Indian acid attack survivors sparkle at fashion show to spotlight equality

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Acid attack survivors pose during a fashion show to mark International Women's Day in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, March 7, 2018. (Reuters)
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Acid attack survivors walk on the runway during a fashion show to mark International Women's Day in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, March 7, 2018. (Reuters)
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Indian acid attack survivors walk during a fashion show as part of a campaign to spread the message 'Stop Acid Sale', in Thane on March 7, 2018, ahead of International Women's Day.(AFP)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Indian acid attack survivors sparkle at fashion show to spotlight equality

MUMBAI: Sparkling in shades of green, pink and peach, Indian women survivors of acid attacks walked the ramp at a fashion show to boost awareness about violence against women.
Scarred faces held high, 11 members of a non-profit group showcased colorful Indian and Western garments, spoke about confidence and posed for photographs on Wednesday, a day ahead of International Women’s Day.
Laxmi, attacked in 2005 at the age of 15 by a 32-year-old man whose marriage proposal she rejected, was the showstopper of the event, held near India’s financial capital of Mumbai.
“I swept aside notions about the face, which society spoke of, and moved forward in life,” said Laxmi, whose plea against acid attacks prompted India’s Supreme Court to order regulations on the sale of acid in 2013.
“We don’t want respect, we want equality.”
More than two-thirds of the 1,500 acid attacks worldwide each year are estimated to take place in India, many by enraged family members or jilted partners.
Few victims report the attacks, for fear of reprisals by abusers, even though the resulting disfigurement often brings isolation and rejection.
“What others think about us does not have relevance, what we think about ourselves is only what matters,” said one participant, Deepmala Tiwary, an attack survivor and member of the nonprofit Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation.


Destiny’s designers: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé don Arab gowns at charity event

Kelly Rowland wearing Yousef Al-Jasmi. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Destiny’s designers: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé don Arab gowns at charity event

DUBAI: Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé both chose Middle East-based designers for their trip down the red carpet at a charity event last week.

The superstars attended the City of Hope Gala in Santa Monica, California, wearing floor-length gowns by designers from Kuwait and Lebanon.

For her part, Rowland chose a glittering, rose gold gown by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi, with a high collar and slit at the back. She accented the figure-hugging dress with a pair of dazzling earrings and slicked-back hair.

Meanwhile, Beyoncé chose a black velvet jacket by Lebanese label Elie Saab. The belted piece featured embellishments on the shoulder and a plunging neckline and is from the label’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection.

Beyoncé paid homage to a high-profile music executive being honored at a charity event to raise money for cancer research, The Associated Press reported.

The singer’s vocals soared as she performed three ballads including her 2009 smash hit “Halo” and “Ava Maria” after saluting the character of Warner/Chappell Music Publishing CEO Jon Platt at the City of Hope gala near Los Angeles on Thursday night. She took the stage following her husband, Jay Z, who presented Platt with the Spirit of Life award during a charity event that raised more than $6 million.

“Most people lead with their ego, but you lead with your heart,” Beyoncé said Platt, who will soon be leaving his position at Warner/Chappell to take on the top role at Sony/ATV, the top publishing company in the music business.

“You have touched so many lives, mine included,” she added.

Jay Z called Platt the “Obama of the music industry.” The music executive is known for signing publishing deals with Jay Z, Usher, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. His roster of songwriters at Warner/Chappell includes Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars and Timbaland.

Both Beyoncé and Jay Z appeared at the black-tie charity event after the couple wrapped up their On The Run II tour about a week ago.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than my brother, Jon Platt,” Jay Z told more than 1,000 attendees. “He’s known as ‘Big Jon’ and he has a beautiful soul.”

City of Hope is a treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases as the Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group has raised more than $118 million in 45 years. The award is the group’s highest honor recognizing those that have helped further music, film and entertainment.

Previous Spirit of Life award recipients include Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Irving Azoff and Mo Ostin.

Music mogul Diddy, singer Usher, former NBA player Chauncey Billups and some of Platt’s family members took part in a video dedicated to the music executive. Platt’s oldest son, Jonathan Platt, was diagnosed with diabetes.