Updated: Aug 21, 2019
From transforming into your favourite character the moment you slip into their costume to feeling like Harry Potter in your graduation gown to turning into a real life princess in your wedding dress, the clothes we wear have the ability to empower and completely transform us.
How often have you felt too lazy to workout? Simple. Throw on some gym clothes and your motivation to exercise will increase. As the popular saying goes, you are what you wear.
To celebrate 100 years since women first gained the right to vote in the UK, SHOWstudio presents 100 Women; a fashion illustration exhibition held in London embracing female empowerment. SHOWstudio asked 100 of the most influential models, including Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham and Kendall Jenner to share an image of the outfit they wore that made them feel the most empowered, followed by a quote to explain why. Curator Bex Cassie then paired an artist for each look to transform into a fashion illustration. These personal moments celebrate the power of fashion in its ability to empower, unite and truly celebrate women.
From stripping down to her lingerie to sporting an oversized jacket to appear physically bigger, these women express the many different ways in which fashion can make them feel bold and fearless. The portraits include Kate Moss in David Bowie’s original playsuit from the 1970s which gave her the confidence to step on stage, Victoria Beckham in a photo taken by Nick Knight for British Vogue in 2008 and Kendall Jenner donning a sexy black gown on the Met Gala 2017 red carpet which made her feel “strong, confident and proud.”
According to a study by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, we are more likely to take on whatever associations we have with a piece of clothing and express them. Wearing a particular item of clothing can give you confidence, thus making you a stronger individual. People often associate femininity with long locks and “feminine” clothes such as dresses and skirts. This exhibition provokes and challenges the conventions of femininity with Cara Delevingne who had to shave her head for a film saying,
“At first I felt very self-conscious and confused because my long hair had been attached to a feeling of femininity. I felt empowered by this look [Chanel S/S 17 Couture] because I finally realised that beauty has no right or wrong. Beauty has no definition. To be truly beautiful you have to love yourself and that’s all that matters.”
Twiggy chose an image of herself rocking a Tuxedo taken by Brian Aris for her last album ‘Romantically Yours’.
Today, women are still expected to keep up with trends and look fashionable, which is why it is empowering for women to be able to make their own decisions when it comes to fashion and feel confident in doing so.
100 Women is open to the public at 22D Ebury Street until 31st January 2019
Written by Min Luu, Image compilation by Simi Sahota. Images credit: SHOWstudio
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