LOCAL GIRLS FEATURE IN HISTORIC FASHION SHOOT

A group of girls have recreated the South Asian look of the 1970s in an inspirational fashion project.

The project, A Stitch in Time, was completed last week with a stunning fashion shoot where the girls wore the clothes that they researched, designed and created.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on engaging young people in the history of South Asian fashion worn by ladies arriving in East Lancashire in the early 1970s. The project has been delivered by various groups of One Voice Blackburn.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project has enabled local young people to record the oral histories of the time, help with the design of the clothes, and purchase the materials.

Members of the group have collected images, interviewed designers and fashion houses, designed the outfits that were worn in the 1970s.

One Voice organised local seamstresses and tailors to produce the items before they are displayed in local settings. While the girls had hoped to showcase the work in a fashion show, they instead settled for a fashion shoot. Although there are plans for a fashion show section in the One Voice Annual Dinner to be held later this year.

One Voice Blackburn is a charity that aspires to create cohesive, aspirational and confident communities in Blackburn with Darwen and has helped young participants from across the town to get involved in this project.

Working with heritage and fashion professionals from the local South Asian community One Voice participants have gained a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of their history, as well as teaching them valuable new communication skills to use as they develop their careers.

Project Lead Sundas Bakhat said,

“I cannot believe how well the project has worked out, despite the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions. It has been an absolute joy to have led the project from the very start with the research and interviews. The finishing touch was the fashion shoot which, as you can see from the images, is a fitting tribute to the ladies of yesteryear.

“The clothes were simpler in those days, but they ooze both quality and elegance. I sincerely hope that we have done justice to the ladies at the time who wore these clothes on a daily basis.”

18 year old Alisha Iftikhar supported Sundas, and also modelled the clothes.

“I have learnt so much from this project. It was like taking a trip into the past. My outfit us amazing. It is very different to the Asian fashion of today – but I absolutely love it. I am going to wear it on Eid.”

The final pieces are now at display in Bangor St Community Centre, and were also included in a fashion show at the King George’s Hall in Blackburn.

The girls showcased the clothes in a fashion show, as part of a dinner, in front of 400 people in King George’s Hall, Blackburn.