Promoting Fashion Diversity through Fashion Film

At the end of October, Carol Ryder – Senior Lecturer in Fashion at LJMU – visited Berkeley, California to attend the International Conference on the Image and present her research into ‘the fashionable body’ including two fashion films, produced from Carol’s own fashion illustrations, which raise questions about ‘fashionable’ body image and aim to promote greater diversity in fashion.

Carol’s research into the variable ‘fashionable body’ is concerned with investigating the social impact of a single, narrowly-defined and extreme fashionable bodily ideal (tall, thin, young, white, able-bodied) and proposes that a more diverse spectrum of fashionable bodies is both possible and necessary. In her practice-led research, Carol utilises her own original fashion illustration work to explore the possibility for illustrations to depict bodies that do not adhere to the current definition of the ‘fashionable body’ and yet can still be identified as ‘fashion illustrations’, thereby questioning what we understand by the term ‘fashionable’, and to what extent ‘fashionability’ is determined by the characteristics of the human bodies depicted in fashion imagery.

As part of her Conference presentation, Carol showed two animated films that were produced this year from her own fashion illustrations.