When will I look at a fashion show and see someone I can relate to?

As the days become sunnier, I have started looking for inspiration as to what my summer wardrobe will look like.

Marshmallow, powder blue and mist are my favourite colours this season. Lucky for me these colours were prominent on the catwalks of two of my favourite shows Marc Jacobs and Prabal Gurung.

Behind these beautiful clothes and palettes, there are beautiful models. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t imagine wearing what they wearing in the slightest. I mean how could I? I couldn’t relate to them.

Could I see myself wearing these outfits as portrayed on the runway? The short answer was no, I couldn’t. I would have to be a UK size 6 max to probably pull off what I was lusting after, and have the same shape and skin tone as the majority of the models.

But what if I saw it as inspiration for what I wanted to wear instead of seeing that as the end and all of it, maybe I could incorporate the colours and styles I loved and find something that fits the criteria at a fifth of the price instead?

But this small workaround brings up the underlying issue – if I couldn’t relate, I am sure a lot of other women who enjoy fashion wouldn’t be able to relate either.

First off the number of BAME models that walked these shows? In the Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter 2015 show, no Black models walked and most of the other shows I watched were no different. Take Prabal Gurang as another example, White women were preferred for his shows, and the models were much smaller than your average women.

Are they showing diversity? Are they showing different body styles?

Again the answer is no. As we have seen before, there is a belief that those with White skin have a higher status than mixed/Black women on the catwalk. An archaic thought, but unfortunately this is what the audience will see and maybe not notice as they keep up with several fashion weeks.

Not that I don’t enjoy fashion week, it is one of my favourite bi-yearly events. The women are all beautiful in their ways, plus the huge contribution Fashion Week gives to the economy and young designers show us that the week deserves more credit than it gets. Critics complaining of the opulence of it all are either not creatively-minded or they don’t see it for what it is. It is a celebration of women and men who have created something beautiful, who are making outfits that inspire others and who want to make people feel as if they are making a statement with their clothes.

As much as I love watching the beautiful shows, I believe it is like some sort of pornography for women, we keep on watching in hope that one day our wardrobe could be like that, but the reality may not live up to the fantasy. Would you leave the house in some of the outfits you see on the catwalk, especially as the lack of diversity in terms of race, body size and capabilities makes it so hard to relate to in the first place?

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Skilled writer, with particular interests in fashion, fintech and diversity.

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