This past weekend, I headed to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh to check out the exhibit Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance.
I’m so glad I did. The show challenges current assumptions of beauty by exploring how perceptions of body image have changed over time:
“The theme of body image is central: the historic paintings have been approached both as a means of challenging current perceptions of physical beauty, and as inspiration for a more diverse and emotionally considerate practice on the part of today’s fashion designers.” (National Galleries Scotland)
Leading the project is the Programme Director for Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) at the University of Edinburgh, Mal Burkinshaw, and Dr Jill Burke of the School of History of Art. The work is the result of a collaboration between National Galleries of Scotland and ECA, and has been in the works since 2012, when the project first launched.