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Body Beautiful Exhibition

Sinéad Burke poses with a Christopher Kane outfit
Sinéad Burke poses with a Christopher Kane outfit Image credit: theedinburghreporter.co.uk

A unique exhibition currently running at the National Museum of Scotland is showcasing diversity in the fashion industry.

Covering five themes: size, gender, age, race and disability Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk promotes how the industry is starting to represent people from all communities.

The event, sponsored by Edinburgh St James and supported by Arts & Business Scotland, includes exhibits by leading figureheads in fashion including Jean Paul Gaultier, Ferragamo and Pam Hogg.

Visitors will be able to see a bustier from Chromat’s SS15 collection which was modelled by Denise Bidot, the first plus-size model at New York Fashion Week and a camel coat with matching hijab from Max Mara’s AW17 collection worn by the first hijab-wearing model, Halima Aden at high-fashion catwalks.

There are also interviews by the likes of writer and public speaker Jamie Windust, fashion commentator Caryn Franklin MBE, academic and writer Sinéad Burke (pictured above) and model Eunice Olumide MBE.

Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Fashion & Textiles at National Museums Scotland, Georgina Ripley, said: “Diversity has become a key talking point in the fashion world in recent years, and Body Beautiful will be the first exhibition to examine the various ways in which the industry is addressing body positivity. With more and more designers incorporating ideas around inclusivity into their work, attitudes are shifting, making this a particularly exciting time in fashion. The catwalk creations on display in this exhibition offer a refreshing counterpoint to historical, narrow ideals of beauty, and they demonstrate that diversity can be a consideration for everyone working in the fashion industry today.”

Associate Director for Edinburgh St James, Rochelle Burgess, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this exhibition that celebrates the rich tapestry of diverse voices and talent within the fashion industry and hope to collaborate again in the future with National Museums Scotland. Edinburgh St James will create a new fashion hub for the capital, providing a home for the brands that this city has been waiting for. From the start, we have sought to blend Edinburgh St James with the vibrant culture of the city and exhibitions like Body Beautiful perfectly encapsulate what this cosmopolitan capital is all about.”

Head of Programmes at Arts & Business Scotland, Carl Watt, said: “We are proud to be match funding Edinburgh St James’ sponsorship of Body Beautiful through our Culture & Business Fund Scotland as it is a unique exhibition looking at the important issue of diversity in the fashion industry. It is heartening that businesses like Edinburgh St James are embracing and supporting cultural projects in Scotland which promote diversity and challenge audience perceptions. Their partnership with National Museums Scotland, and others like this, not only benefits the project that is receiving sponsorship, but also offers the business an opportunity for profile building and to positively associate itself with the cultural organisation producing the exhibition or event.”

Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk runs at National Museum of Scotland until 20 October 2019.