Australia News & Runway

Australia’s First Female Muslim Parliament Rep Just Made Her Runway Debut

Thomas Puttick's Resort 2018 presentation.

Models walk the runway at Thomas Puttick Resort 2018; Image: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

Today, Alexander McQueen (and Wang) alum Thomas Puttick made his Sydney Fashion Week debut. As expected, the designer delivered an expertly tailored line of feminine yet utilitarian summer essentials. And it wasn’t just the clothes that turned heads.

The label, known for its “vision for a more positive future of fashion,” enlisted a diverse cast of “muses and inspirational women” to model its Resort 2018 collection. Among the ethnically, size- and age-diverse lineup walked Anne Aly, Australia’s first female federal parliament member of Muslim faith. Musician Sarsha Simone and Aminata Conteh-Biger, a refugee from Sierra Leone, also took turns on the catwalk.

Thomas Puttick's Resort 2018 presentation.

Anne Aly for Thomas Puttick Resort 2018; Image: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

Aly’s runway appearance comes on the heels of a well-publicized fake news scandal in which the politician was falsely accused of refusing to participate in Anzac Day festivities. Anzac Day marks the first major battle of WWI for Australians and New Zealanders; politicians lay wreaths to honor the memory of the soldiers who fought. Aussie right-wingers accused the Egyptian-born Labor MP of not having laid a wreath. (She had.) Some saw the incident as emblematic of Australian Islamophobia. “I don’t look at my life through the lens of my religious identity,” said Aly of the controversy. “I don’t look at everything only through the lens of Islam. But people look at me only through that lens and can’t see me as anything else.” Today, we look at her and see a graceful, elegant modern woman.

In addition to showcasing the beauty of model diversity, Puttick’s Resort 2018 presentation helped raise money for White Ribbon, an organization dedicated to “preventing men’s violence against women” — a fact which Aly noted in a Facebook post celebrating her Sydney Fashion Week debut. We’ll leave you with Aly’s empowering message…and this awesome painted-on beauty look. Take note: OTT floral makeup, buzzcuts and inclusive casting choices are most definitely in.

A model backstage at Thomas Puttick's Resort 2018 presentation.

Image: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

[ via Allure ]