The last time I went to a Fashion Show (in my life) was in Monrovia, 2012. The fashion show was held at the Chinese Hotel, next to the SKD Stadium. We purchased two $ 50 VIP tickets and a $ 25 one for our staff. The show started way too late and we couldn't go anywhere else while waiting for a good 2-3 hours because it was so far out of town. The show was started by a singer who lip synced to her own songs and sounded very squeaky. The clothes were interesting and so was the make up. The ramp was really a ramp but not all seats were sold out and there was no need to having purchased a $ 50 ticket. I remember the host talking about how amazing it was that we had fashion shows in Monrovia now.
So, this year we decided to attend the Monrovia Fashion Week event at Anglers on the 20th of December. It was a much better organised event. The choice of venue was genius and it started only 30 minutes late. We got to eat and drink as well as enjoy a show. The space was intimate and we felt like we were almost part of it. The opening act was a mind blowing performance by a Liberian cultural troupe who showed us some fantastic drumming and acrobatics, all with these beaming smiles. The hosts were also brief and sweet with their introductions. There was also a spectacular techno kind of dance performance by the a group of silver-clothed boys. The clothes though were nothing to talk about, ironically.
I don't know why societies and communities stage fashion shows to prove all is OK. A main strategy of Pakistani embassies is to host fashion shows to prove to the world that Pakistan has another image besides extremism and suicide bombers. As if a fashion show will prove that Pakistan is indeed a progressive and liberal society and women are actually free from all the shackles of patriarchy and class. Not to mention that the clothes models strut around in cost an arm and a leg.
This fashion show in Monrovia aimed to also shed a light on the fight against ebola and the efforts of Liberians who were working hard in communities to spread awareness were lauded. That was a great moment which unfortunately doesn't feature so much in the international media, as if Liberians are a helpless lot and only waiting for outside help to come in.