Recently, the team from the International Women’s Conference hosted a Facebook Live event: “Circle of Life: Passion, Fashion, and Dispassion.” This event featured a Q&A with celebrity fashion designer Ami Patel, who recently styled Priyanka Chopra for her 2018 wedding to pop star Nick Jonas. Every woman benefits from the immersive inspiration available at the conference, but when they can’t connect in real life, these online events allow them a way to share the love.

She shared details about her charitable endeavors, as well as how to overcome adversity, and her experience inspires others to reach for their dreams no matter what obstacles stand stand in the way.

What is the International Women's Conference?

The International Women's Conference (IWC) takes place once every two years for the last 15 years in Bangalore, India at the Art of Living Center in Bengaluru. The conference brings together female leaders from across various spheres of society, from politics and business to academia and the arts, including the fashion world.

The conference embraces a fourfold mission.

  • Sharing. Learning from each other's experiences and triumphs. 
  • Promoting peace. Exploring ways to amplify the message of peace,inclusion and foster a spirit of service towards society.
  • Highlight women's contributions. Celebrating the accomplishments of female leaders. 
  • Spiritual development. Sharing tools to increase well-being and inner peace.

This years' conference, to be held on February 14-16th 2020, celebrates the theme of “The cycle of life: Passion, Compassion, and Dispassion”.  Passion is like infancy: within it lies the seed for creativity and innovation. Compassion correlates to adulthood when individuals share their gifts in the spirit of service to their community. Dispassion embraces letting go, and freeing yourself from expectations and fear, so you can spread your wings and fly.

Fashion Show for a Cause

Ami Patel's passion is showcased through her beautiful fashion creations. She embraces the principles of compassion by coming together with other industry leaders to perform at events like Fashion Show for a Cause.

Fashion Show for a Cause brought industry leaders together to build awareness of and funding for projects to help the economically disadvantaged around the globe. Nearly half the people on earth live on less than $2.50 per day, and through participating in shows such as this one, Patel helps provide money for food crops, medicine, and educational resources to impoverished regions.

Overcoming adversity

Patel has mastered the art of dispassion. In her interview, she describes a trying time while on a photoshoot in New York. Multiple problems seemed to plague the shoot from the beginning. 

The first problem? A graffiti-scrawled wall interrupted the background of a crucial shot. Patel wanted the models to move, but the photographer wasn’t so keen on the idea: he expressed unwillingness to move locations due to inclement weather. He feared the rain would damage his camera. 

Patel can think on her feet. She offered an umbrella to the model so the rain wouldn't destroy her signature look. Patel kept her umbrella trained over the delicate camera, sacrificing her comfort for a more beautiful shot.

The result was pure artistry. The raindrops on the camera lens added an ethereal air to the shoot. The background featured the famous New York City skyline. 

Patel's ultimate fashion tips

Having a signature style can do so much for your confidence, which can, in turn, help you change the world. Here’s Patel’s advice: 

If you're a woman of Indian ethnicity, Patel suggests wearing red or peach-toned saris to complement the natural yellow undertones of your skin. To see this principle in action, you need to look no further than the gorgeous wedding ensemble Patel put together for Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. 

Patel also suggests all women invest in a basic shift dress. Dress it up for work by adding a suit jacket and transition seamlessly to evening wear simply by changing your accessories. She also recommends a quality pair of shoes suitable for both the office and after hours. 

When it comes to saving the planet, Patel keeps things real. She recently launched a #itscooltorepeat movement to inform celebrities and their admirers alike that wearing an outfit twice is perfectly okay. This cuts down on wasted resources. 

Patel likewise shows her genuine and generous spirit in her advice to women clinging to items that no longer fit in the hopes they'll lose weight and look great in them again someday. She practices mindfulness and meditation herself and advises women to donate such items to help the less fortunate. This creates ample space for new clothes while supporting a worthy cause, which Patel finds superior to letting unworn fashion molder in a drawer. 

Celebrating women’s achievements

Leaders like Patel bring life and vitality to the International Women's Conference. IWC’s unique two-tier model - individual development and collective action - facilitates partnership-building and leadership development among women leaders globally. Meet many changemakers and women of substance like Patel at IWC. 

Ami Patel is a Celebrity Stylist, former Fashion Director L’Officiel India and Creative Director, Harpers Bazaar India, Ami’s extensive experience in all aspects of fashion styling, including editorial, print, TV and celebrity styling. Her vast portfolio includes magazine covers and fashion stories of India’s best known celebrities. 

This article was first published on , 20 September 2019. Written by Kate Harveston