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Dear Pennies,

On September 9, 2010 my life changed. That day, I attended my first ever Fashion Blogger Conference and my first New York Fashion Week. On the way to the Involving Influence Fashion Blogger Conference, I remember riding the subway listening to Jazmine Sullivan’s song, “Dream BIG”. As I always do, I began to daydream and imagine the what-ifs. What if I go to this conference and meet some amazing people? What if I go to fashion week and see some amazing shows? What if my blog finally starts getting some serious hits? What if I start getting invited to cover other fashion weeks, especially ones outside the U.S.?

Guess what y’all? After that day, all these things came true. I met some amazing people at the IFB Conference including the owner of Style Sample, a Fashion Blogger magazine that I’ll be contributing to, the blog began to grow, and I was invited to cover Style.uz Art Week in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. That’s right, you read that correctly, Uzbekistan. Not Pakistan, not Afghanistan, Uzbekistan. A democratic republic that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, all these countries end in stan, and they are all in Central Asia. And no, I didn’t see any terrorists or people of “terrorist descent” to quote the Boondocks.

Style.uz Art Week 2010

Actually, all I saw was inspiration in Uzbekistan. Everyone was super nice and the weather was amazing! Style.uz Art Week differs from other fashion weeks because it incorporates art, tradition, modernity, and music. The event attracts a wide range of people since it also hosts well known fashion shows such as Balmain and Max Mara. Well known designers like Domenico Vacca and Igor Chapurin also showed. Furthermore, native emerging Uzbek designers showed twice, once at the Festival of National Dress and again at the General Defile by Dom Stilya. Lastly, the event featured a performance by world famous Spanish Opera singer Joes Carreras. That performance was awesome!

Gulnara Karimova at Style.uz Art Week Press Conference

Additionally, Gulnara Karimova, the creator of Style.uz Art Week and the President of the Fund Forum the sponsoring organization of Style.uz inspired me as well. Simply put, Gulnara is fabulous. She’s like the Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn of Uzbekistan. Seriously, Gulnara has so much class and style. She’s definitely a modern day icon. She has been able to create an artistic, fashionable, cultural event that brings awareness to her country, the Uzbek people, and their arts and culture.

Uzbekistan is often viewed obscurely or not at all in the “West” and Gulnara is the force behind such an awesome event. And honestly, it was Jacqueline Kennedy who made it popular to be a fashion-forward first lady, and Audrey Hepburn who made a boyish figure fashionable in Hollywood, so it’s only fair that Gulnara Karimova should make Style.uz Art Week in Tashkent, Uzbekistan one of the must-see fashion events of the year.

In essence, Fashion, Uzbekistan, and Gulnara Karimova have inspired me. Through these entities, I have seen that anything is possible and you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Fashion has shown me the beautiful, the ridiculous, and the ugly at the fashion shows, the after parties, and on the runways. Nevertheless, I see its potential and what it can be and so I continue on as a fashion blogger. Uzbekistan showed me a culture I never knew, and Gulnara Karimova, creator of Style.uz Art Week showed me how to successfully incorporate art, design, and culture in fashion. So I’m here say, anything is possible, if you simply Dream BIG.

And there it is. The Fashion and Style of the Pen…de la Pen.

*Please note this post will also be published on gangstarrgirl.com.*

Check Out The Full Review of the IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) Conference here:

Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) Conference Review