Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ariadne Artiles

Most victims of the violence in January and February were poor Kenyans, living in Nairobi slums -- some just a couple of kilometers from the park -- and impoverished rural areas.

Most people at the show were delighted that a positive image of Kenya was being shown again at last.

"It is great that fashion can be held in the name of peace. Fashion is always a good thing that brings people together and this show has really demonstrated that," said model Lisa Pitkin.

"The fact international designers came here is a good sign, definitely a move forward from where we were two months ago."

Most models wore traditional African dress on the catwalk.

The two-hour show was one of a series of high-profile events -- including a photo-shoot by British businessmen in the Masai Mara game park -- intended to restore Kenya's image after one of the most traumatic episodes in its post-independence history.

Kenyans were horrified after the election when images of machete-wielding mobs and gun-toting policemen were beamed around the world, scaring off tourists and worrying investors.

(Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Catherine Evans)

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