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Model Wasn't Happy With the Clothes, Protested While Modeling Them

'Mental health is not fashion' was written on Ayesha Tan Jones' hands
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2019 10:10 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/davidfillion)

(Newser) – Ayesha Tan Jones walked in Gucci's Spring/Summer 2020 show at Milan Fashion Week—but they did so while protesting the very clothing they were wearing. The models were all wearing white straitjacket-like garments and similar outfits, and as Tan Jones walked the runway, they held up their hands to show that their palms read: "Mental health is not fashion." See the image on their Instagram feed. In a statement posted to Instagram, they wrote, "It is in bad taste for Gucci to use the imagery of straight jackets and outfits alluding to mental patients, while being rolled out on a conveyor belt as if a piece of factory meat," adding, "As an artist and model who has experienced my own struggles with mental health ... it is hurtful and insensitive for a major fashion house such as Gucci to use this imagery as a concept for a fleeting fashion moment."

CNN notes that Gucci made its own series of Instagram posts about the outfits, writing that "Uniforms, utilitarian clothes, normative dress, including straitjackets, were included in the #GucciSS20 fashion show as the most extreme version of a uniform dictated by society and those who control it. These clothes were a statement for the fashion show and will not be sold." The fashion house noted that the 89 looks in the show were the "antidote" to the power that "is exercised over life to eliminate self-expression." But Tan Jones' statement reinterprets that as the fashion house using such outfits as "props for selling clothes." They say many other models in the show felt just as strongly about the subject, and "some of us have chosen to donate a portion of our fee to mental health charities who are doing amazing work for people today." (Read more Gucci stories.)

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