I’m so excited to be able to share some truly inspirational photos from a wonderful project by the Alternative Fashion Fest folks. Read on for a message from Jane Bellis, their creative director.

Rubens Rebels
Positive Body Image Shoot


Alternative fashion fest is a project aimed at creating social change through the highly accessible fashion & music industry.
With shows touring the UK involving designers, dancers, performers and musicians and a whole mixed bag of models from alternative to mainstream, plus size to disabled and everything in between, we’re representing real people from all walks of life and celebrating our unique and beautiful differences.

In our latest part of the project we are focussing on positive body image and self esteem, inspired by Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens painted what he actually saw, reality rather than an enhancement of the truth, and for this he was shunned by his fellow artists.

Our photographer, Mansy wanted to show that not all art is a lie, not all images of beauty need to involve one style and be heavily edited, there is beauty in everyone regardless of size, shape, colour, age or lifestyle choice.
Alternative Fashion Fest aims to challenge beauty standards and represent a beautifully diverse mixture of people from all walks of life. In this image we see women aged between 23 and 43, sizes 8 – 22 from different backgrounds and with different lives. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and girlfriends and have chosen to be brave and come together to create this stunning image, to try and inspire others out there to see the beauty in everyone and show themselves a little kindness and self love,

The response so far has been overwhelming, from the social media frenzy to hugs and hi 5’s on the school run and husbands & partners proudly showing off their ladies bravery and beauty.
We plan to create a series of these images during 2016 and compile a large scale landscape full of the wonderful, strong, and beautiful ladies who take part.

What’s next? We want to focus on the boys and taboo issues relating to all the men out there. We will also be looking at social inclusion, mental health, bullying and gender fluidity in our campaign for social change so watch this space!



Creative Director
Alternative Fashion Fest