I've always been a bit suspicious about people's notions of 'real beauty'. For instance I've personally never bought into Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign which seems to denote that to be 'real', curves are required. Somebody of a naturally thinner ilk is supposedly NOT real – a complete fallacy in fact, an apparition of the human brain, conjured up by the fairies in the woods. Instead of focusing on the House of Mirrors sizing issues that plague the fashion industry, I'm more in favour of diversity of beauty presented to us as something without any strings attached, as something that doesn't draw exclamations of "Oh my goodness, it's an older/curvier person!". No big story, campaign or hoo-ha about it – just a straightforward use of diversity that does the product/clothes in question some favours. A good example of this are the representations of models in Guardian's Style section in the Saturday magazine where there's a mix in all those aforementioned respects without forcing the issue as well as making clothes desirable – because that is still the point right?
There's the pre-ambling talk to the images below that are Michelle Lowe Holder's A/W 10-11 lookbook images, which evidently bring up such 'issues'. I've probably already gone back on my own word by even bringing pointing fingers at the 'issue' before talking about the accessories in question. Blame it on the way I'm conditioned. Afterall, Lowe-Holder's intention of using three streetcasted people (Josephine – lady, Sinead – blonde, Bee – girl) was to find a different way of showcasing her accessories, not to turn it into some sort of a 'cause' or 'charity case'. Comfortingly there isn't any 'spiel' in the press release regarding the choice of models and with the results of the lookbook being so striking, me thinks it's a job well done in diverse model usage.
Lowe-Holder has gone down the path of accessories this season and for the first time hasn't presented any clothes. Instead, she has took part of Esthetica to present a range of 'Ribbon Reclaim' accessories that are, buzz word buzz word, ethical. I've always been a fan of Lowe-Holder's way with hand-crafted 'deets' – layers of tulle stacked together, smocking and other plays with fabrics – so I see these accessories as stand-alone deets that are sans silhouette. She has used cut-offs from previous collections and deadstock ribbon that are then laser cut as well as being combined with the old-fashioned craft of 'ribbon art' techniques. She has also applied velvet-like flocking to the enclosing hardware to make it more tactile (I wonder if this gets around my metal allergy problems. I'm not sure whether this is my own fascination with Guardian style section 'older' models but the lady is particularly striking, best illustrated by the sculptural lilac ribbon belt that looks like it has been integrated with her body.