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.