Runway for a cause

This fashion showcase by a city-based NGO was organised to celebrate the resilience of cancer survivors

Published: 11th November 2022 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2022 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

An image from the ‘Festival of Hope’ event

Express News Service

Glamorous outfits, a slew of models, celebrity showstoppers, and a discerning FROW—it is acceptable to think that a fashion show only focuses on these. However, Thursday night revealed another side to fashion as the who’s who from Delhi-NCR made it to DLF Golf Links, Gurugram, to witness an iconic runway moment that was brimming with empathy.

The event in question was a sartorial showcase that was organised by the Festival of Hope Foundation—a Delhi-based NGO founded by Shalini Vig that aims to celebrate the spirit and courage of cancer survivors as well as transform the idea of charity—in association with ace couturier Varun Bahl. City-based celebrities along with a few cancer survivors walked the runway—wearing Bahl’s creations—alongside showstopper and Bollywood actor Sanjana Sanghi of Dil Bechara-fame.

Fashion and beyond 
The event, which is now in its 15th season, is aptly titled Festival of Hope as it creates awareness about cancer and allows citizens to be part of a cause that helps raise funds for cancer survivors. Giving us an insight into the idea behind the show, Vig shared, “We are working for people to create awareness through our shows. Festival of Hope involves many designers. We expect that people would take an initiative and be a part of the cause as it is meant to celebrate the life of cancer survivors. We are grateful to all who contribute to the event to make it a success.” 

actor Sanjana Sanghi and couturier Varun Bahl

Prior to this large-scale event, the Foundation also conducted a ‘Ride For Cancer’ on October 16—the event was also to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. Speaking about the same, Vig added, “The ride was also an initiative to honour the cancer survivors. Our theme is to make these fighters realise that their lives would become more beautiful after accomplishing this war.”

For couturier Varun Bahl, who has been associated with the Foundation for a while now, being part of this event is another way to “give back” to the community. He shared, “I have known Shalini for many years now. It is a cause that is very close to my heart. Ever since I started my couture label in 2004, I have always tried to find different ways of giving back, and that has always been the main reason why we continue to do what we do, and what better way to contribute to their cause than with fashion.”

The runway was replete with bold and beautiful men and women, who wore pieces from Varun’s past couture collections and his latest prêt collection titled ‘New Leaf’. Talking about the same, Varun added, “The show is very special to me as I will be showcasing a curated selection of pieces from both my latest prêt collection as well as my couture pieces from my latest couture collection. All these pieces are close to me and have been handpicked for the Leaders of Hope walking the show today. I am glad to have been able to contribute to this wonderful cause and event by doing my part for the show.”

When asked what keeps her determined to move forward, Vig concluded, “We see there are a number of people diagnosed with cancer. The treatment is emotionally, physically and financially draining, and it not only impacts the patient but also the family. The initiative is to lessen the burden on the shoulders of patients and their families. Our initiative will help them combat [the disease] in the best possible way. Festival of Hope instils hope in the future of these patients.”


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