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Lilian Dumas

22/11/2017 - Naomi Shimada: the model making sure positive body image isn't a fad

In March, American Vogue named model and body image activist Naomi Shimada a “street style star to watch”, applauding her “feminist work”. But 30-year-old Shimada – who has been photographed by lensmen such as Rankin – wants plus-size (the bracket in which she models) to not just be tokenistic diversity at a runway show or in a magazine’s body-themed issue, but an inclusive fashion commitment.

“I’m a UK size 14-16 and it’s only now that things are changing,” Shimada told a panel at the launch of Nike’s Beautiful X Powerful Women collection last year – the campaign of which she starred in. “I’m happy to be part of that shift, but we need to make sure it’s a shift that lasts and that isn’t a fad or some hot buzzword topic, that it’s not just click-bait, but a lifestyle and true change of perception.” This summer she was chosen to do an edit of her favourite Topshop clothing on the retailer’s blog and featured in an article on “radical women” for British Elle magazine, telling them: “I read an Alice Walker quote a year ago which says: ‘Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.’”

She likes a quote. Many fashion blogosphere followers will have come across her back in 2011 – literally her naked back – painted by Margot Bowman with a rainbow-adorned Gil Scott-Heron line: “I’m the closest thing I have to a voice of reason.” She has since fronted campaigns for high street brand Monki and is currently writing a memoir that “explores the relationship between joy and pain”. She is making several documentaries intended to stimulate conversation around the body shape spectrum.

With Dutch, Japanese and English roots, Shimada is a self-proclaimed “global citizen” and grew up between Tokyo and Andalucía – later taking on London and New York. Her family moved from Tokyo to Spain when she was 11, where she was scouted at a restaurant, aged 13. She started modelling as a “straight size 6” until her late teens when she stopped for school. When she relocated to London, she picked it up again with some success. “But as I got older my body didn’t stay like that, because, guess what, that doesn’t happen to people!”

She was encouraged to suppress her appetite, but was also “suppressing my soul as a human being”, she told fashion-docu duo StyleLikeU – as part of their confessional What’s Underneath Project (Shimada’s episode has 124,000 views). “Everything that makes me alive and vibrant, I didn’t feel those things anymore, I felt super-dark,” she says – so she took a break. “I didn’t like the person I’d become anymore. I took time out and thought: ‘I have to change my box’ – I’m not fitting into the box that society has put me in.” She went back into modelling aged 22, as a “plus-size” model. “I felt so free. I liked having boobs and hips and a butt. I grew up in hip-hop culture and that’s what we all wanted to look like. So now I could be who I wanted to be and it felt good.”Read more at:pink prom dresses uk | green prom dresses uk

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14/11/2017 - NE India Fashion Week concludes

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The third North East India Fashion Week- The Khadi Movement concluded here on Sunday with designer Joseph Aloysius Montelibano from Philippines showcasing his collection along with 15 weavers and designers from Northeast India.

The show left the audience enthralled as the models sashayed the ramp adorning brilliantly colored and uniquely designed collections made out of indigenous fabrics.

“I am very happy to be a part of the North East India Fashion Week as the designs and fabrics being displayed at the event were traditional… I learnt a lot by interacting with the local weavers and designers. I am happy that Yana has been able to provide these indigenous weavers and designers a platform to showcase their talent and tradition,” said designer Montelibano from Manila.

The line-up of the weavers who presented their collections on the concluding day were Krishna Sonowal from Assam, Apatani weaver Hibu Ollo and Khampti Weaver Nang Tripura Langkhun from Arunachal Pradesh, Mizo Weaver Lalsangzuala, Aao weaver Yatetla Pogen from Nagaland.

Besides, there were young as well as established designers from different states of the region and India, who showcased their designs and collections crafted out of the regional looms and fabrics.

The evening was brought to life by breathtaking performances by renowned artistes from different states of the region. Renowned singers Simanta Shekhar from Assam and Mavrick from Arunachal Pradesh showcased the myriad colours of the region.Read more at:prom dress shops

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