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A new ballet fashion show style dubbed, “A Century of Fashion” is on the cards with organisers confirming the preparations. The one night show will be held on May 7 at the Harare International School showcasing the talent of well-choreographed dancers who will portray fashion trends over the last 100 years. There are no models involved, all those on stage are dancers.Fashion stylist and consultant, Haleema Mekani who is the organiser of the event said preparations are at advanced stage.
Mekani who studied Fashion Design in Milan, Italy said her mission is to highlight Zimbabwean fashion and its creative promoting, educating and providing platforms to create authentic experiences of the arts.
“There are no models involved in this show. Instead we shall be working with ten Zimbabwean ballet dancers to portray fashion trends.
It is also choreographed by local choreographer, Ms Faye Jackson, and accompanied by a live quartet.
Some of the sponsors include Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, Langa Cosmetics, Gary Thompson and Associates and STITCH Magazine.
She said fashion and beauty over the last 100 years uniquely interpreted through the most fashionable and beautiful art of ballet.
“Each decade beginning from the 1900s is portrayed from a fashion point of view and as the decades unfold we see how past fashion fads shaped today’s clothing, hair and beauty trends.
This ballet is an artistic celebration of fashion, instead of watching clothes come and go down a runway the audience gets a chance to fully experience each look and each decade to the fullest,” she said.
She said this show will promote leadership development and creative freedom.
“It is important for the Zimbabwean art community to continue providing creative and innovative platforms for its artistes in order to promote the industry. We cannot solely rely on one entity to provide opportunities for us. We must take the initiative especially as the new generation of creative to create our own platforms. There aren’t enough young members on the boards across all sectors of the arts community because there aren’t enough programmes created in order to develop future leaders in the industry.
“When we encourage an artiste to dream we build their creativity. And when we support their creativity we provide opportunities not only for them but for others in the community. It also grows and nurtures talent creating a stronger support system for the arts,” said Mekani.
She said the show will give room to dancers and designers to come and experience the rare combination in the fashion world.
“We have solo choreography which will teach students leadership, creativity and improves their technique. This project provides exposure for dancers in principal dancing roles, especially senior dancers who would usually be overlooked on the basis of their age.
“While for designers the theatre provides great exposure for local costume designers and an opportunity for them to be creative. It also exposes them to a different culture of design and increases their knowledge of design and fashion history while boosting their technical skills,” said the fashionista.
As part of her show production portfolio, the Mekani curated Hair: Matters of the Art (an independent and original concept) showcased at HIFA 2015 to a sold out crowd, and produced several independent fashion shows like Jan Jam @5, and was co-assistant producer of the 2015 edition of Zimbabwe Fashion Week.
However, since the very beginning of ballet, the dance form has both inspired and been inspired by fashion, both influencing one another in beneficiary ways throughout the centuries.
Perhaps this is due to ballet’s ethereal quality; an appealing trait to fashion designers seeking to give their clothing designs a sense of beauty and sophistication.
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