Last night at the National Portrait Gallery – All Walks Beyond the Catwalk – Erin O’Connor, Debra Bourne and Caryn Franklin held a fantastic event offering new views and reflections on women and representations of beauty.
All Walks are working to encourage greater diversity in the fashion industry. Obviously – given the Government Body Confidence campaign to push back against the relentless pressure on young people of impossibly perfect images – I was more than happy to support the evening.
Firstly, Rankin, celebrated photographer had worked with All Walks to create a more diverse portrait of the Spring/Summer 2011 catwalk designer collections on a wider range of models. The images – of women young and old, larger and smaller and all shades were on display in the Gallery alongside the portraits of the great Masters.
Apart from tours of the galleries – the key event of the evening was a panel debate on image and fashion. Caryn Franklin chaired the debate and the panellists were: model Erin O’Connor, Elle magazine editor Lorraine Candy, myself, psychologist Linda Papadopoulos and Kiki Kendrick – playwright, actress and former advertising creative.
The debate ranged across the various issues of conformity of image, fashion’s place in this, the psychological effects of repeat images and so on.
It was a great success and demonstrated more clearly than ever – that this issue is rising and rising on the agenda. Congratulation to All Walks!