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‘art Warming – Waiting for spring in the East End – DivaScribe Article in Full

It should be spring in London, but outside it’s -2°C, snow flurries and blowing a gale. Inside however, we have visually turned up the heat, keeping these hot new designs indoors for just a few days longer. The models representing Models of Diversity have come together to show a range of new designs for spring and summer, the weather just doesn’t know it right now!

Our location, coincidentally called The Rag Factory lies in the heart of Brick Lane in the East End of London. The various galleries and performing spaces with their roof lights and white walls offer the perfect backdrop and respite from the fierce elements raging outside.

Fashion, social history and art have always been intertwined, giving a snap-shot of the day, a moment in time which defines the past and shows the way to the future. Our works of art happen to be models wearing designs; animated in this captive space, a living installation frozen (almost literally) for an instant.

Outside the hustle and bustle of everyday life passes by with extra pace to keep warm, yet inside, these white spaces four models of colour perform their own interpretation for the camera. We could argue that this isn’t really art, but we would argue that the canvases (the models) that display these designs are all the better for their diversity and collective skin tones, setting each garment off to dramatic effect.

When you look at a work of art, you never think of the base colour of the canvas, rarely do we even consider what medium the artwork is on. Fashion is not so benign, and that is why Models of Diversity campaigns to make sure that Fashion and The Media are always thinking of using a different colour canvas.

Models of Diversity (MoD) have, since their inception in 2008, been advocates of models of colour, disabled models, mature and plus-sized. Last year, MoD focussed their attention towards disabled models to capitalise on a heighten awareness during and after the Paralympics. This year they will still be actively supporting disabled models but the focus will shift towards models of colour and mature models.

Angel Sinclair and Sal Williams formed models of Diversity in 2008. The idea was conceived after Angel had entered and been shortlisted for Gok’s Miss Naked Beauty and was surprised at the wide range of models participating in contrast to the narrow range we seen in the fashion industry.

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Photographer: James Alexander Lyon
Models:  Roberta Whitney, Cleopatra Wood, Vivienne Zhang & Anya James
Stylists: Gwendoline M GM / Caroline
Hair: Fiona Chaffey HairStylist
Makeup: Melanie Lindsey
Producer: Angel Sinclair
Location: Rag Factory, Off Brick Lane, London


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