Mal Burkinshaw, Programme Director for Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), has been shortlisted for a Staff Recognition Award within the College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS) at the University of Edinburgh. The shortlisting is in the Best Teaching Quality Enhancement Initiative category of the inaugural awards, celebrating Mal’s outstanding contribution to challenging unachievable and unhealthy body ideals through his leadership of the Diversity Network.
THE ZINE AWARD WAS PRESENTED TO SECOND YEAR FASHION STUDENT Alice Firman. THE AWARD WAS PRESENTED AT THIS YEARS GRADUATE FASHION WEEK BY ALL WALKS BEYOND THE CATWALK, AND IN ASSOCIATION WITH I-D MAGAZINE.
Alice was also nominated in the Clothing Design category, joining her fellow Edinburgh College of Art students, Rhys McKenna and Isabella McLeod, who were nominated in this category as well.
The work Alice submitted focuses on the topics of Gender Blindness and Gender Identity. She says of the work, “I feel that the fashion world still uses androgyny’s concept as a trend instead of it being a consistent idea. Androgynous and transgender models are still seen as “freak shows”. I would like to see a fashion world where gender issues are neutralized. To me, we are all humans, without distinctions”.
Year 2 fashion students present their designs to the H&M creative team.
The brief required students to design a contemporary capsule collection for H&M+ autumn/winter 2014. The project was developed from the departments work on researching, challenging and improving the lack of diversity within the fashion industry. Together with MA students, undergraduates from years 2 and 3 were invited to work on the high-profile design collaboration, developing an awareness of, and celebratory approach to, size diversity within fashion design. Their work was exhibited at ECA on 28th November, where H&M chose winning collections from Bella MacLeod, Megan Mitchell and Som Kerdsiri.
Anna Sjodin, Head of Employer Branding at H&M said “It was wonderful to see the students be inspired to take on this project without prejudice. They used their creativity and designed for all women- not for an elusive ideal. A fantastic collaboration that was inspiring for all involved”.
4th year Winner, Bella MacLeod, said “It was a really inspiring project; designing for a range of women’s’ sizes is an important part of designing considerately. H&M’s way of looking at a ‘plus’ sized women as being just as important as any other women is a realistic and sensitive outlook on design.”
2nd Year Winner, Megan Mitchell, commented “I am honored just to have been a part of this project and winning has given me a great confidence boost in my work. Society is evolving and people are beginning to celebrate diversity of body size, I love that H&M is taking the time to make these woman feel as important as they really are and show them that they are not just an afterthought”
2nd Year Winner, Som Kerdsiri, said “The H&M+ project was really challenging and it pushed all of us to think more creatively while still being commercial. I’m really happy and extremely surprised to have won this award!”
Mal Burkinshaw, Programme Director of Fashion commented “I am delighted that H&M have collaborated with us on this project. I truly believe that a designer for tomorrow’s market needs to understand how to design and celebrate a range of diverse types of beauty. H&M have helped us to evolve our teaching methods for diversity and have inspired a new approach to how we think about size within fashion education.”