By Hannah Asuncion
A virtual fashion show is the new normal for the Fashion Community Week led by Shirin Hashem, the Founder of Fashion Community Week. Part of the core staff for this week-long event includes Anshula Dixit, who is part of the City College fashion program.
The definition of fashion has changed throughout the pandemic because now people decide to dress in the comfort of their homes. “The pandemic has upended just about every part of our daily life and fashion for me is one of them,” Dixit said.
She mentioned the idea of how her relationship with fashion has changed overtime, she used to be the type of person who would be in search of seasonal trends. Now she leans towards the more basic pieces of clothing.
Dixit has realized that her relationship with fashion wasn’t the only thing that has changed, but also her perspective towards clothing. She’s been a shopaholic her entire life, while also looking for “economical clothing with less shelf life.”
“For me, it was all about quantity and not quality but now I have a different vision, this pandemic made me rethink my values and responsibilities towards nature, the amount of waste that is generated due to excessive consumption of clothing is hard to ignore.”
As a fashion design student, her new outlook on fashion is to produce sustainable pieces, which will allow consumers to focus on how certain pieces are made and not just about what it is they’re buying.
“Second-hand clothing, recycling, upcycling, and basics are my core choices when it comes to fashion, finding positivity amidst this chaos,” Dixit said.
Dixit is currently enrolled in the Associate Degree Program in Fashion Design at City College and is in her fourth semester. When she entered the program, she had no idea what the future had in store, but eventually gained a variety of skills.
“From the facilities to the professors, everything has been remarkable. When I watch fashion shows or competitions held on an international level, I am taken aback with surprise, as there are no terms or strategies that are not taught in the class. They are really helpful.”
The fashion program gives fashion students like Dixit more preparation for the real world in terms of the fashion industry instead of “being stuck in theories.” The program also provides industrial machines and equipment, which allows the students to get hands-on experience and knowledge to be able to succeed in the world of fashion.
“My college has helped me in acquiring all the necessary skills to face the world as a designer, I got my five months Internship with “ Fashion Community Week” through college, which gave me an insight into how the production behind fashion shows works…I would give the entire credit to the college for introducing me to the right people at the right time.”
Dixit has been associated with Fashion Community Week for five months as the public relations manager and social media coordinator. Her experience with the International Couture Fashion Show was quite enriching and challenging.
“Some of the challenges faced were coordinating with designers, managing their collection, ensuring a strict timeline; a smooth social media run, interacting with world fashion media, influencers and so on but all these challenges helped me in pushing my boundaries,” Dixit said.
Because of her internship, she got the opportunity to learn a new set of skills. The concept of organizing a virtual fashion show was brand new to her and it definitely had a couple of difficult responsibilities.
“What kept me going was the motivation to learn something new and today when we are approaching the live streaming of the show, I feel so proud watching our hard work transforming to a full running successful show,” Dixit added.
Hashem had lots of doubts when it came to preparing for the virtual fashion show because she expected things to change in San Francisco, but they ended up doing everything with various precautions. This included only having 12 models a day and setting everything up for the designers.
“It’s so nice to our event and see a room full of people, our viewers are very loyal… Although we’re missing the physical connection with people, we were able to connect online and everyone was very supportive. A lot more accessible, inclusive for everyone and it’s much easier than ever to include everyone who wants to join the community.”
Hashem believes that the fashion industry is a necessity in our everyday lives since it is a part of our routine when it comes to waking up and putting something on. This whole idea of shopping has changed due to the pandemic and so now people are being a lot more aware of what it is they’re spending.
“When you’re investing in a piece, you make sure you use it. I think things have changed, holding onto fashion. We’re being very creative during this time,” Hashem added.
The International Couture Fashion Show features handmade gowns by designers from all over the world like IB Bayo, Kiara Afrik, Nubi Collections, Carlitas, Rana Samaan, and Elite Pour La Vie. Each collection included their own unique gowns, but they also had some similarities between one another.
Afrik believes “fashion is a language which tells a story about the person who wears it. Therefore it helps people to show what they stand for, it could be by outfit, accessories or new trend.”
The clothing line, Nubi Collections loves fashion and thinks it is an amazing career. “It is important because it speaks about society and specific culture as an identity.”