2015 Islamic Fashion Festival Takes on Cannes

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Thanks to the crafty works of the media, Islam has been programmed into the minds of most Americans as a faith passionate about war, darkness, oppression, and terror. Those who truly know Islam, however, see past the bad seeds that exist in every country. Focusing on the rich origin of Islam and its beauty and royalty, founder and chairman of the Islamic Fashion Festival, Dato’ Sri Raja Rezza Shah, made Lawrence d’Arabie Sur la Côte d’Azur the most talked about fashion event of the year at the prestigious 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Bringing to life the fashion artistry and skill of several Middle Eastern designers, Rezza’s vision and pride in his culture consumed Cannes, France, leaving all those present for the experience in awe of Islam and its way of life.

High fashion couture and jewelry designers Nitin Goenka, Ghea Panggabean, Dato’ Tom Abang Saufi, Ida Lundberg, Dato’ Farah Khan, Ashley Isham, HH Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi, and Rizman Ruzaini created a new world in the luxurious Carlton Hotel where the Middle East met with the West for a night of art and celebration. Set in a room glowing in gold decor, his royal highness The Sultan of Pahang and her royal highness The Sultanah of Pahang along with the crème de la crème of Hollywood watched the glamorous collections from Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, United Arab Emirates, and London & Paris take command of the run-way.

Many were shocked by the elaborate fashions that much of the public would never expect from a culture that is known for covering their women’s physical beauty. Shedding their usual black burka that literally hides every inch of a woman, with the exception of her eyes, the Islamic Fashion Festival showcased bold designs, putting a twist on dressing from head to toe with gorgeous headwraps, luxurious fabrics, beautiful fur pieces, and daring, bright colors. The 2015 collections exposed the true beauty, strength, and regal nature of the Islamic woman while maintaining her exotic mystique. Each model, looking like a queen in her own right, truly delivered the message that there is style in covering up. As most cultures around the world celebrate the overexposure of such women like Madonna, Mylie Cyrus, Nikki Minaj, and the list goes on, the Islamic Fashion Festival reminded the entertainment world that modesty is just as beautiful.

The mission of the Islamic Fashion Festival is to entice the media, Muslims, and non-Muslims into recognizing their versatility and evoking conversation about the true essence and spirit of Islam. Rezza, along with one of the Islamic Fashion Festival biggest supporters Nina Stevens, the stunning longtime girlfriend to the late great Patrick Heiniger (former CEO of the Rolex empire) hopes to bring an end to “Islamphobia”. Stevens has donated to the mission of Islam Fashion Festival and lent her celebrity to the success Lawrence d’Arabie Sur la Côte d’Azur. By educating the world with an artful vehicle, Islamic Fashion Festival vision is to celebrate and unite all faiths in harmony and peace.

(L-R) Tengku Aishah and Their Royal Highnesses, Sultan Ahmad Shah and Sultanah Kalsom Abdullah, Princess Camilla
(L-R) Tengku Aishah and Their Royal Highnesses, Sultan Ahmad Shah and Sultanah Kalsom Abdullah, Princess Camilla participate in singing “We Are the World”

Lawrence d’Arabie sur la Côte d’Azur ended the evening with their guests from all cultural backgrounds uniting, hand in hand, for a We Are The World sing-along. Like Rezza, most Americans stand in defense of their faith and country, separating themselves from racism and terrorists that do not represent their love for God. Though the Higher Power is referred to as God, Allah, Buddha, and the list goes on, in millions of homes around the country, the common factor is love and peace. Any faith operating outside those principles is not of a higher power. “As-salamu alaykum” transcends all faiths…peace be onto you.

A special thank you to Meleika Gardner for contributing to this article.

About Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more...