Life&Style's Charlotte Gill pre-empts how Pantone's choice for Colour of the Year will materialise in beauty, fashion, and interior design in the upcoming monthsWritten by Charlotte Gill on 19th March 2019
Representation in the Bridal Shop Window
Life&Style's Alice Landray commends bridal shop 'The White Collection' for having a wheelchair user mannequin in the window, and argues that it is a step in the right direction for representation
A mannequin in a wheelchair. Equality. Representation. These shouldn’t be exciting or novel concepts. But unfortunately, even in 2019, they are. Therefore, any progress is worth celebrating and writing about.
This January, ‘The White Collection’ in Portishead has acknowledged the normality of disability by modelling one of their stunning garments on a mannequin in a wheelchair. The ivory, floor-length wedding dress has been paired with sparkling heels and a statement necklace. This recognizably traditional outfit style fits with societies expectations of what a bridal shopfront will look like, such that the wheelchair is not the focus of the display and is accepted as normal, just as an equal, fair society would have it.
“The wheelchair is not the focus of the display and is accepted as normal, just as an equal, fair society would have it
Despite the relatively high prevalence of disabled individuals in society, wheelchair-users are rarely shown in media campaigns. The growing influence of social media and advertising on our perception of what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘beautiful’ has been recurrently associated with detrimental risks to individual people’s mental health. It is therefore important that minority groups are represented fairly, rather than feeling ‘invisible’ as one wheelchair-user, Mrs. Wilson, expressed in an interview with Sky News.
Public response to the shopfront has been positive. Although the surprised and impressed tweets further emphasise the previously-discussed issues with poor public representation of wheelchair-users and disabled people, the reception does imply reason to hope that similar models may be used more in the future.
“Hopefully, this bridal shop front is just the start of a positive movement towards true equality and acceptance of disability in 2019
As stated at the beginning of this article, this should not be exciting. This mannequin should not be novel. I should not be writing about it. But, I am, and it is good progress.