Actress Sunny Leone and acid attack victim Reshma Qureshi made strong yet distinctive statements at the runway of the ongoing New York Fashion Week (NYFW) while giving an ode to the rural art of India.
The two icons walked for designer Archana Kochhar who presented her collection — A Tale of Two Travels. The collection was inspired by her travel to the Taj Mahal and a village of the Banjara tribe.
With her baggage of a past as a former adult film star, Sunny’s entry into the Indian showbiz arena raised many an eyebrow. But she defied all odds to make a place for herself, and overcome all the criticism.
Reshma, who was left scarred in an acid attack, took to the ramp to show her quiet defiance as a survivor, and to promote the #TakeBeautyBack campaign. She sashayed across the runway at the show on Thursday to promote a ban on the sale of corrosive substances used to maim thousands of women and children each year.
Sunny looked resplendent as the showstopper in an ivory gown, while Reshma opened the show for the designer in another ivory gown which was offset with digitally printed motifs, to create awareness of the initiative “Bring Beauty Back”.
Reshma said: “I am hoping that my participation in this runway will inspire hope and confidence in other acid attack survivors, that they can lead a normal life.”
“It is unbelievable that I just walked at New York Fashion Week wearing her Banjara collection. The energy here was superb and the response we received was phenomenal,” Sunny said in a statement.
The colour pallete of the collection is ivory offset with colourful digitally printed motifs, which is further highlighted with multi-colour thread work and mirror work.
The second inspiration of the collection is the magnificent Taj Mahal. Depicting a dreamy vision, the collection is an exclusive range of colourful intricate digital prints depicting the vibrant symbolic motifs of the Taj Mahal, the lotus flower, the royal elephants balanced with geometric motifs.
The silhouettes comprise cold shoulder crop tops, caplets, flared bell bottoms, flared skirts, pencil skirts, high waist shorts, paper bag skirts, dhoti pants, structured gowns, key hole gowns, flowy drapes and jumpsuits.
Kochhar described the whole experience of showcasing in NYFW surreal.
She said: “It is a great honour to be one of the few Indians to have showcased at New York Fashion week, for the second time… Also I am very honoured to have Reshma Qureshi walking the ramp and showcasing different facets of beauty to the world.
“Beauty should not be affirmed by a certain height, colour or size, it is beyond that. It should be an all-inclusive concept. We need such acceptance in society and I think such endeavours of mine will increase sensitivity towards this concept in our society.”