Proud moment for fashion designer as Afghan refugee who fled the Taliban steps onto the runway at Australian Fashion Week

Peeking out onto the runway from backstage at Australian Fashion 7 days, Australian-Afghan designer Mariam Seddiq could hardly believe what she was viewing.

Modelling a single of her seems to be below the glare of the lights was 24-yr-old Nazdana Bakhtiari, who only 8 months ago fled from Afghanistan with her mom, escaping the Taliban takeover.

“It was remarkable. I was like, ‘how is this taking place?'” the Western Sydney-born designer claimed. 

“This time previous calendar year she was there (in Afghanistan). No way in hell would she have thought she’d be accomplishing some thing like this.

“A female won’t be able to even wander out of the front doorway at the instant.”

The pair 1st fulfilled when Ms Seddiq was searching for ladies proficient in conventional Afghan beadwork, known as mora doozi, to use in her clothes. 

Nazdana Bakhtiari (centre) with her mom and a pal backstage.  (Provided: Jack Evstigneev)

A local make contact with from Fairfield in Sydney’s west put her in touch with Ms Bakhtiari, her mother Zakia and a good friend, who experienced only just lately arrived in the region, following leaving Kabul airport on a navy evacuation flight.

“I went to their apartment and I observed their work and I understood I experienced to include things like beadwork back again into my styles, so they’d have work but in an arty way,” she reported.

It was in the course of their collaboration that the plan that Ms Bakhtiari could step out of the shadows to exhibit her handiwork arrived about. 

“When I dropped them dwelling just after do the job hand stitching, (Nazdana) mentioned she may well want to model for me, so she’s been practising for three months,” Ms Seddiq explained.

“It just seemed like a desire to consider it 1 step even more.”

A group of smiling women dressed in brightly-coloured clothes.
Designer Mariam Seddiq surrounded by products backstage.(Supplied: Jack Evstigneev)

Ms Seddiq sees her patterns, a mixture of couture gowns, fits, and jewelry as way to empower gals.  

“It is really not just since of this Afghanistan detail. A great deal of girls ignore how powerful they are and what they’re capable of. So that is really significant to carry it out of all walks of everyday living,” she stated.

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Mariam Seddiq at style 7 days features bold colors and modern types

Her exhibit at Australian Vogue Week in Sydney highlighted diverse types with a array of ages, sizes, genders and ethnic backgrounds. 

“It just felt like additional of a authentic show rather than a definitely curated present of skinny types,” Ms Seddiq claimed.

The former university student of Bankstown Women Substantial University has gained a celebrity following, with her designs worn by Orange is the New Black actor Diane Guerrero, as nicely as Australian songs stars Iggy Azalea and Delta Goodrem.

A woman in black walks at the head of a line of models in elaborate gown
Designer Mariam Seddiq wins applause for her Sydney clearly show.  (Provided: Mariam Seddiq)

Ms Seddiq reported Australia had been sluggish to recognize the function of its culturally diverse designers.

“I begun in LA and was receiving noticed in the US before I started getting any attention back residence.

“It is about time Australia embraced its brown folk. And hopefully this prospects to far more gals breadwinners, additional women of all ages bosses because it is really more than manner.”

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