Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk

Sinéad Burke, photographed by Tim Walker

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Caryn Franklin MBE (she of The Clothes Show fame back in the day) and hearing her speak at the FIFP (Federation of Image Professionals International) conference.


She is one of the most inspiring speakers I have ever heard. Her passion and knowledge of diversity within the fashion industry is second to none.



In 2009, along with Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor, she set up All Works Beyond the Catwalk. This is an award-winning initiative that promotes diverse beauty ideals.


In June 2011, All Works created the Diversity Network in collaboration with Edinburgh College of Art, which is the first university to establish a module around diversity, and students are taught design and pattern cutting for different shapes and sizes.


Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk is on from May 23–October 20, 2019, at the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street. It has been curated by Georgina Ripley, the museum’s senior curator of modern and contemporary fashion who has been working very closely with the Diversity Network. It’s an exhibition devoted to exploring fashion from the point of view of inclusivity and body positivity, and is the first museum show to do so.


The exhibition will recall milestone magazine covers and landmark catwalk events, while exploring the growing impact of fashion bloggers and social media influencers on the industry. Pam Hogg, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens, Walter Van Beirendonck and Charles Jeffrey are among the designers expected to be featured in the exhibition. Others will include Teatum Jones, who has created work inspired by Paralympian Natasha Baker, and Antonio Urzi, who has worked with wheelchair users.


It will feature original garments, photography, film footage, magazine covers and recorded interviews with leading industry figures and explore how different religions and cultures are increasingly being reflected in catwalk shows, and the growing emergence of “plus-size models” in the industry.


I strongly urge you to go!


AND, it’s FREE!!!!!


Not only that, but the last time I was there, I had one of the most delicious scones ever – what’s not like!!



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