ORCHID was started as a combination of Social Justice and Fashion. I started my journey in Fashion over 2 decades ago and found it exclusionary and very white even before the upper echelons of it which is still to this day exceedingly so. In the past 5 years or so models have become more diverse and we see some small additions to Senior Editors of colour but the Industry has a LONG way to go with equal opportunities for all of us. This Blog is a combination of Social Justice Issues and some Fashion News.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/truck-drivers-sentence-lowered-10-years-originally-receiving/story?id=82010219 I start with an egregious miscarriage of justice – whilst there are sadly countless ones of them out there this one garnered national attention and after millions signed a petition the 110 year sentence was reduced to 10 years which is more than many murderers receive. Had he been white would he have received the same treatment? And while one might say old news – this happens far too often without us knowing or hitting the spotlight.

Mass Shootings – An American Pastime

Mass Shootings have seemingly now become an almost everyday part of American life. Not even the Grand American Holiday – July 4th was without a large shooting with multiple casulatiles. In The United Kingdom all it took was one and laws and new regulations were instituted. However sarcastically a Supreme Court is too busy eroding rights which have been around for years with Roe v. Wade a law which has existed for 5 decades!!! just overturned. It woudl be one thing if this were a law that was passed 2,4, or even 10 years ago but 50!! Kicking the right to abortion down to the State and the decision immediately outlawed abortion in many states. There was a leak of the decision earlier in the year so at least our minds were somewhat prepared for the possibility. We live in crazy times not just Roe v. Wade but gun violence and mass shootings are now an everyday occurrence.

Of all the sad losses and injuries I highlight this 2 year old little one who was orphaned https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/06/us/aiden-mccarthy-parents-highland-park-shooting/index.html

Supreme Court – Roe vs. Wade and More

A summary. It would be different had they overturned a position taken 5 or so years ago but a whole two decades!! . Justice Thomas has also said same sex marriage and other items are next..

Paris Couture Week AW 2022

Maison Valentino – AW 2022

Delighted to see a great casting job here and at a few others with age and size added in.

Maison Valentino AW 2022 Couture

Maison Valentino AW 2022 Couture

orchidmagazineofficial an excerpt from our Instagram

Ottimo casting! @marineserre_official sent a bevy of ages, supermodels from the past, shapes and races down the runway #cordulareyer #ajumanasenyana #brandiquinones and Madonna’s daughter #lourdesciccone #erinwasson #parisfashionweek #womenswear #fashion

Marine Serre Men’s and Women’s – Paris Fashion Week
Marine Serre Men’s and Women’s – Paris Fashion Week

Paris Couture – Imane Ayissi

Originally hailing from Cameroon – Mr. Ayissi is a mainstay of Paris Couture Week and the only black designer to do so. His collections are always chic and sophisticated and draw heavy inspiration from Africa.

Imane Ayissi AW 2022 Paris Couture Week

Green Trend FW 2022 at Paris Couture Week

From left Zuhair Murad, Zuhair Murad, Zuhair Murad, Giambattista Valli , Giambattista Valli
From left Chanel, Chanel, Valentino, Valentino, Valentino

Britttney Griner Sentenced to 9 years in Russia – Meanwhile in America.

The Brittney Griner situation is a travesty and an outrage. However right in America there are gross miscarriages of justice including this one here. Not to mention countless mostly black and brown people languishing in jail for small possessions in places where weed sales are now legal.

UK Jewellery Festival 2022

September 2022. We were pleased to attend a live trade show after all the government restrictions . There was wonderful catering and people shook hands upon meeting. There were a few interesting brands here are some images of emerging designers.

Emerging Designer Xinyi Chen

Emerging Designer Kathy Chan

Selections from Emerging Designer Aleyna Badat

Little Mermaid – Disney casts a Beautiful Brown Actress – met with a racist Backlash

Better than any comment I could write I believe these posts from across the internet sum up the deplorable situation best.

Another Social Justice Travesty – Victim of Sex trafficking kills her Trafficker – and is asked to pay Compensation

Just shocking. Now had the victim been white this is highly unlikely to have been the outcome.

Queen Elizabeth’s Beautiful Fashion

There are mixed feelings towards The Monarchy even in Britain. However the overwhelming majority of us British people grieve for this amazing lady who has been a part of our life for 70 years. This is a time of profound change even without a stable figure for 7 decades departing. Of course things will change with the future Commonwealth. However now is a time for mourning in the United Kingdom. I will miss her outfits and was moved to tears yet again as I selected these few photos. RIP Your Majesty – worked up until the end. Swore in our new Primeminister and 48 hours later departed the world.

New Season – New Cover

From an Editorial Shot in New York

PORT is an Editorial Shot in New York

Photography                     www.cedenophotography.com

Fashion Direction            www.sophiabatson.com

Hair and Makeup             https://www.joslynsoliman.com/

Fashion Assistant             Gurman Thabel

Model                                 Melissa Nunez   www.fentonmodels.com

Featuring Makeup by Face Atelier, Jewellery by Bounkit , Boots by Rossi, Shoes by AGL , shoes by Haleia

Tasha Tarno, JV Laurnt, Jason Troisi, Catou, Ha Za MA, Nazarene Amictus

Tina Turner – Simply The Best

After almost 2 decades with an abuser and beatings it warms my heart to know she found true happiness and good love. Whilst retured for several years and lived to the age of 83 still a huge loss. An amazing voice and catalog of music. RIP Lady Tina Turner – here are some of my favourite images to have circled the web since her passing.

Who Made Your Clothes

Some clothing Manufacturing is Modern Day Slavery

Fashion’s true price: Who made my clothes? by Shailendra Pathak

Every morning, when you wake up, you decide to wear your favourite sweater or t-shirt from the wardrobe. Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? It may be a simple t-shirt made in a lower-income country facing modern slavery with hidden instances of exploitation. The Global Slavery Index’s 2018 report reveals that over $125 billion of fashion garments created via some form of modern slavery are imported annually to G20 countries.80 % of world trade is accounted for by these countries which include the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. As consumers, we are blessed today with social media where you can ask your favourite brands #whomademyclothes? It is very critical to address the fashion supply chain which lacks transparency. In 2013, this was addressed globally when fast fashion consumed the lives of 1,130 people, and 2,500 more were injured by the incident in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Rana Plaza Factory is an eight-story building that continues to crumble crushing the livelihoods of many who earn 2 dollars per day and risking their safety by constant exploitation of cheap labour.

It is this that led to the Fashion Revolution, which raised the question of “Who made my clothes?” Most fashion brands and retailers don’t own manufacturing facilities, so they source clothing from countries with cheap labour and sell it in developed countries at much higher prices. On average, the workers make 2-3 dollars per day which is unfair and insufficient to pay loans or educate their children. More than 60% of the world’s clothing exports are manufactured in developing countries. Among the largest global suppliers today, Asia produces more than 32% of the world’s clothing exports.

Slavery is not driven by absolute poverty, but rather by vulnerability, marginalization, and inequality.

Awareness and transparency are crucial to making informed choices about investing in clothes. As per the Fashion Transparency Index 2021 report Nearly half of major brands and retailers (44%) publish targets on sustainable materials, yet fewer than one-third (30%) define what constitutes a so-called ‘sustainable’ material. Information overload, data dumping, and fluffy storytelling remain a problem among many major fashion brands where reality contradicts basic human rights and values.

I Kindly request the fashion industry that is using the threads that I am making to be responsible and support the change of the working conditions in the spinning mills “

Kavitha, Tamil Nadu, India, a garment worker / Fashion transparency report 2021

These issues call for strict laws that require businesses to conduct due diligence on living wages and remove the connotations of modern slavery. The US garment industry proposes to spark change by introducing Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s FABRIC Act protecting nearly 1,00,000 American garment workers. This will safeguard working conditions, wages, and the pay of women of color who were unevenly impacted during the pandemic. A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit employers from paying employees in the garment industry by piece rate. This bill also requires manufacturers and contractors in the garment industry to register with the Department of Labor, and for other purposes. There are choices we can make that not only define the visibility of those who make these clothes from yarn to a garment but also give them a fair life of dignity.

In 2022 Luxury Fashion brands acquire about 117.2 billion dollars and are still unable to disclose any information regarding their production process rather they ask to gather some information from CSR reports. Whereas high-street retailers are demonstrating transparency by reviewing their supply chain as a result of negative attention in the past. Post pandemic consumerism has questioned brand accountability with sustainable fashion as a macro trend. Are we exercising sustainable fashion with fair pay and transparency? Or is it limited to clothes only? This year we hope to create a dialogue between brands and consumers thinking about clothing beyond the product or superficial desire. Let us explore the hidden truth without indirectly supporting modern slavery by being consumers and supporting brands with a transparent supply chain. By doing so, we will avoid another catastrophe awaiting due to misinformed consumerism.

Written by Shailendra Pathak

Gail O’Neill

The Fashion World was saddened to hear of Gail O’Neill’s passing at 61. One of mine and many’s favourite models from a time when black models were so scarce. Here are a small number of my favourite shots of her – the man in the image is designer Willie Smith.

Human Rights/Social Justice Issues

Several have arisen during the horrible Humanitarian situation – in Gaza and West Bank – most notably Australia not passing a Constitutional addition recognising rights of Indigenous/Aboriginal Australians who have suffered so much historically and today. Also denial of same sex marriage in India.

India – Same Sex Marriage

“India’s LGBTQ+ Rights: A Turning Point in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate” by Shailendra Pathak

In a significant development on October 17, India’s Supreme Court declined to legalize same-sex
marriage, deferring the issue to the Indian Parliament and emphasizing the absence of a fundamental
right to marry. This decision aligns with the government’s opposition to same-sex marriage, citing
conflicts with traditional Indian values. The LGBTQ+ community, estimated to be over 10% of the
population, hopes for more inclusive legal recognition.
“I am a judge and it is my duty to fundamentally look at the history of discrimination that people have
suffered and to use the constitution as a peaceful means of bringing about a social transformation. In
so many societies across the world, you will find the rule of law has given way to the rule of violence.
The key to a stable society is the ability of judges to use the Constitution and their own platform as a
platform for reason and deliberation,” Chief Justice of India Chandrachud pointed out.
The debate surrounding same-sex marriage in India remains polarized, with advocates emphasizing
the need for LGBTQ+ rights and opponents citing traditional values. Section 377, a colonial-era law,
was partially decriminalized in 2018 but still applies to non-consensual homosexual activities. This law
was stated in 1860 by the British Company, and since then it has been ridiculed and discriminated
against humans who were classified as homosexuals. It only takes one law to change the conception
of gender, caste, or religion, as we have seen in the past. This law had a domino effect, causing a
long and ongoing debate on basic human rights and equality.
Despite the recent court ruling, the government has proposed establishing a panel to consider
extending legal rights to same-sex couples, offering hope for a more inclusive and equal Indian
society. While the court’s decision emphasizes the lack of a fundamental right to marry and the
necessity for parliamentary action, it does not deter the LGBTQ+ rights movement. The ongoing
debate and the court’s openness to exploring alternative avenues demonstrate progress toward
LGBTQ+ equality in India, with the panel’s deliberations holding the potential to shape a more
inclusive and equal future.

Representation Within The Modelling Industry

An article by Finley Taylor – Featuring George Kirkup-Delph

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I walked through the door of the Kirkup-Delph residency. I knew George had modelled for Fred Perry, as well as making appearances at various international fashion shows. But I knew he was also a very down to earth individual. A cute home lay before me upon opening the door, decked out with greenery and mementos as far as the eye could see. I was warmly greeted by him, suited in a minimalist yet strikingly well put together outfit of a forest green sweater, black corduroy shorts and doc martens’ loafers. We exchanged pleasantries, sipped our coffees and strolled outside, ready to begin.

Conversation flowed freely as it always does between George and I, who explained how he was scouted. “I was 17 at a festival, you know how it goes” he began, mentioning how modelling was never something he wanted to get into. He mentioned how the agency he had been scouted by informed him that he was the only model they had eyes for that day, but “I’d literally just had a conversation with another model who’d been scouted at the same festival on the same day as me. I didn’t really care that much, but having smoke blown up your arse immediately in such a way wasn’t a great way to start”. When quizzed about whether he thought representation was a prevalent issue he’d witnessed, his eyes squinted as he remembered an incident. “I remember once at Paris Fashion Week they had two piles of applications, one for white models and one for ethnic models. As a gay man, if they’d have had a pile of gay and a pile of straight models, I’d have felt violated. The whole situation felt tokenistic’.

The issue does seem to be getting better though. George and I spoke to great lengths about Pharrell’s   new launch at Louis Vuitton. His walkway featured models from a plethora of different ethnicities, perfectly encapsulating the work of this new collection at such an esteemed brand. Perhaps now, however, another issue faces the world of fashion, as when Pharrell Williams brought out his creative crew to show the faces behind the show, viewers were greeted with a wave of white creators. As much as diversity amongst models has increased, now is the time to identify that ethnic representation within the fashion world on a grander scale is something that needs to be addressed.

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