Thursday, January 6, 2011

Designers at the Ready? Project Frumway is On!

I always get excited when I see a Jewish person on reality TV. I don't know why, but for some reason I think hope that they'll do some sort of good for the Jewish cause. Crush the stereotypes and perform in excellent and unique ways. Don't get me wrong, sometimes they do, but sometimes it's just a disaster.

Bravo Irina!
There are always a few Jewish chefs on Top Chef or Next Food Network Star (my favorite cooking Jew was always Evangelos "Spike" Mendelssohn -- he's part Greek, part Jewish, and that name is amazing). There have even been a few spotted on the popular and addictive Project Runway, who touts its season six winner as Irina Shabayeva, a Georgian Jew.

But there's something missing from these shows. From the cooking shows, it's kosher food. From the fashion shows, it's modest fashion. So what's a Jew to do? I enjoy these shows as much as the next person, but you sometimes have to wonder, "Well, that's great, but what about me?"

Enter New York NCSY with "Project Frumway," a charitable fashion show and fashion design competition for women of all ages. The project was created and will be run by both yeshiva and public high school girls, and it promotes "positive body image, fashionable modesty, self-confidence, and self-esteem." The project allows for women to learn about the importance of tzniut, or modesty, while creating a fun and glamorous atmosphere in which to learn about it! But it's more than just a project, it's a fashion competition, which engages girls and women to compete in creating the most fashionable, modest outfit. The winner's design will be produced by a Jewish clothing designer in the New York area (how. cool.) and it will be featured on the "Project Frumway" catwalk on March 1, 2011.

The overarching goal here, which I think is quite admirable, is to teach girls that it's possible to be fashionable and to respect one's body at the same time. Amen! Especially considering that mainstream media picked up on the connection of Orthodox Jewish girls and eating disorders. It's time to teach girls what feeling beautiful and being beautiful really mean!

Want to enter the competition? Here are the details:

  • The competition is open to girls and women of all ages. 
  • Designs must be modest (3/4-length sleeves, neckline, below-the-knee hemline) and reflect a Spring-line, casual wear.
  • All submissions must include:
    • Sketch of design.
    • Detailed paragraph describing design including materials, colors, lengths, neck lines, target demographic.
    • Your contact information: name, phone number (home and cell), email, school (if applicable), and age. 
  • Submissions are due no later than Friday, February 4th, 2011.
  • The cost to submit a design is $5 (talk about inexpensive!). Each additional design will cost $3, and you may submit as many designs as you like. 
  • Note: NCSY reserves the right to change the winning design's color and/or patterns, depending on availability.
  • The top design chosen will be made by a local dressmaker and featured at the fashion show on March 1, 2011 at Congregation Beth Shalom in Lawrence, NY. The winner may elect to model the design herself, or she may choose someone else to model it. 
Need more info? Check out the NCSY website! Good luck, and happy designing!