I felt a twinge of excitement when I saw the news on Bride Maldives about a “Maldivian Fashion week” to be held July this year. A fashion design brand called ‘Truly Maldives’ will be the only designer to present three collections in this show– wonder how that makes a ‘fashion week’!. ‘Truly Maldives’ outfits have been regularly seen on the infamous Maldivian variety show “Heyyanbo”. For more info about the fashion week click link. Ah! Isn’t it lovely to fantasize about a dream that cannot be realized? A fashion week in the Maldives is indeed a thrilling concept to an unaware stranger, but maybe this dream could be a probable disaster if realized. The Maldives surely encompasses of creative skilled individuals, many of whom are skilled professionals in their respective fields. A lack of institutions for the creative arts has obstructed and at times killed the chances for talented individuals to nurture their talent and institutionalize their creativity; to put an aesthetic value into their work and make it profound and rich. True one does not need an institution to be outstanding BUT it is essential to be guided and be acquainted with the fundamental basics before executing one’s work – by which an institution becomes necessary.. Bride Maldives could have encouraged sponsoring an institution for designers rather than a pointless fashion show. Does Bride Maldives wish to give a platform for so-called ‘designers’? Is fashion showcasing skimpy clothing or a mash of everything bizarre? Well, this is why we need an institution before leaping onto a fashion week! Battling to survive an unstable market is the story of many creative artists and artisans in the Maldives; many have failed and vowed never to persevere in the arts; a determined few persist with only loss and hardly any profit generated from their work. Our small community of self taught tailors, who with their little knowledge of fashion design has put up many boutiques around the small island capital Male’; these tailors who in turn flip their coats to change into ‘fashion’ designers for make-shift fashion shows execute designs that could have an outstanding concept but rarely executed with class. Let’s look into the pro models runway shows shall we, how many of the designers I wonder have ever executed a design that takes in the elements of rhythm, balance and creativity– or in short applies the fundamentals of art and design?? One does not have to be a fashion designer to see a 5 ft small catastrophe walking down the runway, wearing a jumble of plasticines, cords tangled everywhere, crushed foil, and god-knows-what mixed and thrown to make an atrocious ‘costume’ – and ah! Let’s not talk about the makeup and hair – a perfect match for a disaster! However, this is just a small speck of the bigger picture. Every industry evolves with a lumpish start (If I might say); thus there is hope for these talented tailors and seamstresses, as they could evolve and work on producing quality designs that actually have an aesthetic value in it, BUT what will they do once they do want to exhibit and most of all SELL their work? Is there a market for couture here in the Maldives? Do they have clients: If not the Maldivians then the millions of flocking tourists? But in their vacation would they invest on a Maldivian small timer? Has anyone given it a thought that we do not have an industry of clothing, fabric and textile developers and that we are hardly independent as we resource material from our neighboring countries to produce designs. And yet we are ready to compete with the Paris, Milan and New York fashion weeks? Seriously!? And starting off with just one designer to represent the talented designers of our country?We barely have any answers to these issues and yet we are diving into the unknown with a “Maldivian Fashion week” – couldn’t this be banana skin for Maldivian fashion?But perhaps there is a bleak light of hope; which at the moment, is slightly fading with the rising economic crisis as well; Spending on clothes has become a secondary option rather than a necessary indulgence! An insignificant fleck of an idea could be the beginning of greater things isn’t it? Hopefully, this fashion week will expand into bringing creative professional work onto an influential platform and will help to maintain design standards with room to explore and be creative as well, qui sait? 😉And hopefully an institution for fashion arts and design will be established to brew better designers who know the essence of what fashion design is –as that is what we really need to start off with and not a platform to exhibit the low quality ‘costumes’ !