We are currently at a very indefinite period in the history of fashion design. The main concern is that innovation within the industry has become rather latent and has subsequently entered a state of repetition and duplicity in the products that have been created. World famous brands are recycling the past – but the results aren’t particularly groundbreaking in nature. Change can only happen in fashion design when it is associated with a social agenda and a meaningful goal.
Feminism is and always has been a movement that has been a catalyst for change and development around the world. The particular evolution of feminism and its respective correlation with fashion has taken off considerably since Marlene Dietrich’s power-costumes at the beginning of the 20th century. Marlene had not only raised the lantern for others to see, but she was also a major protagonist of what a woman is and how everyone comes to respect and appreciate her. phenomenon. The intensity communicated by women today exceeds any form and style of clothing, it is no longer about fabric, color or shape.
Feminism as depicted in fashion has evolved to a point where it is defined by the woman herself. For example, Greta Garbo’s gaze emanates throughout the story – what she wore is virtually unimportant. The female protagonist in the fashion world, whether she adorns ripped denim shorts, boots and a blazer – or alternatively – a haute couture dress, communicates intensity with poise and panache.
As Dean of the College of Design at the American University in the Emirates, I advanced WAAR’s fashion program and its correlation with strong, empowered women in the region and the world at large. The WAAR concept suggests that we are all refugees, regardless of their social, economic or political status. Whether a person has left their home for financial, social, political or other reasons, this detachment from place and culture contributes to the refugee crisis today. What better way to highlight this contemporary condition than to design a pouch for women – the principle being that it is the ultimate support of necessities, the minimum transport system – and to raise awareness of the refugee crisis.
Recently, WAAR * has started to gain momentum in the Arab region and the UAE community. Prominent women have forcefully worn WAAR * pouches such as Saudi feminist Hanna Basrawi (@itsalwayshana), and journalist and TV presenter, Leen Abou Shaar (@ leen.aboushaar), as well as actress and TV presenter, Zena Louay (@Zena_Louay). Their strong and robust sense of style has pushed WAAR * beyond its original limits to communicate metaphorically with the global community not only on the refugee crisis, but also on self-expression, feminism and fashion.