Libya’s fashion revolutionist takes on Paris catwalk

Mufeeda Dakhil, a 34 year old woman from Tripoli, Libya never imagined she would one day end up showcasing her collection in the fashion capital of the world Paris, France.

Dakhil was one of the countless Libyans who participated in the resistance against the late leader Muammar Qaddafi during the uprising which initiated in mid-February.

She was an active member on social media platforms and circulated pamphlets on the revolution, however in March; security forces found pamphlets in Dakhil’s car during a checkpoint. She was detained and spent three days in jail where she said she was mistreated.

“I felt really sad and I didn’t have any hope at all of getting out, I was just waiting to die,” said Dakhil before the show.

Nevertheless, Dakhil made a lucky escape with the help of soldiers, and crossed into neighboring Tunisia, where she started a new phase in her life and began fashion designing.

She got her big break into the fashion industry when organizers of the fifth edition of the Paris Oriental Wedding fair presented her with the opportunity to showcase her work in France.

“Libya has so many creators, so many inventors but unfortunately in the last 40 years Gaddafi got rid of them, brought them down and I just want to show that Libya has talent and the world has to see this from a different point of view, the world has to see Libya differently than what it’s been known for in the last forty years,” she said.

The designer pays reverence to the Arab Spring by featuring the Libyan flag on one of her designs. She says her collection was inspired by a range of traditional attire across Libya, using the material in contemporary styles.

Dakhil is now married to a Libyan man who she met on the internet during the uprising and sees a bright future for her country. She plans to head back to Tripoli to start her own sartorial revolution.

Ali El-Ehmer

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