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Vans D.I.Y.ourself
The Mushpit

Posters pinpointing what it’s like to be a woman in 2016

Ahead of International Women’s Day, London creatives turn to the Xerox machine to make sense of being a woman today

London is a hotbed of female talent hell-bent on bringing inspiration to an often overwhelmingly exclusive and elitist city. Whether it’s figuring out that women work fantastically with other women (BabyFace), throw incredible club nights (Work it and Maxilla) or publish things you actually want to read (The Mushpit). Vans have long-since figured this out, previously opening the doors of SE1’s House of Vans for monthly all-girl skate sessions.

Tonight they’ll launch Girls Month: D.I.Y.ourself, an inclusive group exhibition – boys welcome too – celebrating International Women’s Day. Kicking off with a series of Xerox posters that Vans tasked Lotte Andersen of West London club night Maxilla, Claire Burman and Nellie Eden of all-female collective BabyFace and r&b club night Work It, Bertie Brandes and Char Roberts of The Mushpit zine and Studio Calm & Collected, to design. “We’ve been desperate to get our Blue Peter on for ages now”, said Burman and Eden. “We started with the idea of having each girl impart the advice she would give her 16-year-old self. We then collaged hundreds of keepsakes that we'd collected since school; love notes, bits of gossip, CD’s… We hope our posters make you nostalgic for your school days but also remind you that being a woman is an ever-changing, dizzying, wonderful and tough journey.”

“We hope our posters make you nostalgic for your school days but also remind you that being a woman is an ever-changing, dizzying, wonderful and tough journey” – Claire Burman and Nellie Eden (BabyFace)

Mushpit – who worked with Ditto Press last year to create a series of posters for their issue 7 launch – mocked up prints that read 'TRUST YOUR MOTHER’ and ’TRUE ROMANCE LOVE AT FIRST DEEP LIKE’. “They're bold, funny, sometimes slightly provocative and we hope identifiably Mushpit in aesthetic and agenda”, they told us. "It's a good feeling to think that we might be encouraging other girls and women to go forth with their own projects and not be afraid to be brazen!”

Alongside the opening night – aka tonight – the month-long event will include talks, workshops and  film screenings.

Only two months into the year and we’ve already seen an increasing influx of all-women led events hitting the capital – marking a clear indication that there’s no shortage of demand for it. "It means that a girl in Manchester might see it on her Instagram feed, or a student in Brighton might read one of our girls' words and feel emboldened or better understood,” muse Burman and Eden. "It's also a great opportunity to have some really lively debate and discussion with our peers… We admire them all for different reasons, and while we're all active feminists, our work is very different, our outlooks vary, and it's great to celebrate that diversity. In our opinion the more events that bring the wider public into contact with autonomous girls and women with opinions and voices, well, that's just grand by us.”

Find out more here