Dear Shaded Viewers,
I'm back in New York after 11 glorious days in Egypt. At the suggestion of my friend Susan Sabet, the editor-in-chief of Pashion magazine whom I met during Alta Roma in 2009, I traveled to Cairo to attend the 2nd edition of her event Cairo's Fashion Nights. This edition was held at the upscale First Mall, which is next door to the Four Seasons at the First Residence where I stayed for 3 luxurious nights.
I really enjoyed meeting the young and established Egyptian designers; seeing their work and making new friends, and having long conversations with Cairenes who work in fashion, interior design and PR. We discussed everything from Cairo's salad days of the Roaring Forties to today's state of affairs. Besides fashion, I learned a lot about the nuances of Egyptian life, religion, class and, of course, the current political situation. While people were having a great time relaxing with wine and fashion, more than a few could not refrain from filling me in on the current political troubles. It was quite illuminating, and a refreshing change from the specious, sloppy and agenda-ridden reporting on Egypt by the Western media.
While fashion might seem frivolous to some in light of Egypt's current situation–the country's journey on the long, rough road to democracy–many see it as another example of the vitality and resilience of the Egyptian spirit. The culture of fashion emphasizes the importance of the larger role that creativity plays during times of civil unrest.
Glenn Belverio: As you know, American Vogue launched Fashion