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Gail Sorronda: The Only Designer at MBFWA 2015 to Embrace Diversity

She celebrated gender and ethnic diversity in her 10th anniversary show at MBFWA last night.
By Courtney Sanders, 17 Apr 2015
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Gail Sorronda: The Only Designer at MBFWA 2015 to Embrace Diversity

Gail Sorronda

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Gail Sorronda closed MBFWA 2015 proceedings last night, with her summer 2015-16 collection, Holy Water; her 10th anniversary collection, and a celebration of her design aesthetic and career trajectory to date. Her show also celebrated something else, something that has been notably missing from this year's MBFWA 2015: gender and ethnic diversity.

Enter Jordan, a male model who has recently signed with Chic Model Management, and who has Scandinavian and Aboriginal heritage. Jordan walked Gail Sorronda's show barefoot (as did all the models) in a mini-length cape dress, complete with circular – the symbol for Sorronda's 10th anniversary collection - bonnet. It was a triumphant display of gender neutrality, the likes of which is permeating fashion presentations overseas, but was complete missing from MBFWA 2015.

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Image: Jordan walking in Gail Sorronda's MBFWA 2015.

Sorronda also cast Aboriginal-German-English model Samantha Harris, who opened the show, making her presentation one of the, if not the, most ethnically-diverse of MBFWA 2015. Sorronda has a longstanding working relationship with Harris, who she sees not only as a model, but as a positive influence within the industry.

While there were other small examples of diversity throughout MBFWA 2015, including Kym Ellery recruiting new mother Gemma Ward and Emma Balfour, who is in her mid-forties, for her show, which opened proceedings last Sunday, the week has been embarrassingly remiss of diversity.

This is especially concerning considering international labels like Hood By Air, Eckhaus Latta and Acne, international department stores like Selfridges, and the fashion community-at-large – designers, media outlets – are celebrating gender neutrality. Furthermore, the weight of models is a hot button issue right now because France and Denmark have both moved to regulate this part of the industry, while closer to home, Australian model Stefania Ferrario is calling for the fashion industry to #DropThePlus.

There currently seems to be a global awakening of consciousness with regards to the practices of the fashion industry, and how we can change it for the better. Gail Sorronda is part of this movement – it's a shame that no-one else at MBFWA 2015 was.

Read our full feature about the lack of diversity at MBFWA 2015.

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Liked this? Read these articles about the fashion industry:

1) Talking Ten Years in Business with Gail Sorronda

2) Oxfam: Why Just Jeans Should Sign the Bangladesh Accord

3) Real Talk: On Modelling, With Ollie Henderson

4) These 4 Docos Uncover the Dark Side of the Modelling Industry

5) Stella McCartney is an Ethical Fashion Success Story, Says Business of Fashion

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