Fashion designer Stella McCartney is putting her public platform to good use by highlighting breast cancer awareness. Last week, McCartney published a series of unaltered photographs of women who have had mastectomies taken by photographer Laura Dodsworth.
The 12 women who are featured appear on McCartney's website alongside her collection of contemporary women's wear.
The London Standard documents the details of McCartney's collaboration:
Stella McCartney unveils extraordinary photographs of women post-surgery to raise breast cancer awareness
The images form part of an initiative in support of photographer Laura Dodsworth’s book Bare Reality
Wednesday 28 October 2015
Stella McCartney today published a series of extraordinary photographs featuring women who have had mastectomies.
The unaltered images, taken by author and photographer Laura Dodsworth, show 12 women and appear on the London designer’s website alongside her latest collection of womenswear, lingerie and accessories.
They form part of an initiative through which McCartney is supporting Dodsworth’s book Bare Reality, in which the author tells the stories of 100 women, aged from 19 to 101, by examining their relationship with their breasts.
While the identities of the women involved do not appear on McCartney’s website, their experiences are related through first-hand accounts with the hashtag #nolessawoman.
Among those taking part is a 46-year-old woman who has had three mastectomies and reconstructive surgery along with two rounds of chemotherapy. In her story, which can be read on McCartney’s site, she writes: “Cancer was like an unwanted house guest, it made a mess, had parties, then went.
“I shut the door behind it and went, ‘Phew, thank goodness you’re gone, don’t come back’. But when I found out I had the BRCA mutation I felt like the cancer was part of me.”
Dodsworth, who lives in Surrey, began documenting women’s relationship with their breasts after a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project.
She said it was the honesty of the imagery which proved compelling, adding: “How often do we see photographs which, while gentle and sympathetic, also present the un-airbrushed reality of breast cancer?
“I am proud of this collaboration which takes a tender, truthful and inspiring look at the lives and bodies of women with breast cancer.”
The campaign is close to McCartney’s heart: her mother, Linda, died in 1998 at the age of 56 after a three-year battle with breast cancer.
Inspired by her memory, the designer recently unveiled a compression bra designed for women who have had a double mastectomy. She called it the Louise Listening bra, after her mother’s middle name.
“We just wanted to make something that allows women undergoing this to have something to be proud of, something with no shame attached,” McCartney, 44, said at the time.
“We wanted women to know that you can still be feminine, have your sensuality, have all of the things that are attached to being a woman, and that part of your body can still feel beautiful on the outside, as well as the inside.”
Sales of the Louise Listening bra go to the Hello Beautiful Foundation, a charity spearheaded by cancer survivor Jane Hutchison, which promises a new centre in London to support women with breast cancer and their families.