Jessica Worrall: The Shaping of Beauty
The Shaping of Beauty is Jessica Worrall’s large-scale collage project examining how the fashion industry has shaped and enforced female body ideals through clothing. Collaging classical portraits from the 1500s and 1600s with models and clothing from some of the most eminent names in fashion – John Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, Schiaparelli, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent – it serves to remind us just how much women’s image has been shaped through the eyes and intentions of men.
While depictions of women and femininity have evolved over the centuries, this has remained a constant. Thinking about how desirability and attractiveness can be equated with success or ‘achievement’, clothing has often been used to reinforce these ideals – but it can also, as Worrall notes, ‘challenge or liberate our sense of self and assertion of our identity. The question we need to ask ourselves then is: am I really wearing what I want, or what somebody else wants?’
We partnered with Jessica Worrall to install The Shaping of Beauty on our sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee, taking her message onto the streets of each city. Working alongside collage workshops with school students, the project seeks to truly engage with those who witness it.