Monte-Carlo Fashion Week: Tower of Appearances brings to light the dark issue of violence against women

tower of appearances

Against the backdrop of the glamourous Monte-Carlo Fashion Show, a thought-provoking exhibition of dolls, each carrying a powerful message, was held at the Yacht Club de Monaco: the Tower of Appearances. 

Tower of Appearances, an exhibition featuring Barbie-style dolls from 17 different creators, is the brainchild of Valérie Campora-Lucas of the Aide aux Victimes d’Infractions Pénales (AVIP), an association that supports female victims of violence. 

See more: Interview: Federica Nardoni Spinetta, founder of Monte-Carlo Fashion Week

The mission of the exhibition, which was presented for the first time at the Yacht Club de Monaco on Tuesday 23rd April, is to bring to light the violence inflicted on women in today’s society, from domestic abuse to sexual and psychological violence.  

“Above all, we wanted to give a voice to the victims as well as to different people from different generations and in an original way,” revealed Campora-Lucas, who collaborated with the From The Bay agency to bring together an array of 17 artists, each tasked with imparting on their doll their individual “visions of violence”. 

28-year-old Abigail Tara Lilly, a professional model since the age of 15, took part in the unveiling of the installation, and spoke on the ways that the global fashion industry is taking responsibility for its past and history of unethical practices.  

“We need to teach women that all sizes are beautiful, we don’t need to brainwash women to have these unrealistic body standards,” she told those gathered at the event.  

Each doll included in the exhibition carries a message that is raw, unfiltered and impactful.

For example, one doll depicts violence against women in the prostitution industry.

The creator of this doll, who wishes to remain anonymous, says of their concept: “The white handprints symbolise the exploitation, while the cut marks on her body express the physical and emotional wounds she endures.”  

Some creators got personal and shared the stories of abuse that they themselves have been through while others took on the day-to-day traumas of social media harassment, emotional abuse and catcalling.  

One of the hardest hitting parts of the installation is the intentionally empty red bench, which signifies the life of a woman, Mara, that was taken by a former partner. Vera Facchetti, Mara’s sister, was present at the unveiling, where she shared the tragic story on stage alongside Monte-Carlo Fashion Week’s founder, Federica Nardoni Spinetta, and Campora-Lucas.

Left to right: Monte-Carlo Fashion Week Founder Federica Nardoni Spinetta; Vera Facchetti, the sister of a woman killed by her former partner; and Valérie Campora-Lucas. Photo credit: Monaco Communications Department / Stéphane Danna 

To learn more about the exhibition, click here.

Read related:

Monte-Carlo Fashion Week: Catwalks, conferences and powerful messages


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Photo credit: Monaco Communications Department / Stéphane Danna