Ramallah: AMQF Organises a Fashion Show by Five Designers in the Context of the "Recycled" Project
After almost a month of intensive work, five fashion designers managed to produce 30 designs of various ideas and materials. Designs were showcased last Sunday evening at the Friends Girls School in Ramallah. The fashion show concluded a competition to design outfits from recycled materials in the context of the 1st annual edition of the Recycled project. Recycled is implemented by the Public Programme (PP) of the A. M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF).
Selected in the first phase from among many applicants, the five participants were supervised by internationally renowned Palestinian fashion designer Rami Kashou. These were Husam al-Umari from Jenin; Ma’an and Yousef Uleiwi from Nablus; Maha Shaltaf from Ramallah; and Hind Hilal from Beit Sahur. The competition juries brought together Du’a Wadi, Chairwoman of the Business Women Forum, and Samar Dawoud, a boutique owner from Ramallah.
On his experience in the project, Kashou said: “In the beginning, it was my dream to be a fashion designer and to have a similar chance. This is why I loved to be part of this project and support and contribute to encouraging young Palestinian fashion designers in their art career.” Kashou added: “It was equally important for me: to draw people’s attention to the idea of recycling in an age of consumerism. I was so happy to see willingness within the participants to learn and their loyalty and commitment to the project.”
At first, the AMQF launched a campaign to collect clothes, textiles, waste from factories, construction sites and commercial premises, etc. These were used in six exercises, which participants in the workshop attended. The exercises included designs inspired by Palestinian heritage, visits to art exhibitions at the Palestinian Museum, a tour around streets of the Ramallah city, etc.
On her participation in the competition, fashion designer Maha Shaltaf said: “It was an interesting and important opportunity for me. It encouraged me to overcome fear from sharing what I produce with people. It was also an opportunity to think, learn about new things, and produce designs differently from a variety of materials through discussion, dialogue and taking full advantage of the experience presented by designer Rami Kashou.”
Ma’an Uleiwi, another participant in the competition, said: “At first, we faced many difficulties. At the same time, however, these created a challenge to produce new things. It is possible to use and recycle anything.”
The final fashion show was preceded by a show of some works, which had been produced in the competition, in a crowded street downtown Ramallah. Designs were shared with people to ensure interaction and introduce the idea of the project.
Regarding the final fashion show, Ibtisam Ahmed, a spectator, stated: “The idea is novel and important for the Palestinian society. Such an activity opens up a new horizon for Palestinian artists and allows opportunities for young people. I think that the idea of recycling is a culture that we need. It is important for us to learn and use it in all aspects. The show was beautiful. It involved a variety of different designs. There were prominent designs which reflected the personalities of respective designers.”
Later, the AMQF will announce the winner in the competition to support him/her in producing another collection of designs. These will be showcased together with the current collection in the context of inaugurating the AMQF new building next summer.
On Recycled project, Dana Abbas, PP Project Coordinator, said: “Recycled is a project that will recur every year at the AMQF. It does not only address the idea of recycling as a concept from a physical perspective, but it also involves and invokes literary, theatrical and other themes and works.”