For this assessment my first instinct was to look at the topic of feminism, an area I am well educated in and passionate about. However, after some consideration I decided it would be more valuable for me to explore a topic I am less aware of. In doing so I believe I will be able to approach the topic with fresh eyes. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram these past few days, my news feed has been filled with images of friends, models and fashion industry figures at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. However, coverage of the ‘Misha’ show gained significant attention for straight shameful reasons. This show, taking place in 2016 consisted of an all white cast of models. However, the lack of diversity in their casting (unfortunately a very common occurrence) was not the sole reason for garnering such attention. The models were sent down the runway for the finale walking to ‘Formation’, an incredibly political song recently released by Beyonce to promote black pride and empowerment (The Guardian).
Himbrechts, Dan /AAP. The American model Bella Hadid, centre, on the runway during the Misha Collection show at Fashion Week Australia in Sydney. The Guardian.
The lack of diversity in the casting of fashion models is a hot topic. The unfortunate combination of shocking casting and terrible cultural appropriation at the Misha show only served to draw attention back to this important issue. Having spent my early teenage years as a fashion blogger I have attended several fashion weeks on a media pass. This early experience of the fashion industry (forever an area of love and interest although not my major) exposed me to the processes of casting a fashion show. Working closely with local modelling agencies, models and designers and even scouting models myself I have experience of the way models and designers work together. As this is an area of interest and a current topic I have decided I will investigate the issue of the lack of diversity amongst fashion models for assessment three. My preliminary findings have shown very sad statistics about the state of diversity in the fashion industry today. According to Business of Fashion ‘At the Autumn/Winter 2015 shows staged across the world’s four major fashion capitals, 80 percent of the models that walked the runway were white’ (Business of Fashion). The statistics for 2016 were marginally better with 77.6 percent of models being white (The Fashion Spot). I believe that this is a very pressing issue especially from an art/design context. As a designer I may one day be in the position of casting people for campaigns or shows. I am also able to understand and analyse the messages and ideologies present in the visual texts produced by this extremely influential and visual industry and the impacts these may have on society.
Denardo, Maria. “Fashion Week Spring 2016: Diversity Report.”The Fashion Spot. N.p., 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 07 June 2016.