In August I had the honour to walk in London Fashion Week for the ground breaking brand, Art School in their Spring / Summer 2021 ‘Therapy’ Show at Highgate Park.
London Fashion Week was very different this year due to COVID-19 and the pandemic, but nonetheless it was a great day filled with love, diversity and inclusion. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of something so special.
Being able to walk in London Fashion Week meant so much to me because I was able to represent every single disabled person that has ever felt secluded from the fashion industry.
"The show was intended as a beacon of hope"
"For LGBTQIA+ communities in which Art School is embedded, holding a physical show in Waterlow Park kitchen garden was a form of escapism from the current climate. “It was their chance to express themselves to the world,” says Loweth of the queer individuals who have been hit hard by both the pandemic and the political landscape. Accordingly, there were 54 looks in the largest Art School collection to date – it felt impossible to “filter everything we want to say into 20 looks”. The new virtual format (the show is available to watch on Londonfashionweek.co.uk) works well for the community-first brand, which wants to be visible and accessible for it's young followers who see Loweth as a guiding light." - Eden Loweth (Designer & Creative Director of Art School)
My call time to be on set was 11 am where I started my day off in hair and makeup once I arrived. My hair was pulled back into a slick pony tail and my makeup was very minimal, but to my surprise... I had my eyebrows bleached which I was not expecting, but I ended up loving the look and luckily I didn't have to wear contacts which I was so relieved about!
The day was mostly chilled out with park benches outside the hair and makeup tents with all of the models relaxing before being called to rehearsal. I loved watching all the models walking around being unapologetically themselves, it filled me with joy knowing that there was going to be so much inclusion in the show.
I always like to talk about accessibility in my blogs, to give you an insight into some of the challenges I may face. The runway was located at the beautiful Waterlow Park which has a lot of steps and steep hills. For me personally, the steps and hills were very challenging, but someone from the amazing team was always there to help me. I managed to pull through which meant I had to rest for about a week afterwards ( it was so worthwhile though)!
In between rehearsing, all the models were able to chill out before being called back to set to film the show. I spent some of my time with models from my agency (Zebedee Management) which was amazing - I love getting to know new models that are also trying to break down boundaries in the fashion industry.
"I love the person I've become because I fought to become her"
Watching back the show in September was a surreal moment for me because I went from someone who couldn't accept the fact that I had to use crutches, to someone who unapologetically walked down that runway with her mobility aid with confidence. Later that evening after watching the show I found out that I was on British Vogue's homepage - I can't quite describe how I felt in that moment. My mum was in tears and I was in awe at the fact that she felt so proud of me - what an indescribable moment!
Art School's casting choices were some of the best I have ever seen to date! I hope other's in the industry take note because disabled people deserve to be included and seen within fashion. I can't thank my agency, Eden Loweth and everyone at Art School for the amazing opportunity of a lifetime.
"Great opportunities may come once in a lifetime, but small opportunities surround us every day"