Friday night saw the All Walks Beyond the Catwalks team of Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor and the National Portrait Gallery swamped with fashionistas and art lovers from every corner of the industry; from enthusiastic students, journalists, stylists, make-up artists, models …
With an exclusive revelation of nine intimate shots by fashion photographer Rankin scattered around the historical portraits on the 2nd floor of the National Portrait Gallery, it was a beautiful, unique way to celebrate the diverse beauty message that the All Walks Beyond The Catwalk team are promoting. Nestled in between regal portraits of the likes of Elizabeth I and Nell Gwyn were the models from the original shoot posing in some gorgeous garments by British designers Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon amongst others.
You may recall that we provided the make-up artists for the Rankin shoot at London Fashion Week in September at Somerset House, and our National Make-up Artist Clare Lille created the look of the day for Erin O Connor.
The free admission event included drinks, DJs, an i-D magazine sponsored live casting and plenty more, including my personal highlight – an engaging discussion/debate entitled “Has fashion imagery become the lens by which we evaluate identity?”
With a panel including Erin, Dr Linda Papadopoulos, equalities minister Lynne Featherstone, Lorraine Candy [Editor in Chief of Elle UK] and Kiki Kendrick, the discussion ranged in topic and speaker, from Erin’s musings on not being able to fit in to sample size any more [with her cutting comeback “well, why don’t you make the trousers bigger?” all the more delicious coming from the woman who Karl Lagerfeld described as “one of the best supermodels in the world] to Dr Linda commenting that the social acceptance of imagery is damaging the next generation in to believing that airbrushed perfection is the only desired body type, and the general questioning of digital manipulation, which was particularly interesting for me, considering I work in the business of creating beautiful images.
So, does the fashion and beauty industry sell beautiful [and perhaps unrealistic] images of fantasy to engage with those seeking escapism and beauty, or is it a damaging tool that makes woman feel inadequate? Should there be a governing body on images produced by the industry as a whole, or should there be [as Kiki Kendrick, the advertising Guru who created the Ruby campaign for The Body Shop; the size 16 barbie doll who came equipped with slogans such as “There are a billion women in the world who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do” suggests] a Golden Star type system where images that aren’t digitally enhanced can be awarded …
All in all, a very interesting debate that got myself and my friend who also attended [and who also happens to work in the fashion industry] were discussing all the way home!
Thanks to Modus PR/ RANKIN for the images