Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2014

Last night Raishma attended the Asian Women of Achievement Awards (AWA), which was held at the prestigious Park Lane Hilton Hotel. The event is the most established award ceremony for Asian women, and it celebrates the accomplishment of pioneering Asian Women in the UK. The awards range from inspirational business leaders and entrepreneurs to community workers and cultural figures in the UK.

Raishma had an amazing evening, from the glamour and glitz to the awards and aspirational stories of achievement. The event started a little later than expected; but that wasn’t an issue as there was a delicious three course meal to enjoy, and of course some amazing company! Raishma sat with Preeya Kalidas’s parents (who were lovely by the way), unfortunately Preeya was unable to attend as she is currently working her magic in a theatre production. Nahal Bhogaita also sat on Raishma’s table, Nehal is the first deaf woman to be crowned Miss India Worldwide and is a true inspiration.

Riz Lateef, Sonali Shah and Justine Miliband all dressed by designer Raishma Islam (middle) AWA 2014

Once the awards began it was clear to see that everyone was a winner, all of the nominees were incredible and have achieved so much. We wanted to share a few stories that really touched the hearts of everyone. Sheneela Ahmed won the award for AWA in Sport, Sheneela has made soccer history by becoming Britain’s first female Muslim football agent, and has signed some of Europe’s top football players. Sheneela became quite emotional on stage, as she shared the devastating story of her father’s loss and how he is the reason for her great accomplishments. Another worthy winner was Sharmila Nikapota, who is the co-founder of Sohana Research Fund. Sharmila has sought to raise money and increase the awareness of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a catastrophic skin disorder that is very close to her heart. Sadly, Sharmila’s daughter suffers from this skin disorder and is exposed such horrific pain on a daily basis. Sharmila has dedicated her life to trying to find a cure for this tragic illness.

We were lucky enough to have had our collection profiled at the event, Riz Lateef, who was presenting the show, fell in love with our Pale Blue Beaded Bodice Gown, and knew straight away that it was the dress for her! Riz loved how the gown elongated her figure and how easy it was to wear. Riz wanted her outfit to incorporate her signature style of effortless elegance, yet still be glamorous as all eyes would be on her! This gown was perfect for exactly that, the pastel colour is classic and chic, and the all over beading gave it enough detail to stand out.

Riz Lateef in Raishma SS14 at AWA 2014

You can get Riz's red carpet look here.

Our brand ambassador and TV Presenter, Sonali Shah received compliments all night as she looked stunning in our Red and Black Saree. When Sonali first saw the saree she loved the contrasting colours and textures! Sonali couldn’t believe how beautiful the embroidery on the high collar blouse was, and she loved wearing the low cut out back! We couldn't think of anyone better to pull off this look!

Sonali Shah in Raishma SS14 at AWA 2014

Get Sonali's glam red carpet look here.

Last but not least we dressed the formidable Justine Miliband! Justine trusted Raishma to pick out the perfect outfit. Raishma wanted Justine to be comfortable, and quickly decided that an Asian suit would be the best option. The colour of the outfit was very important and Raishma chose red, as it would best compliment Justine’s skin tone. The Red and Antique Beaded Churidar Suit was the perfect choice. When Raishma designed the outfit, she always imagined a celebrity like Justine wearing it to a mainstream event. Justice first saw the outfit in her fitting (which took place in her chambers), and like Raishma she knew that it was the outfit for her! Originally the Red and Antique Beaded Churidar Suit was sleeveless, however Raishma adapted the outfit for Justine and added on the sleeves, Justine was very pleased with the results.

Justine Miliband in Raishma SS14 at AWA 2014

You can get this sophisticated red carpet look here.

Raishma also met the beautiful Liz Hurley, and they talked fashion! Liz has recently launched her clothing line, and she wore an A-Symmetric Kaftan from her own range. Dame Kelly Holmes admired Sonali’s saree at the event; Kelly may even become another brand ambassador in the future!

Raishma Islam and Liz Hurley at AWA 2014

Dame Kelly Holmes and Raishma Islam at AWA 2014

Cherie Blair told Raishma she was fan of her collection and loved Riz Lateef’s outfit, they also discussed Cherie wearing a piece from Raishma’s collection for an upcoming event – watch this space!

Cherie Blair, Sonali Shah and Raishma Islam at AWA 2014