When MTV host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani walks the red carpet at the MuchMusic Video Awards this Sunday night in a one-of a-kind sparkly purple number, she’ll be making dreams come true – those of the 14-year-old dressmaker who’s long aspired to be a designer to the stars.
In just seven days, Hiba Allam, the designer and grade eight-student diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last July, brought to life one of the the many sketches she made during long and sometimes lonely hospital visits, along with the help of Ottawa-based designer Richard Robinson, to create Sovani’s red carpet look.
“I just fell in love with her story,” says Sovani, also a Children’s Wish Foundation volunteer, who booked a ticket to Ottawa, where Allam lives, the day after receiving a call from a friend at the foundation asking if Allam could make her red carpet gown for the awards show, just over a week away. “I thought there was no way to make one of her dresses in time!”
But she flew out anyway and whittled down her three favourite options from a book filled with Allam’s sketches. Allam got straight to business, taking the host’s measurements and deciding on the material and colour of the final piece, which Allam decided against making floor-length, as it would be “too dressy” for the outdoor awards show, Sovani recalls with a laugh.
Allam, who is currently in palliative care, will be attending sound check the day of the awards, along with her two sisters. But Sovani wants to make clear that while the Children’s Wish Foundation granted Allam the opportunity to realize her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer, the dress makes its red carpet debut out of its own artistic and professional merit. “It’s a testament to her skill set,” says Sovani. “The drawings were unbelievable.”
And Sovani couldn’t be happier about the original dress she’ll be sporting come Sunday night. “It’s amazing to see her dreams come true, all wrapped up in a purple dress.”
The 2012 MMVAs begin with the MMVAs RED CARPET SPECIAL on Sunday, June 17 at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the live show at 9 p.m. ET on MuchMusic and Fuse.
Follow us on Twitter (@ElleCanada) for our live, backstage coverage of the awards and check back here Monday morning for our full recap!
- Behind the scenes of the MMVAS: Fashion blogger Jay Strut on Amanda Lew Kee’s custom creation for Shenae Grimes
- Backstage at the MMVAs: Our behind-the-scenes diary
- Win a pair of tickets to the Universal Music Canada After-Party in Toronto this Sunday!
- ELLE Canada’s post-Oscar Hangout Monday February 25 at 10 a.m. ET