It’s time for the fashion industry and media to take real people seriously…Elaine Foster-Gandey, director of DSUK, is doing just that.
Created by Elaine, The Real People Catwalk Show holds catwalk shows that celebrate real people models of different shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities. After the shows there are debates on current topics such as size Zero how we define beauty in the 21st century, age and ethnicity.
Quotes from The recent Real people catwalk show at the ICA show & debate
“All fashion shows should have the enthusiasm and fun of DSUK’S Real People Fashion Show – we need to see fashion on real women, not tiny, unhealthy little girls. I loved the debate too – lots of stimulus for thought – it was all so good, I felt nostalgic for the best of the eighties with BodyMap and Katharine Hamnett.” – Lynne Franks
“The debate after DSUK’s Real People Catwalk Show was very very interesting. Such spiritedness! Feels a lot like this is just the beginning of the conversation”. – Jessica Brinton writer Style magazine at Sunday Times
“I found the energy of the real life models inspiring. They had been chosen because they had great charisma and style – no sympathy vote here. And it really was a better way to see how clothes work on different body shapes. I’m not surprised DSUK sell more clothes with this sort of catwalk. It’s clearly a great commercial decision, as well as a much-need guerilla fashion moment. Fashion Week for all its beauty and craftsmanship is basically a trade show. This felt authentic”. – Liz Hoggard features writer Evening standard
DSUK founder, explained that she wanted “to celebrate people of all different sizes, shapes, ages, and ethnicity”. A size 16 herself, Foster-Gandey wanted to show that there “really is a way of saying skinny models do not have to dominate fashion”. To keep with the spirit of the show, participants picked their own clothes from the racks, ensuring they model looks close to their taste and personality.
DSUK informed its customers of the project with its newsletter and received over 100 modelling applications. Participants’ motivations ranged from “wanting to represent bigger women and show that they can look good in designer clothes” to simply “having fun”.