TOIFA Vancouver's First Official Event - Women's Day Celebration

TOIFA Vancouver’s first event is set to kick-off the celebration of women a tad early at the Femina Miss India Women’s Day Celebration on March 2.

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, the fundraiser/forum will commemorate women and raise funds for the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women, a non-profit organization seeking to motivate and elevate women into leadership roles.

Moderated by the CBC’s Belle Puri, key figures from India and Vancouver will take the stage to engage in a panel discussion. Panelists include the Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children & Family Development; Dia Mirza, Former Miss Asia Pacific and Actor; Diana Hayden, Former Miss World and Actor; Perizaad Zorabian, Actor and Entrepreneur; Dr. Shimi Kang, Clinical Associate Professor UBC; Shushma Dutt, Entrepreneur. The night will see the two nations seamlessly stitched together with a common thread – women. The event promises a prominent guest-list studded with a few surprises.

Two fashion shows will then showcase the work of local designer Davi Bains-Gill and Indian designer Satya Paul. If there is one topic that most women can carry on, it’s fashion. No doubt this gala event will be peppered with sequined dresses and saris, paired with spiked heels, glitzy jewellery and topped off with a French knot.

The evening will close off with some local entertainment and a post-event reception hosted by Desi Ink Magazine.

Born in India and raised here, Davi Bains-Gill worked for the Ministry of Social Services for eight years before bringing her passion for fashion into fruition. Photographs of her ultra-feminine designs are available for perusal on her label’s Facebook page, Armaan DBG, which has garnered over 1700 likes. Premier Christy Clark asked the local fashionista to outfit her in Armaan DBG’s Bollywood-inspired designs for the TOIFA Vancouver event.

Her work features baby doll dress style salwaars (shirt of the Indian pants-suit) along with fitted cuts that flirt with the body’s curves, billowy lenghas (long skirt) built from yards of brightly-patterned fabric, and sheer chunris (Indian scarf or wrap) with twinkling embroidered borders. She also fashions textiles for men, children and brides.

“When I sit down and create pieces I’m thinking it’s going to be trend-setting, but the piece must be timeless. For the Times of India Women’s Day fashion show, I have chosen to showcase a collection that brings together traditional and western concepts.  The audience can look forward to seeing a collection that represents the East crossing with the West,” Bains-Gill says.

She has just arrived back in Vancouver after her trip to India, where she has been busy producing pieces for the upcoming show.

Miss Femina India is heralded as the oldest and most credible beauty pageant in India. Every year Miss Femina India sends three Indian beauties to the global pageant stage. Currently, Miss Femina India awards a Miss India World, Miss India Earth and Miss India International. Miss India World goes on to compete in Miss World, Miss India Earth competes in Miss Earth and Miss India International competes in Miss International.

The pageant is organized by Femina, a magazine published in India and owned by the Times Group.

The invite-only event will be held at the River Rock Casino and Resort in Richmond.

Written and researched by Neelam Sharma (@_neelamsharma), a columnist for Vancity Buzz and contributer to Desi Ink Magazine. Connect with Desi Ink @desiinkmag and on Facebook.

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