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Campaign - Sustainability Meets Rape and Sexual Violence for London Fashion Week

Updated: Mar 13


"By choosing challenging subjects and encouraging conversation, my vision is to encourage society to be more aware, open, and educated on these issues, whilst eliminating the wrong and extremely damaging terminology/language often used in the media and press surrounding sexual violence. I believe this new piece communicates a powerful message and starts the conversation on a challenging subject. Having these conversations help begin to normalise the dialogue in society. By doing this I hope it will help survivors feel able to open up safely to someone, whether that be a professional, friend, or a family member." Sarah Hollebon


Fusing mental health, sustainability, and art, Sarah Hollebon worked with multidisciplinary artist and Safeline charity ambassador Daniela Raytchev to create a collaborative and expressive statement piece that opens up the conversation on rape and sexual violence.


The jacket raises awareness on rape and sexual violence and is created from upcycled materials and natural fabrics. One side of the jacket represents the turmoil of the trauma and the other side represents the aftermath during recovery. The original artwork is hand painted by Daniela and is based on one of her paintings, where she interviewed a survivor of sexual abuse. The deep red is rouched and folded in, recreating the scars and complex journey one undertakes. Black ribbons can either be tied or hung loosely from the jacket, representing the process from flashbacks to the willingness to begin opening up and starting the journey of recovery.


The reverse side of the jacket is plain black woollen fabric showing hints of Daniela’s painting. One can choose to wear/show our inner states of being or not, how much we reveal is up to us and it changes depending on us and our environment. Either way we own our story, and we can create our future, no matter which way we step out.


Sexual violence will always be a prevalent topic until the problem no longer exists. The Crime Survey of England and Wales estimates 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million female victims and 631,000 male victims. Just because this topic is not being spoken about, does not mean it’s not happening. There is no denying this is a challenging subject matter which is why it’s so important we keep the conversation flowing regularly within our circles. We have a long way to go, however, I do believe we are moving in the right direction to raise awareness, educate across all generations, and most importantly, to create safe spaces for survivors.

Sarah and Daniela's new collaborative statement piece was exhibited for 4 days at Never Fade Factory in Soho London, alongside 2 interactive garments by Sarah Hollebon. Sarah also performed a presentation show on the last day, raising the question where are we, as a society, at with mental health?




The presentation started off with the public writing on calico garments answering the question 'what does mental health mean to you?'. Then models, Chantay Watson and Antonia Latz performed improv dance sequences inspired by these answers whilst also interacting with the new collaborative piece on rape and sexual violence.





Lastly, Sarah took to the stage and performed an interactive show conveying, loosely, her journey of trauma and healing in 3 stages:


- She began with slashing the skirt into pieces, whilst the model was wearing it, to represent stage 1 of feeling broken and torn apart


- Sarah then painted the slashes gently, conveying stage 2 of caring and look after herself


- Lastly, Sarah hand sewed the slashes back together, conveying stage 3 of mending and rebuilding herself, slowly, at her own pace








 

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