The idea of walking any runway at London Fashion Week in front of a crowd filled with industry-professionals, influencers and journalists is enough to send anyone into a spiral of anxiety. While, at first, imagining ourselves donning a Molly Goddard-esque poufy dress and strutting our stuff down the runway to the lyrics of Beyoncé’s Run The World (Girls) may sound like the stuff of dreams, the idea of actually doing it is a bit more nerve inducing.
So when we saw Lena Dunham’s refreshingly honest description of her thoughts before she walked the LFW runway for the ready-to-wear women’s brand 16Arlington, we were obsessed.
“When my friends at @16Arlington asked me to walk the runway for #LondonFashionWeek, I basically yelled ‘YES WHEN!’,” Dunham wrote above a video of her on the runway. “It was only after my initial scream of joy that I realised this would hit on a lot of my insecurities – about my body, desire-ability and general coolness.”
Despite these initial doubts, however, Dunham went on to explain how the concept behind the brand’s show helped her to take to the runway with confidence.
“Marco & Frederica are such sensitive, funny and wise artists – they created a show that could make any woman feel beautiful, unusual and happy in her total uniqueness,” she added. “I’m so proud to call the designers my friends. Congrats, my loves, on your first runway show!”
The brand’s celebration of everyone’s “total uniqueness” is a message Dunham herself previously took to Instagram to champion. Posting for her 2.9m followers last week, the writer, director and producer wrote: “I am getting to experience London Fashion Week for the first time. While I haven’t necessarily been hailed as a fashion icon (that’s the cute way to put it) I am obsessed with clothes… As our chosen leader Rihanna once said ‘I actually have had the pleasure of a fluctuating body type,’ and that doesn’t always lend itself to the doors of fashion opening wide.”
She continued: “People have a lot of rules about how girls with flesh should dress (and let’s be real, rules about how every type of woman should dress – it’s exhausting). But I’ve had some incredible and warmly inclusive designers make looks for me, and it’s a real joy to stroll through the archives and remember some of my favourite moments in life as a mannequin.”
Continuing her caption underneath a series of her favourite fashion looks, she concluded: “Shout out to all the designers who have made room for my Spanx free stomach, which is almost as wide as my hips because that’s one way a woman’s body can look.”
The lack of body diversity on the runways at LFW has previously come under criticism by model and influencer Felicity Hayward, who wrote for Stylist about the lack of plus-size representation on the runways in London, especially when compared to New York Fashion Week.
“Isn’t the money enough to make designers and brands open up to the opportunities inclusive sizing and representation will bring?” she questioned.
“Surely one of the top priorities in a business is to make money? Or is ‘plus-size’ still deemed such a filthy word that brands still don’t want to associate their trends and styles to bigger people? Answers on a postcard please.”