A new photographic exhibition in Melbourne is aiming to broaden our ideas of beauty to include older women, women of colour, people with disability and those with trans or gender diverse bodies.
Set to open on July 5th, If The Shoe Fitz hopes to challenge the fashion industry’s idea of what constitutes beauty but also, through the inclusion of nudes, demonstrate the beauty of all body shapes.
According to the show's creative director Bianca Christoff, If the Shoe Fitz is a response to the backlash against the 2018 Preston Zly photographic fashion campaign, ‘Born Free’.
“This campaign, which featured a semi naked model, quickly found itself at the centre of controversy when it was targeted by a conservative group who, failing to acknowledge the agency of both the model and the all-female creative team, immediately took a paternalistic view that a naked woman's body is synonymous with sexism and exploitation,” Christoff said.
Inspired by some of the arguments raised during the ensuing debate, which was covered at the time by both local and international media, long time collaborators Preston Zly Design and the creative team of Samantha Jarrett (photography) and Bianca Christoff (creative director and stylist), decided to explore the possibilities of the naked form in all its guises, inclusive of age, ethnic backgrounds, LGBTIQ+ communities and people of differing abilities.
“The viewer is invited to celebrate the tongue in cheek playfulness of the exhibition, and the models invite you to look at their stretch marks, their bodies' acquiescence to gravity and their 'otherness',” Christoff said.
Held at the The Oratory's Abbotsford Convent, If The Shoe Fitz is open July 5, 6pm-11pm & July 6, 10-4pm.
You can find out more about the exhibition here.