Video clips released to mark start of London Fashion Week
As London Fashion Week (14-18 February) gets underway, various figures from the UK fashion industry are backing Amnesty International’s call on the Russian authorities to stop the crackdown on human rights in the country.
Kate Moss, Nick Knight, Bella Freud, Henry Holland, Hilary Alexander and Gareth Pugh are amongst those who have recorded short videos in which they declare their support for people in Russia suffering human rights abuses under recently-introduced draconian laws.
In the 30-second video clips - filmed by the renowned photographer Nick Knight at SHOWstudio - the participants appear in balaclavas before removing them and declaring their support for Amnesty’s work in Russia. The clips will be released individually on SHOWStudio’s website (showstudio.com/proudtoprotest) from 2pm today (14 February) and promoted through social media with the hashtag #proudtoprotest.
Over the course of London Fashion Week, other leading figures from the fashion industry will be taking part, with a second series of video clips released next week and members of the public encouraged to submit their own version in solidarity with the people of Russia.
The human rights situation in Russia has been in the spotlight because of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which run until 23 February. After the London Olympics, the Russian government signed an agreement promising to adhere to the Olympic principles of non-discrimination, equality, inclusion, respect and mutual understanding, and to promote human rights during the Winter Olympics and beyond. However, a number of laws introduced since then do exactly the opposite.
Amnesty International UK Sochi campaigner Sara Rydkvist said:
“We’re delighted that so many leading lights of the fashion industry are marking the most important week in their calendar - London Fashion Week - by showing solidarity with ordinary people in Russia suffering under the crackdown on human rights.
“Freedoms are fast disappearing in Russia. LGBTI rights are being trampled under the so-called ‘gay propaganda’ law banning people from giving under-18s information about homosexuality.
“Peaceful protesters are being arrested and imprisoned, public gatherings of more than one person could land you behind bars, NGOs are being silenced and artists harassed and censored.”
Nick Knight said:
“Has humanity learnt nothing? This situation in Russia is an unbelievable step backwards for an enlightened world.”
The designer Gareth Pugh said:
“The existence of such animosity towards the LGBTI community in Russia is abhorrent. I can only hope that this project helps to raise awareness of what is such a desperate series of events.”