© Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show 2015
Featuring: the HORIZON 2017 models
GUCFS will be running an on-going campaign that recognises the importance of balancing out the different aspects of your everyday life, whilst maintaining the most important thing: your health.
We are also very proud to be including pieces that take a stance against the stereotypes of the fashion industry. GUCFS is a firm believer in loving the body that you are in, and that the industry is in need of some positive changes. Overall, we are proud to include this piece to our blog; taking both a stance against body shaming, and bringing forward a topic in need of much discussion.
We hope that this feature will provide information on the importance of finding time to take care of yourself both mentally and physically, whether this be through keeping active or making time to relax and enjoy yourself. Secondly, we wish to emphasise that the fashion industry should be a place of complete inclusivity, celebrating our differences, and providing those involved with a healthy mind set.
With the release of our HORIZON 2017 models, we thought it be fitting to include them in our next post. Each model was selected as we believed that they could represent GUCFS as a society, as well as our creative vision. As ambassadors for GUCFS and SAMH, it is important that each individual represents the diversity needed in the fashion industry, that both the models and GUCFS would be proud of.
The theme of the shoot is healthy body x healthy mind, what does this mean to you?
Sheena: "They are both, without a doubt incredibly important. Whenever I’m in the right mindset, I tend to be happier with my body, my work, my social life, and generally myself. Once you become happy internally, it shines outwards."
Charis: "For me, ‘Healthy Mind x Healthy Body’ means getting the right balance in life. Healthy eating and physical exercise are important factors in this, but I also like to take some time to myself. Even just taking five minutes out of my day to clear my head, pray, and focus on the bigger picture, helps to keep everything in perspective. It’s so easy to get stressed out with uni work, especially now I’m in my final year. But I need to remind myself that there’s more to life than my 3000 word essay."
Nickel: "Obviously there's a massive stigma surrounding mental health. No one truly understands or knows what is going on inside someone else's head, or whether they are suffering from a mental illness. It would be quite good to be a part of trying to open the discussion about it and let people know about it."
What do you do to keep healthy both physically and mentally?
Eilish: "It sounds simple but for me the key to staying healthy mentally is talking to people and just to keep going. Push past my exhaustion for an early morning lecture because if I don't go I will regret it, effecting me more than if I'm sitting there a bit sleepy. I also try to keep busy with a part time job and doing stuff with friends. Even just simple things like sitting and watching the GBBO."
Nina: ''Yoga is a new journey i’ve embarked on. I do Yoga every Wednesday in the St Andrews building. It’s something i’ve been meaning to do for years and i’m so glad i’ve started. This is also a huge contributor to managing any stress or tension that uni and social life brings. Something that I found very interesting is this recurring idea of remembering to breathe . There is a huge focus on breathing in yoga, which seems like something quite obvious when you think about it. But that's what makes it rather comical, as human beings, with our busy schedules, and media bombarded lives, we somehow forget to breathe - something so simple, yet so crucial to remember. At the end of every session there’s a meditation, a moment of calm before reemerging into the world outside the studio. That really helps me to mentally regather myself before commencing whatever body of work that awaits me."
What motivated you to become a GUCFS model?
Charis: "I was fortunate enough to model in the first ever Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show in 2014-2015. With this being a new and exciting event at the university, it was hard to say no, especially as I loved what it stood for: fashion and charity. As I got more involved, I realised it’s not all about the lights, cameras and makeup. There are photoshoots, socials, fundraisers and charity awareness events – it’s more than just a fashion show. This is now my third year modelling for GUCFS – sorry but ya can’t get rid of me! I have made great friends, gained confidence through taking part, and it’s also fun to pretend to be a real model for a day! It keeps getting more exciting year by year, and this year more so than ever. I have a passion for fashion (and yes, I am self-confessed shopaholic), but the key here is raising awareness of a healthy mind and healthy body. Therefore I consider it a privilege to represent a society that supports a mental health charity such as SAMH."
Sheena: "I have been modelling for quite some time now so when I heard about GUCFS I was immediately interested. My flat mate was Model Management in 2016 and is now the 2017's Creative Director so she was keen for me to get involved. Both of the years that I have taken part in GUCFS, the charities have been very close to my heart and I think it's so important to remember the good work GUCFS does for charity out with the fashion show."
Do you think it is important to have diversity in the fashion industry?
Luke: "It’s very important to have diversity in the fashion industry in order to present the correct image that not everyone looks like a certain type of model. People are short, tall, different sizes, different race and this needs to be recognised in the fashion industry."
Nina: "Yes Yes Yes! I could go on about this for ages, but for the lack of time and space my short answer is yes, and it comes down to a lack of representation. The fashion industry serves as such an important source in the media for ideals of beauty and trend. For years it has been criticised for it lack of diversity, be it race or body image (where the only fashionable size was a poor girl sporting a size - 2, on the verge of a collapse, eating cotton balls to stay afloat). Representation is important for conveying to younger girls and boys (be it black, white, latino, asian or otherwise) that they too are beautiful in any and every shape, form or complexion they are born into. I think progress has been made but there’s still so much work to be done."
Is there anyone in the fashion industry that inspires you?
Sheena: "Obviously...I'm a girl! Most supermodels inspire me. However, when I think of what their life entails and just how hard they have to work for it, I think it would be a relatively lonely existence. I do think it's really important to look at local models. Look at GUCFS's very own Mo! She is being so courageous in what she is doing, speaking out against an industry that is so vast but she's doing such a super job in getting her voice heard."
Luke: "Vivienne Westwood, the way she uses her notoriety to highlight political and social issues that need to be pointed out."
Nina: "Yes, Adwoa Aboah, she is such a queen!! Shes a british model, currently living in LA. She’s such a strong WOC (woman of colour). I resonate a lot with her because much like myself, she’s an advocate of self love and a feminist. I think she’s one of the most down to earth people in the industry and every interview i’ve seen her in, she is exactly the same, just 100% authenticity Adwoa, no fucks given. She also recently started a forum called ‘Girl Talk’, which focuses on women and the issues that women face on the day-to-day, in society and in the industry. This too appeals to me because I started my blog ‘Boldieaintaboy’ more or less around the same time which explores many of the same topics as ‘Girl Talk’. I hope to go on to expand it to help other women in the way Adwoa’s, ‘Girl Talk’ does. I also find her strength so admirable and how she allows herself to be vulnerable with her followers and fans. She’s opened up about her long struggle with drug and substance abuse and how she's still overcoming it. I just think that’s a beautiful human. I’m also just absolutely obsessed with her style."
SAMH’S Get Active campaign aims to show that sport and physical activity can really help improve and maintain mental health. Are you involved in any Sports at University?
Luke: "Yes I am part of the tennis club so try to make it to the tennis courts as often as possible. I also play 7-aside football down at Garscube. Sports, getting outside and generally just being active make you feel like you’re doing something rather than just sitting in your bed binge watching Netflix which is undoubtedly better for your mental state.
Nickel: "Normally different things. I usually play rugby, but not this year because I don't have time on my schedule to play it. Cardio is obviously proven to be really good for both your physical and mental health. What I normally do is go to the gym four times a week, go for a run, or play squash."
Healthy Mind x Healthy Body strives to embrace the individual, their differences and loving the body you're in. What was the turning point that helped you in gaining your self self-confidence or helped you to embrace your differences?
Nina: I think growing up I had a rather tough time coming from a very, petite, athletic family. I was always taller and curvier than literally all my family members, including the men. And the constant comparison to my brother (who is petite and athletically built) by members of my family really messed with my self image. But as I got older (and this is only in the last two years or so) and my awkward parts started to settle into the rest of my body, by starting to work out and embrace my curves (which I’m still learning to do ), my confidence has slowly started coming back . I don’t know if i’ll ever be 100% there, but I’m a work in progress.
Charis: "When I was growing up, I sometimes struggled with trying to ‘fit in’. I realised my friends were going through similar issues and I was not alone, therefore we encouraged each other through the difficulties of being a teenager and finding our identity. I also have my family to thank for their love and support. My mum once said to me ‘how boring would life be if we were all the same?’ – which really struck a chord with me. I realised I’m ok with who I am, and gained self-confidence to be myself. Everyone is unique, and we need to make sure we build each other up. It is important to surround yourself with caring people, who genuinely support you for who you are."
Thank you to our HORIZON 2017 models: Charis, Luke, Nina, Sheena, Eilish, and Nickel.
To find out who our other amazing model's are, visit our Facebook page!