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Rankin forces Fashion Week to face up to its limited view of “beauty”

September 18, 2018

A press release from Changing Faces.

The fashion industry will be brought face-to-face with its narrow standards of beauty this London Fashion Week, through a unique collaboration between world-renowned photographer Rankin, designer Steven Tai and the charity Changing Faces.

The Portrait Positive project, conceived by Stephen Bell, will challenge perceptions of beauty through a series of striking images of 16 different women with visible facial and bodily differences.

Shot by Rankin and dressed in designs by Steven Tai, three of the women from the portrait series will take to the catwalk in Steven Tai’s presentation at London Fashion Week on 16th September.

The Portrait Positive images have been collated into a book of the same name – proceeds from the sales of which will go to support Changing Faces’ work across the country. The Portrait Positive book will launch on Tuesday 25th September and will be available to purchase on the Portrait Positive website as well as select stores, boutique and art spaces across the UK.

Changing Faces is the leading charity for 1.3 million children, young people and adults in the UK who have a medical condition, mark or scar that makes them look different. Approximately one in 111 people in the UK have a significant visible facial difference, despite being largely absent from representations in fashion and the media.

Rankin said: “Living with a visible difference you are literally judged by your appearance and compared to what I think is a fake idea of what it is to be beautiful or even ‘normal’. The only way to shift this perception is to talk about it and face it head on. Our amazing subjects are dealing with these issues with grace, dignity and strength. It was an absolute honour to work with them and try to create a discussion around what it is to be beautiful. To me they are all unique.”

Becky Hewitt, CEO Changing Faces said: “As a charity that supports people with visible differences, we are delighted to be part of a movement that challenges the way the fashion industry represents difference. We want to break down barriers and change the narrow view of beauty that exists in society, especially in the fashion industry. These amazing images by Rankin will help to address the stigma around ‘looking different’ and show that true beauty is about being proud to be yourself. We want to see brands, publications and designers work with real people of all appearances so that fashion is accessible to all.”

Three of the 16 women that took part in the shoot with Rankin shared their thoughts on being part of the Portrait Positive project;

‘The ethos of the Portrait Positive project is something I believe in. We need to challenge the fashion and beauty industry to be more inclusive of people who look visibly different. Confidence is when you accept who you are. The photoshoot with Rankin was fun and very exciting. Everyone looked great and there was such a positive buzz in the studio.’

‘It was my confidence rather than my scars per se that was weighing me down. I feel like this project is about giving permission to people to just be, and to look at ourselves in a positive light.’

Tulsi, Speaker and Pilates Specialist, Burns Survivor, London

‘Over the years I have learnt that being unique is something that should be embraced, not challenged, and being a part of Portrait Positive to bring that into a format that is accessible to everyone was an incredible experience. Society constructs concepts and rules about what makes a person ‘beautiful’, but that’s all it is—a construction, not a reality.’

Brenda, Children’s Entertainer and Business Owner, who has Alopecia, London

‘To be a part of a project involving visibly different models alongside fashion, photography and the arts is so refreshing. Hopefully it will open the eyes of people in many industries that diversity is important, especially for young people, to see it in the media. My personal goal is to try and inspire others to embrace their appearance, no matter what you look like. Fall in love with yourself using clothes and beauty to express yourself rather than hide away’

Catrin, Student, Motivational Speaker and Burns Survivor from North Wales

Find out more here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 18, 2018 9:03 pm

    Politically Correct Garbage.

    fashion INDUSTRY …

    Models have the shape and look that the have because those are the shapes and looks that SELL THE MOST STUFF.

    All that these POSEURS are doing is shooting the messenger… With LOADS of Lottery cash –
    Total Funds 2017 – £1,792,784


    Rankin’s ‘Beauty’ Portfolio (nothing but ‘Pretty Pretty’ there) –

    Rankin’s ‘Womenswear’ Portfolio (nothing but ‘Pretty Pretty’ there) –

    Rankin’s Celeb Obsessed ‘Portraits’ Portfolio (nothing but ‘Pretty Pretty’ there) –
    (see if you can find TOKEN Rosie Scott)

    fashion INDUSTRY

    Not worth a mention because they are not sponging £1,792,784 from the NHS and Lottery to pay for BS PC Press Releases sent to copy and paste ‘journalists’….

    Grieving family say stress of DWP benefits bungle caused great-gran’s death –

    Cancer dad ‘whose benefits were cut because he could make tea’ dies with ‘just £8 in bank account’ –

    PIP cuts could put life of autistic woman Lizzie Graham ‘in danger’ –

    Housing Executive boss admits people in Derry are dying before their housing needs are met –

    Lothian schools for disabled kids investigated by abuse inquiry-

    The Government Threatened To Deport This Man With Learning Disabilities Because They Didn’t Believe He Could Be Gay –

    ‘They treat sick people like criminals’: Woman with MS says benefits assessor insisted she stood up three times despite pain –

    I was sanctioned after missing a Universal Credit appointment due to seizures.-

    Man on Universal Credit says he was told by Jobcentre he had to get a smartphone to search for a job –

    Disabled woman in Norwich left stranded after being refused access to bus –

    NHS Highland accused of ‘bullying’ man into care home –

    Watchdog raps Norfolk County Council after disabled boy’s social care needs were not met for 18 months –

    Council rapped over blue badge refusal –

    Families furious with council for unexpected disabled care bills –

    City council failed severely disabled girl during Derby school strikes –

    Woman who needs 18 painkillers a day to walk sick of being harassed for using disabled bays –

    Workmen removed from site after allegation they hurled abuse at disabled lad –

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