When fellow blogger Fedwa from www.lavietoutsimplement.com asked me if I wanted to collaborate by writing an entry on her great 'fashionista challenge: looks for $100', I instantly said yes and was rejoiced by the idea of collaborating any way I could on such an important topic. I was happy, proud and humbled that I was asked but also excited to write an entry that means a lot more than just the regular 'what's hot' item of the moment.
Therefore I sat a long time on this entry, thought about what I wanted to say, studied the documents provided and weighted the topic options I wanted to elaborate on. Because many topic options I did have, since Fedwa gave me carte-blanche for this assignment. Should I write about the looks, give my humble opinion on the shoes, or talk about the subject that led to the challenge in the first place?
In order to fully understand why the challenge meant more than just hot clothes for a nickle, we need to grasp the idea behind it. The premise of the challenge for the strikingly beautiful Fedwa (I must say) started after giving birth and caring for her child, neglecting herself in the process. She started feeling like many women do, unattractive physically and mentally afterward. But in all honesty, as men, we truly don't know how a woman feels about her own sense of beauty, especially after given birth and taking care of the newborn. The hard and painful misery of delivering a new life, we easily get, but the rest is kind of ambiguous to us. It was therefore refreshing in all its irony to hear, after doing research on the topic, the actual emotional pain and suffering a woman might go through as well. Refreshing because I, as a man, am now more aware and understanding of everything that lies behind the mood swings, the depressions, the spending habits, the need to transform and change oneself and so forth.
The fashion industry is all about portraying an unattainable image; an image of wealth, perfect bodies, and the beautiful stuff that everyone wants to have, own or be. We all know the side effects of such an industry: eating disorders such as Anorexia and Boulimia, low self-esteem, addictions, crazy spending habits, debts, etc. all in the quest of perfection and acceptance of some sort. All this pressure to be thin, gorgeous, beautiful, model-esque, desirable, seductive is a battle that probably most women go through, especially after giving birth. Feeling beautiful on the inside is much harder to feel when struggling with issues of such nature.
But for most women, the love of fashion and clothes never dies. Either therapeutical or because of pure love for it, spending money on clothes makes a woman happy and puts a smile on a face, even for a small period of time. And for Fedwa, footwear was her escape. As she mentions, her feet were the only part of her that didn't change and her shoe collection were the only stable and reassuring aspect of her wardrobe. By trying to find a solution in getting back to feeling good about herself and feeling beautiful, she created the fashionista challenge.
Fedwa enlisted 11 of the most fashion conscious bloggers in Montreal to create and style a tailored look to a pair of shoes in her closet with a budget of $100 only. Each month, a blogger look will be showcased and a contest will occur at the end of the year asking the general public to vote on their preferred look. Why $100 only? because Fedwa wanted the looks to be accessible to most women out there, and also showcase the creativity of the bloggers in question. Great challenge indeed!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my entry coming up soon which will focus on the shoes proposed for the challenge.
And finally Part 3 (at the end of the year) will focus on the looks that the fashion bloggers created.
For more information on the challenge & the bloggers in question and their looks, please visit Fedwa's blog at http://lavietoutsimplement.com/mes-looks-a-100