It was wonderful to see so many graduates using fashion to take on meaningful topics that are important to them. Some designers were more direct with their social justice statements. Lauren Sian Black from Liverpool John Moores University, sent one of the models down the catwalk carrying a bright yellow sign saying ‘Black Lives Matter’, with one of the tops featuring Eric Garner’s final words ‘I can’t breathe’. Her menswear collection showed a clear stance of support for the international activist movement which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people.
Morley Freeman from UCA Epsom made a proud feminist statement through her collection with one model wearing a placard with ‘SlutWalk’ scrawled across it. Freeman’s womenswear collection draws attention to the ‘SlutWalk’ protest marches calling for an end to rape culture, including victim blaming and slut shaming of sexual assault victims.
In the spirit of intersectional activism, we urge you all to enjoy London’s annual Pride Festival, running until Sunday 9th July, with the annual celebratory parade and main events being held on the 8th July. The Pride parade will start from Portland Place at 1pm and end in Whitehall at approximately 4.30pm. The streets are expected to get very busy with crowds wanting to support and see the parade.
Pride comes at an appropriate time for us to recognise diversity and togetherness in London. This year’s theme is “Love Happens Here” is an on-going message of solidarity reminding us all to remain united during difficult times and to embrace and celebrate our differences. The first Pride was held in London in the early 1970s, as a highly political march for gay rights. 50 years ago homosexuality was legalised in the UK, but despite this same-sex relationships remain a crime in 72 countries around the world. Pride in London is a display of defiance showing that the city is open and welcoming to everyone.
Words by Jasmin Oakes