Words by Safya Saleem
I heard about SNS through my sister who is a student at Imperial College London and joint head of the Imperial charity week this year. Although she wasn’t directly organising SNS one of her close friends was so I came down to support them in their event!
I’m currently on my gap year after finishing my A Levels this summer. I have a place to start university next September, so during my year out of education I’m working as a lifeguard and also doing a bit of modelling – both to earn money to go travelling in Spring insha’allah.
SNS promised to be a fun and relaxed event full of fashion and make up, both of which interest me so it was right up my street! There were over 50 stalls selling jewellery, clothes, beauty treatments and food throughout the day and it was a huge success! Each stall paid a set amount to hold their stall at Imperial and these proceeds went to the Orphans and Needy Children that we were raising money for.
The event also held two incredible fashion shows, one matinee and one evening show. Between them, 15 designers had lent their collections to be shown and the outfits were beautiful! I modelled in the second show for two brands, one was called Strands of Silk and the second were designs by Rizwan Ahmed, which included bridal gowns that had incredibly delicate work and were hugely fun to wear!!
My mum and numerous aunties came to watch me at the ladies-only event after a day in stalls and they all said they had a brilliant day, and are planning their trip to come next year already which is fantastic!
I think events like this are a great way for women, especially Muslims, to gather in a relaxed environment and to have some fun together! Although raising money is an important aim for charity week, they do state that their ultimate goal is to unite people, and I think SNS united the women that were there that day – definitely behind the scenes at the fashion show anyway! I t was also lovely to see so many designers producing beautiful, modest outfits that were stylish and wearable for everyday and special occasions. I believe that everyone is free to choose what they want to wear, but I think we are influenced by the media and what’s on shop floors more than we realise, to the extent that we’re perhaps not really choosing how we dress at all.
Pictured above Youtubers left to right: Hijabista, SaimaSmilesLike and Nabiilabee (photo courtesy of saimachowdhury.blogspot.co.uk)
Overall my favourite part of the day wasn’t an event or stall though, it was seeing so many girls who were trying to stay modest and humble in an environment where it sometimes feels like you’re on your own if you’re trying to dress modestly. It really did unite us all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, but women altogether on a fun day out! Massive recommend to anyone who enjoys shopping/beauty/fashion/fun!! Same again next year please!
I’m sure you would all agree that Safya’s account of SNS 2013 is fantastic, I’m definitely making time for next year! Till next time,
Humaira is a full-time student, part-time photographer, regular writer and all round happy soul. She likes to live life to the full and works on various other projects including running her own blog and contributing to other publications. She will be bringing us the latest from the world of fashion and style, particularly under the new revolution of Islamic influence on 21st century vogue. Stay tuned to read all her articles!View all Humaira Ashraf posts.