Being Lateef in my work.

24 March 2024

Being Lateef in my work.

I want to tell my story and create my story and part of me wants to do it on a platform like instagram. Another part just wants to journal as I typically would and let my messages be found by the ones The creator guides to them. I never again want to do or not do because of someone else’s gaze. It is the biggest trap. It is hurtful to the soul and kills creativity, effect and confidence, true confidence and I know it well. 

I‘m not a tragedy but I have not put out a collection in 12 years now. I have steadily been designing and my work is timeless. I am proud of the body of work I have created and happy to share it when I do.

A few years ago I did my artist friend Leslie Hewitt’s wedding reception gown which was amazing. I would like to begin my journey now of creating bodies of work that are beautiful, inspired by Al Khaliq and a great contribution to society. 

Here, I’d like to document my journey. Perhaps I’ll put mood-boards here. Inspirations. Maybe some sketches. I don’t think I should be and certainly don’t want to be afraid to put things out. In the past, in my 20’s and 30’s some of my styles namely the Cyndi gown and the Twarq dress got knocked off by an Arab design company and a Chinese company. They even used my photos… the dress on the model in several color ways. I remember a naive I suppose Muslimah tagging me on Facebook to show me that she had on the Madonna dress for Eid. She didn’t buy the Madonna dress from me. It was a not as well made knock off she had done by some seamstress. The way some people don’t know what’s right from wrong is crazy. 

What I can do and what I will and am doing is asking Allah for his protection and to make me successful in his name and with the gifts that he has given me. 

I noticed that as I was reading the last 2 blog posts I felt emotional. It’s 2-3 years since I wrote those 2 and I can sense I was trying to break out of a cocoon. It’s now 2024 and I’m 43 and I’m wise in different ways. I honor that I have a right to my time and happiness and am not willing to let anyone or thing control me. That has been a long journey. I’m 43 and I realize that I have a right to the greatest love and expression and reliance on Allah. I have a right to true and big belief and sometimes that’s just a secret between me and my creator. 

I’m so grateful for where I’ve been in life. I’m so grateful for where I’m going. I’m grateful for now. 

the thing I love most about being a fashion designer and artist is how wise and confident it helps me be. That’s how I know it’s for me. I feel so self-assured and faithful as I’m designing and as I’m interacting with other creative people and even artists of the past through their writings. I feel like I’m stranding as the being God wants. I feel whole. So thank you Allah! 

It’s currently Ramadan and I spent 2 hours doing dhikr and duas. Sometimes I do it until I feel the weights lift off me. Today I did the dhikes that are my prescriptions and returned to doing the duas that I used to do daily that take abt 30 minutes… mostly prophetic duas. I then thought to lookup my bro-in-law Maurice’s blog for an article of his that he mentioned over dinner last night. Maurice is very Lateef and I didn’t quite understand him early on in my sister’s marriage to him. But as I looked at his well-done article I then felt to return here. I like that he does his writings because he likes to write and research. And he’s good at it and he keeps it up and he does it in the format he appreciates or that suites him. 

That characteristic of not needing attention in order to do is so needed. And I do also pray Allah spread my work widely and let me benefit in every way from it as well as others. But the doing part is mostly private and that’s what I have to appreciate and bring my dedication to- fisabilillah!