As the year has unfolded, so too has our event series created in aid of the National FGM Centre – which started back in May with the screening of Jaha’s Promise and moved on with our second annual FGM Conference in July.
On Wednesday 19th September, we hosted the Charity Fashion Show; uniting the National FGM Centre with BINTI International in one big celebration of women’s rights, women’s dignity, and women’s empowerment.
Hosted by Anila Dhami, and with a moving opening and closing speech from Anita Goyal, the Fashion Show became HGF’s biggest event of the year, with celebrity guests Nicola Roberts and Helen Fospero among those who joined us to celebrate and raise awareness of both causes.
With both charities taking centre stage towards the beginning of the evening, the fashion show continually served a deeper educational purpose, reminding guests of the causes that inspired the evening and systematically raising awareness of these issues and causes that often go unsaid. Javed Khan, CEO of Barnardo’s, inspired the audience with a background to how he became involved in working with the renowned children’s charity, and was followed immediately by an emotional video addressing a mother’s reaction to FGM being performed on her daughter. BINTI’s youngest ambassador, Aaron Raeder, delivered a powerful presentation on his own work and experience around menstrual dignity and sharing the vision that BINTI has created.
It was an honour to once again partner with London designer Raishma to create the fashion showcase, with Raishma unveiling a brand new collection inspired particularly by BINTI’s message around menstrual dignity. The Scarlet Collection was met with wonder and delight across the audience, as twelve fantastic models paraded the detailed gowns up and down the runway for both guests and press representatives to admire.
Of course the highlight of the night was the appearance on the catwalk of TV presenter Nadia Sawalha, whose runway debut became the finale of a spectacular show. Joined on the runway by Raishma herself, Nadia’s presence not only brought a whole new audience to the event but also added new weight and importance to the issues being discussed by both charities.
Our deepest thanks must go to everyone who was involved in creating such a fantastic event; from all our guests, to the charities and volunteers, to the companies who donated goodies for the guest gift bags, to our performers and models, and finally to the press and PR individuals who helped make the event’s coverage such a success.