I think Tanya Gold was as tough as she could be while still remaining civil. What a dream opportunity she had, though - the chance to actually come face to face with two members of the fashion establishment who are pushing the underweight standard and to torpedo their risible excuses and rationalizations.
It's disgraceful that the press, which claims to have lofty goals of "speaking truth to power," has largely given the fashion industry a pass on the issue of anorexia promotion. Even in this article, it wasn't the writer himself who called out the fashion apologists, but Ms. Gold, who was brought in to voice her position. Kudos to the article's writer for at least setting up this dialogue and for allowing someone to finally have it out with a pair of fashion insiders.
This passage in the article was especially infuriating. The designers state another outright falsehood when they claim that there is an absence of plus-size models:
SC: We're styling for [high street chain for plus-size womenswear] Evans and we asked to cast models for bigger sizes, but agencies just don't even have girls like that, they don't even exist. They have older mumsy ones but not high-end fashion models. It's not on their radar.
Okay, what exactly do they mean by "high-end fashion models"? If they're going by Evans's casting policy, well, I've never seen Evans use Kelsey Olson, Katherine Roll, Lindsey Garbelman, etc. There's nothing "older" or "mumsy" about those
voluptuous vixens! If these designers want to make pronouncements about the quality of plus-size models, then they need to look a little harder and see beyond the disappointing model choices that companies like Evans make, and recognize that there are
some breathtakingly gorgeous full-figured models out there.
If the designers can't find such models with one agency, they can find them with another agency.
But if, when these designers claim that there are no plus-size "high-end fashion models," they strictly mean that there are no fuller-figured models getting high-fashion jobs, well, that's a circular argument. Throughout the article, the designers parrot the dozens of the industry's excuses and rationalizations for excluding plus-size models, then they lament that there are no plus-size models in high fashion! In other words, the upshot of their argument is, "We need to exclude plus-size models because plus-size models are being excluded."
Insanely, that's what they're actually saying.
And besides, despite the industry-wide prejudice against curves, this last excuse about the absence of high-fashion plus-size models isn't even true. Sophie Sheppard received a print editorial in Vogue Italia
- which is, by definition, high fashion. The aesthetic quality of her look surpasses that of any top-level model, even Doutzen Kroes. And Sophie is even located in the U.K.! So these designers do
have a plus-size, high-fashion-quality model available to them in their own country, if they would just make the decision to book such a goddess.