Take off your silver cape and pack away your furry shoes – London Fashion Week is winding down for another six months.
And in among all the usual designer labels, outrageous street style and soon-to-be-seen-on-Snapchat beauty trends (please can we make hair scarves happen?) that emerged, there was a very different kind of statement.
A group of awesome campaigners picketed LFW events in central London to protest against the lack of diversity in catwalk fashion. Using the hashtags #NoSizeFitsAll and #FashionForEveryBody, the protesters included plus size models, disabled models and campaigners from the Women’s Equality Party and fashion site Simply Be, all keen to make the fashion industry wake up and pay attention to women of all shapes, sizes, colours and varieties.
Among the fiercely-dressed squad holding up Simply Be’s #FashionForEveryBody signs were blogger Gabi Gregg, plus size model Iskra Lawence and Kelly Knox, one of the UK’s leading disabled models.
“I found when I became a model I was pigeon-holed to become a plus-sized model, and could only work for brands that weren’t cool or young,” said size 16 Jada Sezer, another megababe protestor. “The idea of plus-sized model was outdated – and representation for the average woman is non-existent.”
— Pip Matthews (@OrangePip86) September 16, 2016
Meanwhile the #NoSizeFitsAll campaign, founded by feminist political party the WEP, is asking people to share photos of their clothes labels on social media to shake off the stigma of larger sizes and highlight how ridiculously sizes can vary from one shop to another.
It’s also calling for fashion magazines to include at least one plus size spread in each issue, and for the British Fashion Council to insist that all designers at London Fashion Week 2017 use models of at least two different sample sizes – one of which has to be a UK size 12 and above. Which, when we remember that the average woman in the UK is a size 16, doesn’t seem that unreasonable now does it?
— Sandi Toksvig (@sanditoksvig) September 16, 2016
And protesting LFW isn’t the only cool thing being done by the Women’s Equality Party to help girls and women feel good in their own skin. They’re also calling for PSHE lessons at school to include discussions on body image, “with a very specific focus on media depictions of beauty” – to remind us all that the photos we see in mags and ads are often about as real as having magical centaurs modelling clothes.
Which would be cooler than another parade of exclusively thin, white, able-bodied models, let’s be honest.
Image: Facebook / Simply Be USA