Dr Aly chilling at her desk. Credit: Anne Aly via Facebook.
I bet you didn’t expect us to post about Sydney Fashion Week, did ya? And, quite frankly, neither did we. But that all changed when we learned that Dr Anne Aly, the first female Muslim to be elected to Australia’s federal parliament, strutted her stuff on the catwalk at the event.
This particular show, which took place earlier this month, was put on by 23-year-old designer, and Sydney local, Thomas Puttick. Puttick’s vision saw him create a catwalk that celebrated women of all ages, sizes, backgrounds and professions.
Speaking to Australia’s SBS, he said: ‘I didn’t want to do a traditional runway show…I realised I’d like a show on really empowering and inspiring women that would have a more positive contribution to dialogue within fashion.’
Dr Aly, therefore, was a perfect fit. ‘The way Anne Aly speaks,’ Puttick explained, ‘what her values are and the way that she is moving things forward in parliament and the dialogue that she contributes to within that sort of setting – I’ve always found that really empowering.’
So who is Dr Anne Aly? As we said, Dr Aly is the first female Muslim to be elected to Australia’s federal parliament. Born in Egypt, Aly’s family migrated to Australia when she was two. After an illustrious academic career that saw her attend university back in Cairo and in Perth, Aly earned her PhD at Edith Cowan university. She’s written and lectured extensively on issues such as extremism and immigration, and she’s campaigned on policies that tackle islamophobia. Dr Aly represents Cowan, Western Australia, in the country’s parliament.
Explaining her decision to take part in the show, Dr Aly said: ‘The clothes are designed for women of all ages and all shapes, which is really important. I think fashion tends to be something that a lot of people find a little bit out of their reach or that they don’t really relate to so much – particularly in fashion shows where young, glamorous, very, very thin models are used.’
Best of all, Puttick’s show doubled up as a charity event, with sponsorship and hiring fees for the models being donated to domestic violence charity, White Ribbon. Dr Aly has spent much of her career tackling issues related to domestic abuse, so this made her decision to walk even easier.
We love Puttick’s inclusive approach to design, just as much as we respect Dr Aly for promoting this positive outlook on appearance.