All photo credits to Nisa Collection
Well, people, I have run into a number of people who, prior to meeting me, aren't sure if I am male or female. In fact I've even encountered a few who said "Oh, you're a woman?!?". Yeah, I'm a woman. Not only am I a woman I am a woman with a weakness for fashion. I love nothing more than wonderful fabrics, vibrant colours, and sparkly things (my family nickname is "crow", for this tendency to be attracted to that which glitters). This is how I ended up attending an open house this past weekend at Nisa Collection - and it tapped into every weakness this woman has.
Nisa Collection is run by a lovely woman named Uzma. It is one of my favourite kinds of local businesses, small and cosy, and in fact run from her home. She has set up shop in her basement - and oh, what a shop it is!
When we arrived at Uzma's house the Intrepid Junior Bloggers and I were directed into the basement. We descended down the stairs and into a world of colour and glitter and luxurious fabrics. Uzma brings in clothing that has a wonderful Eastern flair, clothing from Pakistan that I have long admired but wondered about for myself.
You see, I am a woman, but I am a woman of decidedly European descent. As a friend once said I "make Casper the ghost look tanned". I have always been a bit hesitant about wearing such Eastern-inspired clothing for fear of offending, or it looking like a costume. I realized, though, that I won't hesitate to wear Italian boots, or Peruvian sweaters. I have a tendency towards clothing (particularly shoes) that is unusual and has a dramatic flair, so I am not a coward when it comes to trying new fashion. So, with the encouragement of Uzma, the Intrepid Junior Bloggers, and the other ladies at the open house I selected two garments to try on.
When I saw myself in the mirror I was stunned. The clothing is so beautifully cut, and the fabrics feel so good on the skin. There is a definite ethnic flair to them that cannot be denied, and yet somehow it felt so right, too. I stepped out of the dressing room to great approval all around. No one said the word "costume". No one said the word "offensive". In fact, what I saw were smiles and nods of approval.
I tried on two outfits, and settled on the second one (helped in opinion by the Junior Bloggers and the other ladies). I now debate where to wear this outfit, paired with a strappy pair of silver sandals and glittery clutch. A party, perhaps, or a special event, as the colours and the bling are so party-appropriate. Any hesitancy I had about wearing these items melted away as I realized that what mattered is how I felt in the clothing, and not about whether someone felt it was "appropriate" or not.
When I paid for the clothing Uzma saw the Junior Bloggers closely studying some of the colourful, glittery bracelets she has for sale. In an act of sheer kindness she told them to each pick out a set and she would give it to them. The girls were delighted as they both have the same weakness for glitter I do, and thus we all left Nisa Collection with new treasures.
I know that Uzma's lovely little shop is popular with Eastern-originating women in Fort Mac, but it deserves to be popular with everyone. From lovely garments to incredibly colourful shoes, from jewelry to clutches, she has it all - and people, these are styles all women can embrace, regardless of culture. I can't wait to wear my new outfit as it is unusual and different and eye-catching - and I know it will receive comments. Those who think it is inappropriate for this ghost-like woman to wear such things can keep their opinions to themselves - but to everyone else I will say "go to Nisa Collection, just try one on - and see what happens!".