23 September 2009

All Walks Beyond The Catwalk

I was honoured last week to receive a call from Erin O Connor [yes, I did nearly faint at my desk! She is one of my all-time fave models!] to ask for our help in the All Walks Beyond The Catwalk shoot that was taking place on Friday 18th September.

The initiative, co founded by Erin and supported by the likes of influential fashion and culture figures as Rankin, Alexandra Schulman, Sarah Brown, Nick Knight, Giles Deacon, Twiggy, Sir Stuart Rose, Georgia Jagger, Tricia James, Deborah Milner and many more, All Walks Beyond the Catwalk aims to expand upon the range of professional models used in fashion imagery, by by celebrating individuality and diversity.

Nick Knight, legendary photographer and founder of SHOWstudio says, "It's very important that we question the parameters that define beauty. I'm thrilled to support the All Walks initiative."

Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue agrees: "The most important thing is to have a confidence in what you are and not to feel that you have to be like someone else; thinner, younger, blonder. Originality is the greatest treasure."

Our philosophy at Illamasqua could not be more in tune with the points that both Nick and Alexandra raise; to celebrate ones individuality and not be fully directed by the latest trends, fads and pressures to conform to a certain ideal. Our underlying commitment to encouraging our customers to discover their inner selves, their alter egos and what makes them unique through a kaliedoscope of colourful make-up is our contribution to this. Rankin, photographer, says, "I wholly admire and support the endeavours of the All Walks Beyond the Catwalk campaign. As a photographer, I am constantly confronted by perceived ideals of beauty. Interest and creativity is not about perfection but quite the opposite; beauty comes from our idiosyncrasies."

London Fashion week showcased the launch of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. The underlying purpose of the initiative creates a positive message for women of all shapes, sizes and ages to celebrate diversity.

The following words have been taken from www.allwalks.org, the official website of the initiative.

"On the 25th Anniversary of London Fashion Week, a groundbreaking new project, ‘All Walks Beyond the Catwalk’ will feature cutting edge designers showcasing a look from their spring/summer 10 collections on models, sizes 8-16 and ages 17-65.

Inspired by charity Beat and endorsed by the British Fashion Council co-founders Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne, Erin O’Connor and Susan Ringwood, seek to engage the fashion industry in a conversation about body image and expand upon the imagery coming out of the heart of London Fashion Week.

Caryn Franklin explains, “This is about inclusivity. The traditional ready to wear method of design, with the model added at the end of the process makes it hard to accommodate individuality in shape and size. So this project is operating a bespoke approach. By giving each designer the opportunity to collaborate with the woman who will model the garment at London Fashion Week, we expand upon the expectations for ready to wear imagery. Curvy women are showcasing top design alongside slender women, as are young and mature models. The diversity is what we wanted.”

Sarah Brown, wife of Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown, comments, “London Fashion Week is all about celebrating British brilliance, and All Walks Beyond the Catwalk is a chance to be proud of British beauty. It brings together models of all colours, shapes, sizes and ages in a dazzling array that looks gorgeous – because it looks like Britain. It’s a reminder that true style and glamour know no boundaries – that each person can look radiant because each of us has a unique special something to cherish. I’m a huge fan of the initiative and very proud to lend it my support."

Sarah Watkinson, founder and director of 12+ UK Model Management comments, “It is a rarity for my models to be involved in London Fashion Week or a cutting-edge editorial. The simple reason is that designers don’t usually design for curvy models. The results speak for themselves.”

The All Walks Beyond the Catwalk event is the launch platform for an ongoing campaign to raise awareness, educate and celebrate the beauty of individuality and positive self-esteem - remembering that no two bodies are the same. The project has received support from key figures in the fashion industry including Twiggy, Rankin, Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon, Mary Portas, Georgia Jagger and Sir Stuart Rose. It has also received support from the London Fashion Showcasing Fund.

We sent our artists Lucy, Amanda and Helen to help out Kay Montano on the shoot. With models including Jade Parfitt, the girls created looks that mirrored the i-D shoot that was in the previous months i-D magazine. I asked them what kind of products were hot behind-the-scenes...

Helen tells me: "I did several models' make-up ranging from a petite mixed race girl to a curvy knockout blonde; we created looks from natural through to sculptural. The girls loved Lipstick in 'Blaze' - a real candy orange that makes the lips pop. Erin and Caryn were both really nice - I loved how Erin came round and greeted everyone in a relaxed and friendly manner. It was nice to have such a relaxed vibe - most shoots are chaos!"

Check out the All Walks website at www.allwalks.org and log on to londonfashionweek.org for more details on the initiative.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a great IDEA.
    Because i was born in Est Germany and already 26 when the wall came down i never had a chance to become a model.Now i am 46 and a size 10,would be great to get the opportunity now!
    Liane Kay


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