Why this latest exhibition has its sights set on making the fashion world more accessible and accountable

Last week The Amelia Scott launched Body Beautiful which looks at diversity on the catwalk. The Times finds out more about this revolutionary show…


National Museums Scotland’s unique new fashion exhibition has opened at the Amelia Scott. The first exhibition of its kind in the world, Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk looks at how fashion creatives are embracing inclusivity and body positivity by exploring five key themes: size, gender, age, race and disability.

Body Beautiful examines how today’s fashion industry is challenging perceptions and championing alternative ideals of beauty on the catwalk, in advertising, in editorial and behind the camera.

The exhibition looks at how the fashion industry is calling into question existing practice and why becoming more inclusive behind the scenes will ensure a reappraisal of the ideals of beauty.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see iconic pieces from famous fashion names including Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dries Van Noten and Max Mara.

Body Beautiful is a touring exhibition produced by National Museums of Scotland and is free to attend.

The exhibition is on until November 25 and is running at the same time as the venue takes a local look at sustainable fashion.

“The environmental footprint of the fashion industry and fast fashion cannot be ignored,” an Amelia spokesperson tells the Times.

“We are consuming clothing at a faster rate than ever before. This is due to a combination of factors including the low cost of clothing, poorer quality of items resulting in them not lasting as long, and the fast pace at which fashions change. All these combine to have a devastating impact on the planet.”

The Amelia Scott has asked local residents in the borough about their sustainable fashion stories and is now sharing them as part of a community gallery display.

Bethan Minter, Creative Learning Co-ordinator at the Amelia Scott gave an example of her own sustainable fashion story saying: “In my early 20s I wore a lot of bodycon dresses. I had one favourite which was dark blue, knee length with a subtle, scroll leaf brocade pattern. I wore it so regularly the seams fell apart. As I loved it so much I didn’t throw it out, but put it away until I got around to fixing it… which I never did.

“When my son was 18 months old we were going to a wedding. The evening before I realised that I didn’t have a smart jumper for him to wear. I then remember this old dress and turned it into a jersey jacket for him. He looked very smart and was very comfortable.”

Bethan also described a Tudor costume the Amelia Scott team made for a different project as another example of sustainable fashion: “The costume was made from recycled materials. Red faux satin and yellow brocade fabrics came from charity shop curtains. The skirt and bodice were lined using the curtain lining from the recycled curtains. A shirt was made from an unwanted bedsheet.

“The hat was made from scraps left over from the dress and its attached veil was made from an old net curtain. Beading was from an old bead garland left over from Christmas,” Bethan says.

Body Beautiful runs until November 25. For more information visit: theamelia.co.uk

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