View Full Version : Stylist storms out of faux-plus fashion show (U.K.)
19th September 2009, 23:45
London Fashion Week is going on right now, and one designer made the decision to add three faux-plus modes to his show. Predictably, it didn't sit well with some fashion insiders.
Apparently, having anything other than anorexics on the runway is too much for some people in the fashion industry:
A designer's decision to use size 12 and 14 [U.S. 10 and 12] models at London Fashion Week yesterday caused a behind-the-scenes row that ended in his stylist walking out. Mark Fast, known for his sculpted mini-dresses reflecting the recent body-conscious trend, used three models of a size larger than the catwalk is used to seeing...to model his knitwear designs.
Within an hour of his show on Saturday morning, an Elle magazine journalist sent out a tweet saying Fast's stylist had resigned over his use of the modelsThe prejudice runs deep.
At any rate, the use of faux-plus models is certainly better than waifs, so it's a small step in the right direction. But not until true plus-size models like Kailee O'Sullivan and Katherine Roll walk the catwalk, as they did in FFFWeek, will things really change.
Here's a picture of one of the models. It's nice that the knitwear is fitted to her figure, and obviously this outfit looks a thousand times better on her body than it would on an anorexic. It's also encouraging to see that the outfit is abbreviated, and shows some skin. Too bad the hairstyling and makeup are very unattractive.
I wish the hair/cosmetics had been more feminine. That's is why Crystal Renn's 2006 catwalk for Gaultier in her gorgeous floral dress remains the touchstone for curvy girls on the catwalk - because the whole aesthetic was unmodern, and feminine, and beautiful.
Let's hope that this is a sign of progress, though, and leads to seeing true plus-size models on the runway in the future.
21st September 2009, 08:45
Here's another image of the model. I wish she were at least a 14 instead of a 10/12 (and had a prettier hairstyle and makeup), but at least she possesses some semblance of curves. And the dress is perfect for plus-size women.
The idea that anyone could ever want a model to be thinner than this is absurd. That someone would quit over the use of a model with this shape is...insane.
But insanity is par for the course in fashion. It turns out that not only did the stylist quit over the designer's use of medium-size models, but his casting director quit too!
Two members of knitwear designer Mark Fast's team were so furious about curvier women showcasing his designs that they walked out on the project, the BBC reports.
But the designer - a certain Mark Fast, who is Canadian, it turns out - and his managing director have the right idea. The latter said the following:
"There's this idea that only thin and slender women are able to wear Mark's dresses and he wanted to combat that.
"We wanted women to know they don't have to be a size zero to wear a Mark Fast dress — curvier women can look even better in one." Now, that's a sentiment worth applauding. Not only does this team think that the curvy models can look "as good" as the skeletons in these dresses. But in fact, they acknowledge that the curvy models look better in them.
And that only stands to reason. As stated before, the dress is obviously designed to hug the figure. But if it has no figure to hug, then the effect is ruined, and it just looks like an empty sack. On a model with at least a semblance of curves, on the other hand, it takes on a womanly shape.
(And, of course, on a fuller-figured model, it would have looked even more attractive.)
22nd September 2009, 09:51
Here's a short BBC video featuring various fashionistas' reactions to the show's inclusion of these semi-plus-size models:
To her credit, Alexandra Schulman, the British Vogue editor, notes that there was only one show with curvier models, and she says that she wishes that the show had used more. And she's absolutely right. More girls - and fuller-figured too.
That's the one shortcoming of this event. It still seemed so marginal - just a few girls, and such small ones. Better than nothing, but still just a token, compared to the countless thousands of shows that take place with waifs.
Bravo to the BBC reporter for asking a different designer if she would use larger models. Of course, the designer says no.
The other people interviewed all say the right pro-curvy things. But words are easy. Actions are what matter. Favourable comments mean nothing unless more shows use plus-size models (TRUE plus-size models), and unless curvier girls are featured in magazines as well.
22nd September 2009, 10:35
I don't understand the fashion industry at all. Why should women be tall and thin in the first place, with odd make-up and hair like a bird's nest? Clothes look better when a woman has curvy feminine shape, not when she is an unattractive masculine plank.
23rd September 2009, 11:50
One article that I found interesting on this topic was this (http://www.thestar.com/living/fashion/article/698845) one from a Canadian newspaper, because it included the following observation by the desinger:
The designer said he realized how well his knits work on all body shapes last season during sales, when his line was made in different sizes.
"My knits respond differently to different bodies," he said.
"Some looks just work better on curves..."
"All looks work better on curves," he should have said, but once again he acknowledges the superiority of the plus-size figure, which is good to hear. But it's significant that - if we take him at his word - he only came to this pro-curvy realization when he actually saw his clothing on fuller bodies. It makes you wonder how many people in the fashion industry resist plus sizes simply out of a blind, instinctive prejudice based on grotesque media myths, and have no mental picture of how designs actually would look on fuller figures. If they actually saw fashions on curvier women, some might change their minds, as this designer did.
That makes it all the most important for images of plus-size models to proliferate. It also makes it more understandable why the thin supremacists continue to resist the presence of full-figured girls in fashion - because they know that once plus-size models are seen more frequently, many women will welcome them, and will reject the anorexic waifs in favour of curvier models, who make clothes look better.
23rd September 2009, 14:20
...It also makes it more understandable why the thin supremacists continue to resist the presence of full-figured girls in fashion - because they know that once plus-size models are seen more frequently, many women will welcome them, and will reject the anorexic waifs in favour of curvier models, who make clothes look better.
Unfortunately, while the clothes will look better to most women and straight men, to many fashion designers, a woman's curves are ugly things indeed.
24th September 2009, 00:00
This designer, Mark Fast, made an especially smart move in choosing knitwear to showcase his slightly curvy models. Nothing looks sexier on womanly curves than knits, which, if they're fitted well, define a womanly shape. And in the above picture, the dress fits the model beautifully.
I wish the designer had used slightly larger models, though. After all, one of MODE's most exciting and revolutionary images ever, and the one that made Barbara Brickner's career, was this one from her famous knitwwear editorial:
Look at how seductively that dress clings to her bust, abdomen, and reverse-view curves. That image is the epitome of plus-size beauty.
And then there was the book Big Girl Knits, which showed fitted knitwear on an even curvier model. Again, she looked gorgeous:
But Fast's dress, above, is even more alluring, because it's daringly abbreviated, and uses the "body as fashion accessory" principle. I'd love to see a Judgment of Paris favourite wear it!
So although I do wish that Mark Fast had used fuller girls, bravo to him at least for this small step, and for giving his models something body-conscious to wear.
24th September 2009, 10:12
I also have a comparison to offer.
First, here's a link to the video of the Mark Fast show. I don't particularly recommend it, as all of the models except for one are either skinny, or outright emaciated. The only even remotely curvy one, the model in the first picture in this thread, appears at 1:30 and 4:00 into the video.
It's great that she's there, and she is obviously much better than any other model in the show. But still, I wish that Mr. Fast had used someone like Kailee too. Not just because Kailee is fuller and shapelier- which she is- but also because of how much more confident and vital she looks walking the runway. All of the models in the Mark Fast show look...unhappy, almost miserable. By contrast, just look at all of the captivating motions that Kailee does when she walks, especially the enticing poses and expressions that she strikes at the end of the runway. She makes everything she models come alive.
Those Simply Be videos, along with the photos of Kailee and Katherine Roll from FFFWeek, show just how amazingly beautiful and exciting plus-size models can be on the runway.
But I agree with everyone who has applauded Fast's knit dresses. They look terrific on a curvier figure.
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