Bellydance Fashion Panel Discussion

image Bellydance costumes can often be works of art. From the past and present days of Khan al Khalili to the conferences we flock to just to meet certain designers, the “costume” means a lot to many dancers and their fans. The first day of Bellydance Fashion Week will explore the importance of the costume from many different points of view. There will be political angles, the buyers’ angle and that of the dancer themselves…how costuming truly affects their career.

“You can’t wear just any costume in every setting. Raqs wear is one of those mind blowing, well thought out presentations that can sometimes consume you more than the dance itself. I remember skipping a class once in college because I was so obsessed with designing what I was going to wear at the upcoming International Dance Party we hosted once a month. I remember we had just gotten some new neighbours in from Egypt and the Maghreb. I was freaking out over how was I going to combine both of their cultures and not outshine one over the other. All of this determines one’s costume choice and if it doesn’t then you still have a lot to learn about this industry.” -AA, Resident Archivist

Everyone has something to say about why they are so vested in the costuming industry. Skill is deterimental to success in this industry. Basic bellydance skills can only get you so far. When you couple years of work, special technique to enhance traditional dance plus music and cultural knowledge, it deserves a beautiful frock to adorn your education. This goes for the native Moroccan performing at their first wedding for family to the guy or girl who stumbled upon the art by way of a friend. Adorn your knowledge and skill with suitable attire that let’s the world know, you know what you’re doing. We’re going to talk to several dancers who are doing just that!

Join us at Babylon Cafe on Monday the 18th of April for a full panel discussion on the History of Raqs Costuming: Past, Present and Future. Register for Bellydance Fashion Week here:

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Bellydance Fashion Week – Why Now?

imageWhile the world focuses on New York Fashion Week, we here in Atlanta’s Mideast and African dance community are working hard to bring our community and guests a week of Raqs Couture to remember! Our resident archivist and raqs enthusiast explains.

I was literally visiting the warehouse, surrounded by fabric, sketching designs and couture desires in my head when it hit me that we don’t have a dedicated week for raqs and bellydance fashion. There are so many costume designers out there and so much creativity in our art that goes completely unshowcased. We see a show, the dancer turns around and we see the amazing work that a hard working seamstress did…then it’s over. That needs to change. We need a second look. There are so many people that make raqs art what it is today and often it’s not just the artist but all those involved in the process to get these stars where they are. I want to talk about it all. I’m so happy to see others want to talk about it as well!


Bellydance Fashion week is designed to highlight the creative side of raqs sharqi (Bellydance) beyond the amazing, skilled performance. It’s a look at how people become successful and what part the visual side of that comes into play…in other words, sometimes the clothes do make the man so to speak. A lovely costume on an amazing dancer is a recipe for success. You can’t have one without the other. We’ll even go further with a look at fans and how they dress up and get ready for shows. This is one industry where everyone wants to look good. Many thanks to Faaridah of Atlanta Fusion Bellydance for leading the organization on this event and Babylon Cafe for their support.

For more information and to register just click here

imageComing up: The Bellydance Fashion Panel on Monday April 18th 2016 at Babylon Cafe – What to expect. Subscribe to our blog to keep up with updates on this event and so much more.

Thanks for reading and see you on the runway!
-Team MBD

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