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Old 13th August 2007   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Kate Dillon in ELLE, 07/2007

It happens once every decade.

Back in June, we posted images from the one and only editorial layout with plus-size models that Elle magazine had ever produced in its long history. That editorial appeared in the May 1997 issue of Elle Quebec, and said issue even featured one of the goddesses, Natasha Noël, on the magazine's cover--an honour that rival fashion glossy Vogue has never awarded to a plus-size model.

Well, it is now ten years later, so perhaps Elle thought that the time was right for a reprise. The July 2007 issue of Frech Elle (yes, the Elle that comes out of Paris, France) features an editorial layout with . . . Kate Dillon.

Mind you, French Elle is not unfamiliar with the concept of full-figured femininity. In December of 2003, the magazine ran a size-celebratory article that attracted notice in the British press. As reported on this forum at the time, the article

decreed thinness to be unfashionable and hailed the coronation of the "round, guitar-shaped" figure . . .

"We are coming to realise the tyranny of the long, stiff and bony silhouette is folly and that it says nothing good about the health of society," Annie Hubert, an anthropologist at the CNRS, the main state research institute, said. . . .

[M]en were programmed by evolution to be attracted to females with "breasts, f** on the hips and thighs and a little cushion under the navel -- all the elements which women try to get rid of. For a man,
les rondeurs of a woman with a 'guitar-shaped body' are an encouragement to enter into visual, tactile and sexual contact."

However, words do not have the same impact as images, which is why it is a boon to see Elle actually feature a plus-size model in its fashion pages.

Regrettably, Kate is very thin these days, as she has been for many years. Just think how much more gorgeous, how much more revolutionary such a layout would have been if it has been shot back during the early years of Mode, when Ms. Dillon (who was listed as a well-fed size 18, at the time) exhibited full arms, round facial features, and a luscious, pillow-soft body that bespoke generous self-indulgence.

Nevertheless, we are pleased to feature at least one page from this editorial, which does have size-positive merit:

What makes this photograph significant is that it celebrates the model's last remaining plus feature, and the most alluring aspect of her figure today--the soft, lovely curves along her back. We paid homage to this aspect of full-figured feminine beauty in a post last summer, and it is a credit to the model, to the photographer, and to Elle magazine, that they have exhibited this characteristic of the model's body so unapologetically and lovingly.

The rest of the images in the editorial are not nearly as progressive, and alas, Ms. Dillon does not grace the magazine's cover. That honour is given to a straight-size celebrity, which somewhat undermines what would otherwise be a marvellous cover line:

Être ronde

Ça nous plaît

which roughly means, "To be round: We like that.".

One only wishes that the magazine liked it enough to spotlight plus-size models more often than once every ten years, and to feature them on its covers as well . . .

- Click here to view Kate's page at a larger size

Last edited by HSG : 13th August 2007 at 15:15.
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Old 13th August 2007   #2
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Re: Kate Dillon in ELLE, 07/2007

Appearing in ELLE is notable as an accomplishment, but it's painful to see Kate looking so severely skinny. I think it's very telling that back when she was a size 16/18, in the early MODE days, she had at least three fan sites spontaneously created by enthusiastic admirers as tributes to her (not to mention two galleries at this site). But once she lost weight, two of those fan sites went down, and one has been moribund for years.

Ultimately, Kate forsook the admiration of the public for the admiration of the straight-size fashion industry, which is very sad. (Not to the degree that Sophie Dahl did, but the cases are similar.)

If Kate had remained as full-figured as she was in early MODE, she could have had a far more revolutionary and significant career as a plus-size model, and could have helped to change the world. Her beauty would have been infinitely greater as well.

I also wish that this ELLE page had been in colour, not in the clinical coldness of b&w. And how regrettable to see Kate holding in her stomach, as she did in her Jane magazine pic. I don't think Kate ever fully exorcised the demons from her childhood, when she endured negative comments for being full-figured.

However, I do like the detail of showing the curves along Kate's back. As a whole, though, Kailee O'Sullivan's celebrated Glamour page,

in which the soft, swelling curves of her midriff were fully visible and proudly presented, was a far more gorgeous and subversive figure-study.
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Old 21st August 2007   #3
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Posts: 517
Default Re: Kate Dillon in ELLE, 07/2007

I will say this -- the Elle image is far superior to Kate's quasi-nude Mode cover from January 2001 (which was not one of her better Mode covers). Although that cover was in colour, Kate had already diminished herself by that point, and the Mode pose (which echoed a Demi Moore cover of the time) was carefully arranged so that the viewer didn't actually see anything of Kate's figure per se. Also, her hair was shorter.

So between those two, I would say that this is the better image, both because of Kate's longer hair, and especially, because of the detail of showing the curves along her back, which is a provocative and size-positive touch.

But oh, how I wish this was the fuller-figured Kate Dillon of 1997. She was so much more gorgeous at a larger, softer size.

Incidentally, I found one more Elle association with Kate Dillon -- a page at (the site of German Elle) describing plus-size fashion for full-figured women, accompanied by pictures of Kate.

Here's the original page in German:

and here it is, as run through Google translator:

It's rough reading, since online translators are notoriously erratic, but it's wonderful to see any site with the Elle masthead making comments like "Curves are more exciting than corners!"

Also, sometimes, the translator fails to interpret certain words, creating some very interesting effects, such as the site's appreciative reference to the full-figured woman's "sinnlichen bosom, soft shoulders, seductive hips." The German word "sinnlich" actually means "sensual," but I prefer the German form, which so wickedly includes the word "sin" in it.

Voluptuous vixens are, in the very best sense, made by sin, and for sin.

Above is one of the Kate Dillon pictures from the article, showing her with an especially seductive hairstyle.
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Old 6th December 2007   #4
Penny Dreadful
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Join Date: December 2007
Posts: 3
Default Re: Kate Dillon in ELLE, 07/2007

Hello all, this is my first day on the board. First off, I'm so happy to have found this place. I've been plugging away at the straight-size-model forums, trying to open minds with threads for Kate and Crystal and Christina Schmidt. To come here is a breath of fresh air.

I did have an opinion regarding Kate's diminishment. If she's miserable and starving herself again like she did in the early 90s then I'll be the first to send her a box of raspberry-coconut zingers. I prefer her as she was on that great Mode cover, blue top, white skirt, and gorgeous red hair.
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