October 9 2022 saw Trafalgar Square transformed into a spectacular extravaganza of colour for pre Diwali celebrations. This year, over two hundred dancers joined in to make this a celebration to remember. There were food stalls, dance workshops and much more and we were super stoked to be included in the official six hour programme.
We were delighted to see such an amazing reaction from the audience when the Cultural Style Week promo graced the screens in Trafalgar Square promoting Cultural Style Week 2023, at the event which welcomed over 27,000 people across the day.
Around 3.15pm, our models took to the Main Stage to present a visual feast of colour, style and diversity. Outfits in the fashion show were selected by the models themselves to reflect their heritage and identity. And the audience loved it.
Meet Our Models
Each of our fashion show participants represents a unique facet of the communities that observe Diwali.
When she’s not advocating for greater diversity in modeling, Mini Mangat is making inroads in local government in Warwick. She sees Diwali as a vehicle for connecting to her Sikh heritage.
Civil servant and Bollywood fanatic Marcus Monrose celebrates his hereditary ties to Kolkatta, India as well as the Indian diaspora of the Caribbean Island, St Lucia.
Professionally, Inderjit Puaar wears many hats - as designer, illustrator and children’s book author, with her endearing creation Bradley the Bus. She is also Sikh, but her background connects to Punjab and Nairobi, in Kenya.
Nafeesa Abdul-Karim speaks kuchi, the minority language of her maternal grandfather. But she is also an English teacher, faculty head and an avid reader of science fiction.
Jignar Soni is a global ambassador for Garba style dancing, through the Soni’s School of Garba Dance, an enterprise he started with his brother, Suhrad.
A Double Feature
From the catwalk, we moved over to the Culture Zone for our second feature, a lively discussion on the history and relevance of cultural styles in an ever-evolving society. While this introduced a slightly more serious tone, we are always cognisant of the need to inform and educate.
We were absolutely delighted by the surprise appearance of Jennifer Laurent-Smart, 'My Cultural Style 2022' participant and Cultural Fashion & Arts cultural lead for the Caribbean. After gracing the catwalk with her stylish madras outfit, she joined the discussion in the culture marquee to highlight the connection between Indian and Dominica in the creation of madras cloth.
A Big Thank You
We are deeply grateful to our mayor Sadiq Khan and the City of London for offering us the opportunity to become involved in Diwali on the Square. We salute our beautiful models who each brought something unique and special to the event.
We are also thankful to those brand sponsors that partnered with Diwali on the Square - Western Union, Dabur, ICICI Bank UK, TRS Foods and Lidl GB. Without your support, the event would not have been possible.
And finally, to big thank you to everyone who came to Trafalgar Square to share in the magic - your smiles and your enthusiasm is what made the event worthwhile.