domingo, 4 de marzo de 2012

British fashion knows no bounds

This is another installment of the series See Britain through my Eyes, where a number of foreigners who have settled into the UK express their views on their adopted country with a view to the 2012 Olympics in London. Today, Reem Alasadi talks about British fashion.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.

1 Reem gets a lot of ideas and inspiration from street markets.
2 Reem loves the multiculturalism of British society.
3 Playing with national symbols like the Queen or the Union Jack can get you into serious danger.
4 Reem recycles a lot of stuff for his designs.
5 Reem's next fashion show will be held in Japan's embassy in London.
6 Reem still feels he doesn't belong in Britain.

You can read the transcript here.
I'm Reem Alasadi. I'm a fashion designer born in Iraq. I've made Britain my home and this is 'See Britain Through My Eyes.'
Portobello market, the best place in the world.  I've been coming here for years looking for things that we could probably remake, recycle.
When I hit a flea market, it's like a child in a sweetie shop. My eyes pop open even bigger. Can I pick up some things? The clothes here tell a huge story about Britain. Everything is a fabric of the nation, you know, liberty print, the little flowers.
These are obviously not Indian clothes, but it's, she's adapted them and made them there and brought them back here. And then right next door you've got Aquascutum and you can't get more English than Aquascutum. It's this kind of multicultural society that we live in which is absolutely beautiful.
In Britain here, there are many symbols like, you know, the face of the Queen on the coins, the Union Jacks, all these things that you feel like you can own, you can play with but you don't feel like anybody is going to put you in prison for them.
So after we leave Portobello, we come back here in Maidstone in Kent. It's my little studio.
Hi, Mimi.
Hello Reem, how are you?
Ruth, I've got lots of stuff from Portobello.
These sort of scarves here, you know, we'll make knitwear or we'll use it for a sleeve like this which is really cool. Actually look at this acetate. If you look at these stains they look like stains but to me, you know, it could look like a really beautiful print.
Most people would look at that and think what a load of crap but we can reuse it, we'll recycle it and make something really beautiful out of it.
British fashion has to be number one. You know, everybody in the whole world looks at British designers and what they're doing. The boundaries are there to be broken and they accept it when you break the boundaries.
Look at me, an Iraqi living in Britain, we've broken all the rules and we show once a year, instead of twice a year. We don't do sketches, we don't do drawings, we drape everything and we've been supported all the way.
Our next show is called 'God Save the Queen' which will be held in the British Embassy in Tokyo inspired by punks. I'm not dissing the Queen, I'm absolute royalist, I love the royal family but I'm a creative person.
So, you know, I have to be free enough to express myself in however and with whatever I want to do. I probably wouldn't have done this anywhere else but this country. Obviously I'm still an Arab but I'm a British Arab. I travel around the world and I can't wait to come back home. I love everything Britain stands for, you know, I love the traditional farmhouse, I love the traditional English garden, and I like the horses in the field.  Yet I like to mix it with, you know, my heritage.
You know, no matter where you go in the world you always think there is always a restriction behind what you might have to say or how you look or, you know, what you do.  And in this country you just know you are free.

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