Posted Monday 16 June 2014
Kingston University's Fashion MA student Marilina Tsitsa has won the Diversity Now! 2014 film prize from All Walks Beyond the Catwalk and i-D Magazine. She won for her film Anna in Puppetland, which looks at the way the fashion industry dictates its beauty ideals on society.
All Walks Beyond the Catwalk is an organisation that aims to challenge the fashion industry to represent a more realistic range of women in age, size, race and appearance. The Diversity Now! competition asked fashion students to create works that reflect these ideals.
Marilina said her film was "an effort to evoke thought about how much influence the media and fashion have on us. I strongly believe that we should become more independent in terms of thinking, especially women that have been psychologically manipulated throughout history."
Marilina came to Kingston to study the Fashion MA after completing her undergraduate degree in her native Greece. "One of the reasons I chose Kingston is that the degree doesn't just focus on getting into the industry as it is, but allows you to experiment, collaborate and find your own place. Something that has always been important to me is breaking the stereotypes of beauty and attractiveness, women are being stifled by the beauty and fashion industries. This competition was ideal for me.
"I was really pleased to be selected as a finalist, but I didn't expect to win. I was so surprised and touched when my name was called at the awards ceremony. When you've put a lot of work into something you believe to be important, the appreciation makes you feel really good."
One of the founding members of All Walks is fashion industry guru Caryn Franklin, who is also a Kingston University graduate. Earlier this year she came to Kingston to meet with fashion students and encourage them to take part.
Caryn said: "Marilina's film was an opinionated and confident statement on our willingness to let fashion dictate terms. We loved it for its clever simplicity and stark messaging.
"It's clear that these challenges to our thinking are needed in the current climate. Since lecturing to Kingston about the All Walks Beyond the Catwalk philosophy of inclusivity, conscious fashion and enlightened practice, we have been delighted with the response of tutors and students alike."