Young Muslim designer Fatima got eliminated after being in the bottom 3 again this week. She shares her sentiments about the competition, her elimination, and what lies ahead for her after being part of the show.
Firstly, I never imagined myself joining a competition, especially Project Runway Philippines.
Watching the previous seasons, I could already feel the torture for the designers. But still, I tried to audition, I got in, I grabbed the opportunity, I sacrificed school. My parents were very supportive of my decision since I am living independently here in the Philippines.
To be part of the top 15 designers was one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me. This is a big step for my career! But during the competition, I did not aim to win. Rather, I wanted to prove to people that a Muslim woman like me can also compete in this kind of industry.
When I was eliminated, I felt sad. I have to admit that the garments I’ve made on the show were not really who I am. I should’ve shown the best of me during the competition. Maybe, because I’m new to this kind of pressure, I wasn’t able to handle it well. Maybe I wasn’t ready to compete on that level yet.
If given another chance, I would’ve changed my design from my first sketch. We sketched only for 15 minutes. I panicked for the short period of working time and held on to my original sketch. I got stressed out with the incorrect pattern I made, which resulted in the wrong fit for my model. I realized it a few hours before the deadline, and the only other option for me was to make a new dress.
Although I was ready to say goodbye, I didn’t totally expect that I would be the one to go home. Questions popped out of my head. I thought, if my garments were made by the other designers, would there be a chance for me to be just safe? What would be the difference if I wasn’t wearing a veil? Maybe they expected too much.
On the other hand, I know that the high expectations are not only from the judges but from everyone who knows me as a Muslim and a fashion designer. Because of this, I am now more challenged and motivated to show who I am as a fashion designer in the real world.
Now, I‘m planning to finish my studies. Pursue my career. Make my own clothing line for Muslims and non-Muslims. Be involved in fashion shows and other fashion activities. This is just the beginning and I’m very excited for what is yet to come!