Designers at the Ready?

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Project Frumway
09 Feb 2011

I always get excited when I see a Jewish person on reality TV. I don’t know why, but for some reason I (think?) hope that they’ll do some sort of good for the Jewish cause; crush the stereotypes and perform in excellent and unique ways. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes they do, but sometimes it’s just a disaster.

There are always a few Jewish chefs on Top Chef or Next Food Network Star (my favorite cooking Jew was always Evangelos “Spike” Mendelssohn — he’s part Greek, part Jewish, and that name is amazing). There have even been a few spotted on the popular and addictive Project Runway, touting its season six winner Irina Shabayeva, a Georgian Jew.

But there’s something missing from these shows. From the cooking shows, it’s kosher food. From the fashion shows, it’s modest fashion. So what’s a Jew to do? I enjoy these shows as much as the next person, but you sometimes have to wonder, “Well, that’s great, but what about me?”

Enter New York NCSY with “Project Frumway,” a charitable fashion show and fashion design competition for women of all ages. The project was created and will be run by both yeshiva and public high school girls, and it promotes “positive body image, fashionable modesty, self-confidence, and self-esteem.” The project allows for women to learn about the importance of tzniut, or modesty, while creating a fun and glamorous atmosphere in which to learn about it! But it’s more than just a project, it’s a fashion competition, which engages girls and women to compete in creating the most fashionable, modest outfit. The winner’s design will be produced by a Jewish clothing designer in the New York area (how. cool.) and it will be featured on the “Project Frumway” catwalk on March 1, 2011. The competition, which was open to girls and women of all ages, closed this past week. The winner (not yet announced) may elect to model the design herself, or she may choose someone else to model it.

The overarching goal here, which I think is quite admirable, is to teach girls that it’s possible to be fashionable and to respect one’s body at the same time. Amen! Especially considering that mainstream media picked up on the connection of Orthodox Jewish girls and eating disorders. It’s time to teach girls what feeling beautiful and being beautiful really mean!

To get the full scoop and find out more, please visit: Project Frumway Fashion Show. The above article was reprinted with permission and first appeared on the author’s blog site. Chaviva Galatz, the “kvetching editor” is a social media consultant, editor, student, and the creator of Just Call Me Chaviva, which highlights her winding journey into and through Judaism.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.