypical barriers, open dialogues, and empower all women. A portion of profits and proceeds from ticket sales went to the local non-profit, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation. The organization was started in 2005, and successfully opened a women’s shelter last year with the help of FFC.
A few local designers, including Dallas favorite Prashi Shah and a stellar presentation from I.O.S by Yasmina Johnston, were showcased. While FFC has its foundation and heavy support here in Dallas, the event is looking to expand nationally. With that goal in mind, designers from all over the globe participated as well. Seen on the runway were quirky designs from California and Sydney, Australia, as well as a Parisian designer’s line of modest swimwear.
At the end of the evening most women left carrying a new, little, shiny or silky something. All, however, left with a feeling of love and unity, knowing that their community was indeed a strong place for them. That what they naturally possessed was beautiful, and something to be respected. And by all the warm smiles, tight hugs, and joyous tears that were shared, this reporter concluded that less is not always more, after all.
All photos, credit Heather Lettieri for DFW Style Daily.