Brussels diplomats bring out regional diversity in first Asia-Pacific fashion show

Brussels diplomats bring out regional diversity in first Asia-Pacific fashion show
The Asia-Pacific Women’s Association celebrated international ties and diversity in a lively fashion show in Brussels. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times

Brussels' diplomatic community got a taste of the cultural diversity of the Asia-Pacific region during the first fashion show held by an association of women diplomats from the region this week.

The Asia-Pacific International Bazaar and Fashion Show on Tuesday saw the region's diplomatic envoys to Brussels don traditional costumes and strut down the runway alongside family and friends, in a lively event meant to celebrate diversity and foster international relations.

The event was organised by the Asia-Pacific Women’s Association (APWA), a Brussels-based non-profit gathering female ambassadors and other members of the region's diplomatic community in Brussels.

[caption id="attachment_59206" align="alignnone" width="600"] A Javanese contemporary dancer captivated members of the audience with deft and graceful moves. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

After a graceful dance by a Javanese contemporary performer, members of each national delegation took to the runway, showcasing garments and traditional costumes rich in colours and elaborate designs.

From China to Brunei and from Bangladesh to Fiji, the evening was brought to life by a flurry of unique and intricate garments — each conveying its own country's history, traditions and craft. A diversity of dance and music performances between each country's delegation further energized the diplomatic crowd.

[caption id="attachment_59208" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The region's diverse culture and traditions were at the forefront of the show. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

The Chinese mission to the EU set the tone for the evening, displaying beautiful pieces as they walked down the runway to the alternating rhythm of traditional and contemporary music.

[caption id="attachment_59224" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Regional diplomats and their children became models for the course of one evening, proudly showcasing their culture to attendants. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

Children brought additional zest into the evening, either treating the audience to a musical performance of APWA's theme song or taking part in the fashion show as they hopped and strutted down the runway accompanied by their families.

[caption id="attachment_59218" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Children of China's mission to the EU charmed the audience during a musical performance at the start of the event. Credit: Mission of China to the EU[/caption]

The fashion show, which was preceded by a charitable bazaar, was one of many events organised in Brussels by the diplomatic association.

[caption id="attachment_59210" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Diplomatic families shared their country's tradition and cultures with the audience. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

Speaking at the start of the event, APWA President, Mme. Cai Xiaoli said the colourful show, held at the Tangla Hotel in Brussels, embodied the "bridge between East and West."

[caption id="attachment_59213" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Nepalese show introduced the audience to the different cultures and traditions of the three regions of Nepal. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

Echoing his spouse's remarks, Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, said the Asia-Pacific region was not only "one of the most culturally dynamic region's of the world," but also "proof that different civilizations are not destined to clash, but can coexist in harmony and thrive together."

[caption id="attachment_59212" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Throughout the course of the evening, attendants were treated to a flurry of colours, intricate designs and rich textures. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

From the vibrant colours of Pakistani garments to the hand-woven patterns of the Bangladeshi sari, the region's varied and unique cultures were celebrated throughout the evening, in a warm and cheerful setting overflowing with the rich diversity of the Asia-Pacific region.

[caption id="attachment_59216" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The fashion show gracefully combined traditional costumes with contemporary elements and music. Credit: Gabriela Galindo/The Brussels Times[/caption]

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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