As I walked into the Huffington Post studio I was immediately reminded of my jam packed days at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Time, Inc. Indeed, the staff whizzed around with the synchronicity of Oompa Loompas and the efficiency of Star Trek officers, stopping only to smile and occasionally inhale what could best be described as caffeinated air.
Greeted by the radiant smile of Dena Takruri, Huffington Post Producer, I was quickly escorted backstage to begin the wardrobe styling process. After presenting some classic yet on trend options, Dena’s ensemble for the day was concretized and the real fun began. A behind the scenes fashion
shoot party! Now before you get excited and start imagining a Glee-like extravaganza with producers belting out show tunes while cameramen dance alongside couture clad lighting technicians, pause!
What transpired was an animated discussion around fashion punctuated with outfit changes, lots of laughter and designer carbonated concoctions. You know, like the soirees that took place in Carrie Bradshaw’s walk in closet. Indeed, the instant camaraderie and commitment to fabulousity shared between my team and the Huffington Post staff was such that I could not help but fashion a pastel look that would make Sarah Jessica Parker and her girls scream “Sweet Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman” upon sighting!
With the help of make up artist Kari Bauce, hair stylist Cassie Hurd, photographer N. Abraham and models/producers Charli James & Dena Takruri a photo shoot showcasing how mainstream fashion can be used to produce modest looks came alive. The looks featured dresses by two accomplished New York Fashion Week designers; Evelyn Lambert of Evelyn Lambert and Prajje Jean-Baptiste of Prajje1983.
As the segment focused on Muslim women who are fashionistas in their own right, the final looks were presented sans scarves to encourage those who cover their hair to harness their inner stylist and imagine their own finishing touch.
To be clear, the day was not all about the fashion fete. However, it bears chronicling because it so powerfully illustrates points made during the live discussion between Dena, Keziah Ridgeway, Mariam Sobh, Marwa Atik and I. Namely that; fashion can be used as a lingua franca amongst practitioners of different faiths, sartorial endeavors can engender economic equity and global aesthetics can be harnessed to neutralize disenfranchising, hegemonic trends. Indeed, this stylist (who does her best to practice Islam) worked seamlessly and joyfully alongside a heterogeneous group that included Christians, Jews and multinationals to create a dynamic show and shoot.
While all are welcome to judge for themselves, I found the day equally edifying and fashion forward. In short, inspiring!
(Use the link below to view the interview on Huffington Post Live.)
Yasmine Yasmine is Haute Arabia’s Fashion & Beauty Editor as well as a scarf & wardrobe stylist and freelance writer. Affectionately referred to as “The Phi Beta Kappa Fashionista,” this Ivy League educated stylist proudly cites her model-turned-stylist’s mother’s lap as her most presitgious educational institution.