Monday, 18 June 2012

Diversity Now!

"Fashion is a powerful communicator to people about their identity...we believe that this power can be used for good, to promote individuality and self-esteem through creativity and diversity."
- All Walks Beyond The Catwalk

Raising awareness on all types of people has always been important for All Walks Beyond The Catwalk. The initiative constantly highlights the need to include everyone in fashion. 

All Walks is now looking for students to help join the cause. Launched at this year's Graduate Fashion Week, Diversity Now! is a competition designed to discover those who will carry on fighting for diversity in fashion. The idea is to showcase fashion on every type of individual in the fields of the following: womenswear, menswear, fashion films, zines, photography, journalism, illustration. The winner will receive an chance to have their work featured on i-D online, not to mention potentially featuring in an All Walks campaign.

The image above is just one of the many great examples of work from students showing diversity. The photograph is by UCA Epsom's very own Maggie Ibiam - a 3rd year student. "For my FMP I did a photoshoot which was meant to represent contemporary London fashion and how various elements from different cultures have become linked and merged as one. It was also a great way to showcase my abilities and my perspective of fashion," says Ibiam.

"Without diversity I personally think fashion would suffer."

For details on the competition, click here

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Blogger Shows That (Advanced) Style Knows No Age

A fashion blog solely dedicated to older women's style has been turned into a book.

Advanced Style - which is available to buy now - is a collection of street-style photographs and interviews of classy, chic and inspiring senior citizens spotted out and about in New York. The book is the brainchild of Ari Seth Cohen, who launched his blog of the same name in 2009, shortly after he first arrived in the city.

Devoted 'to capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set', 30-year-old Cohen was initially inspired by his own grandmother's personal style. He tells Stylecaster: 'I was best friends with my grandmother growing up, and was always inspired by her energy and wisdom. I wanted to show that creativity, style, and vitality advance with age, and hopefully help change people’s ideas about getting older.'

Speaking to the New York Times' T magazine, Mr Cohen says: 'My eyes have always been drawn to older people. From a style point of view, I find them more interesting because they are of an age where they don’t have to impress anyone and can wear what they want.'

Earning such high-profile fans as Marc Jacobs and Dita Von Teese, who has also contributed to the book, Cohen has also included 'never-before-seen photography' of subjects from around the world (including the tome's cover star, who is from our very own London!)

Cohen will be signing copies of the book in the Mary Shop on Thursday 7th June 2012, at 2pm in House of Fraser, Oxford Street and on Saturday 9th June, at 2pm in House of Fraser, Westfield London

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Beth Ditto to Create "The Ikea" of Plus-Size Clothing?

Not content on just collaborating with Evans, Beth Ditto now wants to create her own plus-size clothing line. Ditto's venture with the high street store encapsulated her eccentric style; the collection consisted of bright prints, 80s shapes and a whole lot of sequins. However, with her own designs, she hopes to make a fair trade range of basic, affordable pieces.

Speaking about the partnership, Ditto says that as the line was produced in India, she didn't have as much creative control as she had hoped. "I really want to do my own line that’s ethically made, and I can do whatever the f*** I want." 

Known for calling herself a "fat activist", the Standing In The Way Of Control singer has high hopes for what appears to be only an idea at the moment. "I want to make the IKEA of clothes for fat girls and boys." 

With an ambitious plan like that, do you think Ditto is on the right track? Would you buy into a plus-size collection of basics? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Andrej Pejic models wedding collection at bridal fashion week

Andrej Pejic has broke barriers worldwide as he opened Rosa Clara's bridal show in Barcelona recently. Though Andrej Pejic is not the first androgynous face we've seen in past years, he certainly is the most sought after. Pejic is considered as a male and female model. In seasons gone by the 20-year-old has modelled for designers such as Marc Jacobs and most famously Jean Paul Gaultier, modelling his couture collection. Although Pejic has undergone a certain amount of stigma for his cross gender modelling career and sexuality, nothing has stopped him yet.

Pejic was born in Yugoslavia in 1991 to a Bosnian mother and father, and was was scouted at the age of 17 whilst working at McDonalds. Though Pejic also models male clothing, he claims he keeps his waist to a woman's size for modelling womenswear. Pejic has also been placed in the top 50 male models on model platform

Voted one of the most compelling people of 2011 by gay and lesbian publication 'Out', there's no doubt we'll be seeing more of him in 2012.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Vogue Vows To Use Healthier Models


In a bid to promote a better body image, all 19 international editors of Vogue magazine have promised to work with only 'healthy' models. It is reported that the British, US, French and Japan editions will be the first to welcome the changes in their next issues. 

Theses changes include forming a "health initiative" which is a six-part pact, stating to...

1. "not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder"

2. check IDs for models when casting for shows, shoots and campaigns

3. create mentoring programmes between older and younger models

4. include healthy food options backstage at shows and encourage casting agents not to keep models working unreasonable hours

5. make sample sizes larger

6. "be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image"

However is this enough? Some critics argue that the editors should take on the issue of airbrushing, as this can also contribute to unrealistic ideals of beauty.

Do you think this is a step in the right direction, or just empty promises from Vogue? Let us know in the 'comments' section below.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

SLiNK Magazine - "Styling Your Curves And Fashioning Your Life"

Yet another niche has been formed in the market for the curvier girl. SLiNK the magazine solely dediated to what industry calls the plus size woman, has now been published. Rivkie Baum the lady responsible for the publication, aims to promote deiversity in fashion, in ethic as well as on their front cover.

SLiNK features the top news in fashion diversity as it happens, from Crystal Renn to most recently TOWIE star Gemma Collins. Editor Rivkie Baum says, "I loved the Evans teenage range, which I wish they would bring back, but mostly it was so hard, so frustrating,’ she says. ‘I would scour Camden Market looking for clothes that were big enough".

The publication has banned models below a UK size 10. Baum says that SLiNK is aspirational and not a "warts and all" publication. "Of course a curvaceous woman should not be excluded from the mainstream glossies for advice on how to find a perfect size 22 leather jacket" says Baum.

In an industry there there is such thing as 'thinspiration', one can only wonder where to find balance. SLiNK is accessible and inspirational, plus with an online as well as print magazine, it's never more than a click away.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Meet Daphne Selfe, The World's Oldest Supermodel

This is Daphne Selfe. She has worked with a roster of names, including Dolce & Gabbana, Mario Testino and Rankin, and has been in ads for Nivea and Olay, in addition to starring in a Will Young video. And at age 83, Selfe is considered to be the world's oldest supermodel.

On the shot of her recreating the most iconic Madonna moment of conical bra and corset (made by Jean Paul Gaultier for the singer’s Blonde Ambition tour in 1990), Selfe describes it as ‘terribly unforgiving. I thought they might have done a bit of airbrushing!’ she says, jokingly. 'But, hey, what the hell, it was all for a good cause.’

The cause is Oxfam’s Big Bra Hunt. Apparently, the average woman in the UK owns nine bras, three of which she never wears. Oxfam hopes the photograph of Selfe, taken by legendary fashion photographer Perou (everyone on the shoot worked for no fee) will encourage women to donate bras, along with their clothes as women in developing countries also require undergarments.
Oxfam is sending its first batches of bras to Senegal, West Africa, where, traditionally, women ‘just flop around’, according to Sarah Farquhar, head of Oxfam Trading. ‘A good bra makes them feel more elegant.’

‘I’ve never had anything done to my face,’ Selfe confesses, pulling it this way and that. ‘Not that poison, not a facelift. I think it’s a waste of money. Anyway, I couldn’t afford it!’

Surely this sensational shot will see more models 'above a certain age' appearing on the front covers of mainstream magazines? Selfe says: ‘I met Nicholas Coleridge not long ago (Coleridge is the publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Tatler and Easy Living). I asked him, “Will I ever get on the cover of Vogue?” And he said: “Darling, you just won’t sell.” ’

If this is the case, it's an incredible shame. Here we have a woman in her (early) eighties, looking just as supreme and sexy as the younger woman whose pose she was recreating. We think Selfe looks stellar; no wonder there was no need for airbrushing! There may be lines on her face and brown speckles on her arms, yet tall she stands because she has earned her stripes, as well as the title of 'world's oldest supermodel'.

And don't all supermodels get to appear on Vogue? Tell us what you think in the 'comments' below.

Read the full interview with Daphne Selfe here.
For details of Oxfam’s Big Bra Hunt, visit You can also take your bras to Sainsbury’s clothes banks.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Italian Vogue's Franca Sozzani's Speech On Eating Disorders

Recently at Harvard, Italian Vogue's Franca Sozzani delivered a speech surrounding the topic of thinness and the link it possesses with the fashion industry. During the speech, Sozzani recognised the change in the sizes of models: "Why the age of supermodels, who were beautiful and womanly, slowly started decreasing and we now have still undeveloped adolescents with no sign of curves?"

However, she highlights how fashion isn't the only thing playing a part in eating disorders as she points out that "negative family and social influences, the feeling of being subjected to too much pressure or too high expectations or, conversely, to parental neglect, being ridiculed over one’s body shape or feeling unable to reach one’s goals" can also have an affect on people's eating habits.

Whilst there is no denying that fashion plays a part in affecting people's ideals on beauty and the 'perfect' body, is it fair to deem it is as the sole reason?

You can read the full speech here on the website.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Philomena Kwao to be Britain's first black 'plus-size' supermodel?

Former Miss Ghana title holder Philomena Kwao has become the newest addition to the Models 1 family. The size 16 student from Kent is currently renowned for winning high street label Evans' modelling competition. 

The competition, run in conjunction with, resulted in Kwao being signed up to Excel-Models 1, the newest division of the agency created for the curvier model.

Kwao says: 'Healthier body attitudes and a backlash against REALLY skinny models have led to a fair few designers rethinking the models they send down catwalks, and magazines to appraise their approach in their fashion pages.'

Kwao will appear in May's issue of Cosmopolitan in a beach-inspired shoot for the publication. She endeavours to become Britain's first black supermodel and empower other females.

She has completed a BA in economics and is currently studying for her MSc in International Health Management at the Imperial College, London, proving that brains and beauty is not an oxymoron. We look forward to following her rise to the top.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

'Fat' Fashion - Bloggers Embrace Their 'Plus Size'

There is a new wave of style bloggers making an effort to prove that fat can also be fashionable. 'Fatshonista', 'fatosphere' and 'fatastic' are just a few of the words used to describe the increasingly popular online movement that celebrates fashion for the larger woman. Or 'fatshion', as they prefer to call it.

Helping to take the negative connotations out of the word 'fat' are women like Lesley Kinzel, a 35-year-old author who wears a US size 26 (UK size 30). Her blog, Two Whole Cakes, is soon to be turned into a book, and aims to empower plus-size women.
Lesley Kinzel

Ms Kinzel shares her style advice advice on the site, along with authors of similar blogs titled Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes TooCurves to Kill and Thicker Than your Average Girl, which all impart the same mantra: We're fat AND we're fabulous, and you should be too! 

Style secrets is not all these women want to share. With no desires to change their size, and with 60% of American women wearing size 14 (UK size 18) or higher, they want the public, and their plus-sized peers, to redefine the word 'fat', and most importantly, accept it. Ms Kinzel explained to CNN: "Learning to use the word 'fat' as a basic descriptor, stripping it of its negative baggage, was a huge part of my self-acceptance process. But I love the word 'fat' precisely because my candid and positive use of it often shocks means everyone who hears the word 'fat' from me is having to take a moment to think about what I mean by it, and to resist the knee-jerk assumption that I must mean something bad."

Ms Kinzel also believes that 'fat' women are not represented as beautiful and desirable in mainstream media.Describing her adolescent years, she says: "I didn't have many famous examples of positive fat-lady representation. I mean, there was Roseanne. I loved Roseanne, but not because she was beautiful - I loved her because she was smart and tough and didn't take crap from anyone." Kinzel continued: "If we wait for television and magazines to do this for us, we're going to be waiting a very long time. So we do it ourselves."

Jessica Kane, creator of Life and Style of Jessica and owner of Skorch Plus Size Style Magazine, agrees with Kinzel's sentiment. "Some girls might see themselves as curvy, while others see themselves as plus-sized. I do embrace the word 'fat' because I am. It's not mean or spiteful, but a fact," she says.

With her blog, Ms Kane took control of this message in a way that mainstream magazines are often afraid to, for fear of offending. "The majority of women need to be represented, and blogs like mine that thrive with hundreds of thousands of views a month show that there are women who want to see more. We need the thin girls next to the big girls as well as the brown girls next to the white girls. Diversity is key," Ms Kane says. We couldn't agree more! 

With blogging now often being described as "overrated", it's 'fatastic' to see it being injected with a new life, and one with such a positive message. However, writers such as Kinzel and Kane are not saying that being skinny or slim is 'wrong', they just want to get across that it's not the only 'right'. Neither beauty nor style comes in a certain size or shape and the time is more than ripe for this to be accepted in popular culture.

Are you feeling this latest fatshion trend? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Made In Mexico: Creating A Bespoke Solution To Sizing Issues

The perplexity of differences in American and European clothing sizes has become an issue for customers in Mexico, with an increasing number being unable to find anything that fits their figures. It is reported that retailers in the country lose an annual total of $4 billion due to returned items. 

A survey reported on by Women's Wear Daily , was conducted in over 14 cities and several regions of the country in order to calculate averages in height and weight. Results have shown for example that the average Mexican female is aged 18-25 is 5ft2 and weighs 138lbs.

As a result, manufacturers will be able to see the types of bodies that they should be catering to, thus creating garments that would ensure a better fit. In fact, the survey is expected to do so well that an estimated $400 million will be saved by 2017, from a decrease in returns.

Do you think this is a good idea and should other countries follow suit?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Too Young to Model?

Expect to see this girl on the next cover of a women's fashion magazine if modelling agencies get their way. Eleven year old Anais Gallagher, dubbed the new Kate Moss, has already been signed to Select Model Management and recently been shot by none other than Mario Testino. Her mother Meg Matthews tweeted his shots of her twice.  Select Model Management, the agency that answers for models such as Agyness Deyn and Daphne Groeneveld has snapped Gallagher up, and await her legal catwalk debut.

The now dubbed 'mini-model' was shot for a Paul Smith Junior campaign only last year, and is now being looked upon to model womenswear. There are murmurs of the 11 year old's 'over-sexualisation', and there are fears it may stir up the old 'toddlers in tiaras' debate.

Fashion is on a constant quest for youth, and indeed women should model for women. The 'mini-model' trend is expanding rapidly with 12 year old Kaia Gerber, the late Gianni Versace's muse, becoming one of the ones to watch. Mother and model Cindy Crawford has kept a watchful eye on her daughter, and has decided to put her career on hold for seven years, putting distance between her child Versace campaign and the catwalk to come.

Fashion's obsession with youth is as old as time, however the price it may cost those portraying it is a whole different story. What are your thoughts on the 'mini-model' trend?

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Keeping It Real: The New Evans Campaign

High-street store Evans has launched a new shape campaign with the help of four 'real' models. The clothing chain, which stocks from sizes 14 to 32, spent three months hunting down the UK's answer to Crystal Renn, who was the first 'plus-sized' model to appear on the cover of Vogue last year.

The four lucky ladies are university students Kate Eccles, Katy Syme, Jessica Anderson and Amaryliss Hibon, who have taken a break from their academic studies to help promote the new range that will be available from April onwards.

Explaining the label's ethos, brand director for Evans Fiona Ross said: "Every one of us has a unique figure and we will help curvy women to identify, shop and dress for fabulous shape and unbeatable confidence."

It's great to see a high-street store pioneering this concept; style doesn't come in a size, so why do so many stores fail to provide for a fuller figure? When the national average for the UK is a size 14, it's almost absurd.

Each of Evans' models, with their striking features, are a testimony to the age-old adage that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Evans' Spring 2012 collection will be available from April

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Israel Bans 'Underweight' Models

Israel has brought in a new law banning the use of underweight models, in both advertising and on the catwalk. The legal ruling requires models to provide proof of their weight and for advertisements to carry disclaimers if they have used Photoshop to alter a model's figure.

The legislation has resulted from suggestions that the constant exposure to images of thin models is responsible for rising rates of eating disorders among young teenage girls.

Under the new law, models are obligated to have a BMI of 18.5 or above, although some critics say that the law should have focused on health, as opposed to weight, as some are naturally thin.

Click here to find out more.

Do you agree with the new rule?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Campaign for Body Confidence Awards 2012

Designed to recognise those promoting body confidence and awarding those who celebrate it, the Body Confidence Awards in association with bareMinerals is an important milestone in forwarding the message of diversity to all industries. The ceremony is less than a month away, but there's only 5 days left to send your nominations. 

The categories in which you can vote for are...

  • retail
  • fashion
  • advertising
  • campaigning
  • beauty
  • broadcast
  • education
  • the Central YMCA Award for health, sport and fitness
  • the Mumsnet Award for promoting body confidence in children
  • the Celebrity Ambassador Award

Take a look at the official website here for more details.

Who will YOU vote for?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

An Inconvenient Truth

"The first secret of a successful modelling career is to start modelling at 5 to 10 years old." 

A new documentary surrounding the issue of underage models in the fashion industry is set for release in the UK this Spring.

Created by David Redmon and  Ashley Sabin, with the help of former US model Ashley Arbaugh, Girl Model exposes the truth about modelling. It looks at the demand for new, young models - often scouted from East-European countries and usually for clients based in China and Japan.

The documentary sees 13-year-old Nadya Vall leave her native Siberia to start work as a model, yet she's soon overwhelmed by the ugly side of the business.

In an industry that lies about age, favours pre-pubescent girls and doesn't care for those plucked out of obscurity, Girl Model proves that something needs to change...and fast.

Watch the official trailer for the film below

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Protest In Progress: Part Two

In the quest for diversity on fashion, we asked three further groups of fashion students from the Edinburgh College of Art about the protest mannequins they had created...

Mannequin four (from left) - "It's What's Inside That Counts"
Lisa Berry and Catrina Murphy enveloped their mannequin in layers of text, using words such as voluptuous and curvy to promote a healthier body image. The words "It's What's Inside That Counts" fell from inside the mannequin to emphasise their key message. They stated: "We are trying to open people's eyes, push new ideas and make a change" and referred to designers such as Mark Fast as a great encouragement.

Mannequin five - "Plastic"
Loren Jean and Salwa McGill created their mannequin by manipulating plastic into a 50s female form. Interested in the combination of industrial and commercial materials, they used thick bolts and screws to weld the mannequin together. Their overall message was the importance of "inside as well as out", challenging the Edinburgh public to see beyond the surface.

Mannequin six - "Break the Barrier"
Heather Dooley and Fern Fisher stenciled the bold statement "Break the Barrier" onto their white mannequin, to encourage a wider range of model size and ethnicity. They then placed images of models with various origins around their slogan. They stated that the campaign was "not about stopping 'the skinny' but embracing the new body", challenging narrow perceptions of beauty.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Did Freida have to get her kit off to get on the cover?

Esquire UK April 2012

Whilst we're pleased to see an Indian woman on the cover of Esquire's April 2012 issue, we're wondering if Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto had to strip off to stand out? The 27-year-old actress and regular cover star showed a rarely seen sultry side for this month's newsstand.

This month's issue notwithstanding, diversity is a word that doesn't seem to appear in Esquire's lexicon. Afro-Caribbean and Asian models rarely grace their front covers. And as readers of both men's and women's magazines come in array of shapes, sizes and ethnicities, isn't it about time we saw the diversity of the human race represented? Beauty should be more inclusive. And fully-clothed.

United We Stand

Scotland, known for its comfort food of haggis, neeps and tatties, is a place highly unlikely to swap stodge for salad. So while the Diversity in Fashion team were up in Edinburgh, we asked a few people out on the street what they thought about size zero models, their eating habits and their effect on today’s youth.

One woman commented that “the size of the models on the catwalk these days is sending out the wrong message... it’s emulating the wrong thing" and she was not alone in her views. Walking past the cookie-cutter mannequins in the Edinburgh Harvey Nichols shop window certainly was a resounding reminder of the ‘same old, same old’ mentality in the industry.

Luckily, the feelings of the people we spoke to were positive towards the Diversity in Fashion project and the All Walks campaign. Promoting such a poignant message proved not only to be an amazing opportunity, but also the chance to see that we are not alone in the fight for change.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

All the Rage

The All Walks protest march around the city of Edinburgh on Wednesday proved to be more than a success. Not only did the teams from Edinburgh College of Art and the University for the Creative Arts raise awareness and receive positive responses from the public, who were actively engaged in supporting the cause of diversity in fashion, but we even got a slot in the Edinburgh Evening News!

With copious amounts of enthusiasm and energy, we proved that there is a strong demand for change. There is no doubt that we, as the next generation, can make a positive difference for the fashion industry. The Diversity in Fashion team is very excited to continue our collaboration with the Edinburgh College of Art students, and carry on the campaign. The protests in Edinburgh were only the beginning of what is sure to be an enduring and influential project. Next stop, London Fashion Week!

Get involved by following the Diversity in Fashion team on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Protest In Progress: Part One

Day two of our All Walks collaboration and we're taking the mannequins out onto the streets of Edinburgh to challenge the public's views and opinions of beauty. Here are the first three of the bunch...

Mannequin one (from left) - "Alice"
Holly Glover, Melissa Villevielle, Sarah Kilkenny and Bella McLeod have used a collage of diverse images to showcase forms of beauty rarely seen in commercial, westernised magazines. Melissa said, "It's such a dynamic and colourful world out there. There's so much more than the bland models you mostly get."

Mannequin two - "Reflector"
Instead of forcing their message onto the public, Colleen Leitch, Lilly Archebald and Emma Lawrie decided it was better to hear how people perceive themselves. Recreating the effect of looking in the mirror by using reflective material, they are trying to encourage a positive rather than a negative response. "We don't just want to tell people [our message], we want people to tell us," said Lilly.

Mannequin three - "Marilyn"
Andrew Dhesi, Nina Cutler and Kate Cockburn contrasted pre-Raphaelite nudes with the skinny models of today to show that throughout history, the beauty ideal has changed many times. "Beauty is malleable, not concrete." They raise the question, if curves were beautiful back then, why in a more liberal world are they not beautiful now?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Can't we go back to the 50s?

After talking to the students here at Edinburgh College of Art, it is clear that the young designers are looking for change in the fashion industry. The overall consensus is that the industry's idea of a 'normal' body type is damaging the self-esteem of young women and that students want to design clothes for healthy bodies. As one young designer pointed out, "It's frustrating that at London Fashion Week a size 8/10 is a plus-size."

The students are aiming to promote confidence by creating designs that honour the natural healthy body, regardless of size or shape.  The second-year project has been inspired by a genuine 50's mannequin, a Marilyn Monroe-shape, more typical of that era. Diversity in model shape has become stagnant since the arrival of the waif-look in the 90's, when beauties such as Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford dominated the fashion pages. There is a certain nostalgic element to the project; real, healthy women today are not considered high-fashion. The shocking treatment of Gemma Ward back in 2007 after her small weight gain, stylists walking out on Mark Fast's plus-size models in his S/S 2012 show, Karl Lagerfeld (enough said!)...

The weight debate is a delicate one. However, after meeting the Edinburgh students today, the future looks bright. If tomorrow's fashion designers are striving for change, perhaps the reign of size 0 is finally coming to an end.                                                                                 

A Form Of Protest

UCA's All Walks team interviewed Fashion Design students at Edinburgh College of Art taking part in the All Walks Centre Of Diversity Protest 2012 about their mannequin designs, which are being taken out on the streets of Edinburgh tomorrow to confront pedestrians with the growing need for diversity within the fashion industry, whether it's a matter of size, ethnicity, age or height.

"How can the death of models not be enough? These are unhealthy distorted thoughts of what the body should be and it's a vicious circle within the industry. But at the same time, we shouldn't push a certain size on models." -Holly and Loren

" Our design is about a reflection on the positive.Through the project we have realised, in regards to the extreme thinness of models today and just one standard clothing size, that it doesn't have to be like that. The industry should aim for it to just be about being healthy and what's best for you." -Colleen & Lilly, whose mannequin design is covered in reflective, mirror-like material.

"It is not about stopping 'the skinny', but embracing the new body.' - Heather

With such varied views on the subject diversity in fashion, we are looking forward to what tomorrow's protests in Edinburgh will bring, watch this space for further updates...

We've arrived!

The team

After five hours of rolling countryside and herds of sheep, we've finally reached Edinburgh!

This morning (after several cups of tea), we set off to meet the fashion students at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), as part of the All Walks Beyond the Catwalk project. Greeted by head of fashion, Mal Burkinshaw, we had the grand tour before hearing what some of the students had to say about the project.

ECA students presenting their ideas

Once we were briefed, we were shown some of the students' design work and spoke to a few first and second year students about their inspiration and how important the All Walks project was to them...

Some of the toilles made by first year students  

The students are passionate about spreading the message of diversity in fashion and this translates to their design process. Second year student Lisa Berry focused her work around the ideal that "using words is the best way to get a message across." Words such as, "voluptuous" and "refined" helped to describe the female form. With regards to All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, Lisa said, "if enough people group together, maybe it could happen."

Another second year student, Sarah Innes found her 57-year-old muse in the local Boots. "I was interested in an older lady, as it's not something that you always see." Sarah's muse (with her candyfloss locks) encapsulated the words "unique" and "graceful", proving that style knows no age.  

Talking to all of these students, it was encouraging to see that the designers of tomorrow want to make a change today!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

All Walks Beyond The Catwalk

The time has finally come and we're all getting ready to head to Scotland tomorrow. It's here where we get to work with All Walks Beyond The Catwalk - founded by Caryn Franklin, Erin O'Connor and Debra Bourne.

The initiative aims to work with "influential catwalk designers and top industry creatives to celebrate more diversity within the fashion industry." This means broadening the boundaries in age, weight and race for models. All Walks realises that fashion can be a very powerful tool of communication and so intends to rectify the misleading ideals that it often perceives.

We'll be blogging and tweeting throughout the course of the trip so be sure to keep checking the blog and our Twitter (@diversityuca).

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lagerfeld calls ADELE a "little too fat"

You're nominated for six awards at one of the most (if not the most) prestigious music award ceremonies in the world.
You leave said award show the recipient of all six awards.
Your record was the worldwide best-selling album of 2011.

But Karl Lagerfeld thinks you're "a little too fat".
What's a girl to do?

The comment made by Chanel's head designer and creative director came to light last week as he was guest editor for the Metro newspaper in Paris. As the public backlash and a threatened boycott of all Chanel products gathers pace, Lagerfeld is now claiming that his comments were "taken out of context", adding, "She [ADELE] is my favourite singer and I am a great admirer of her."

While close friend and comedian Alan Carr has had some choice words in retaliation to Lagerfeld's "out of context" comments, the songstress herself has refused to comment. 

Maybe she's simply too busy being a cover star for American Vogue and hanging out with six, shiny new friends...

Do you think Lagerfeld was right to comment on ADELE?

Friday, 10 February 2012

What do you think?

Diversity in fashion represents everything new and interesting in the industry. Nowadays, we are subjected to the 'cookie-cutter' ideals of what society deems as conventional. This means that models have become the same height, weight and look, causing us to forget what real people and real women ought to look like. Think the shapely silhouettes of the past - Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and Josephine Baker.

We're a group of fashion journalism students from UCA Epsom that have been set with a challenge to talk to you about diversity in fashion. It has become apparent that we have been trapped within certain standards of beauty. We want to know what you think about these issues, so get in touch via the blog, or follow us on our Twitter page.