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Old 3rd January 2011   #1
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Join Date: November 2008
Posts: 417
Default U.K. brand mocks own skeletal models

This news comes from a season ago, but it's still worth sharing on the forum.

"Pringle" is apparently a famous clothing brand in the U.K. In an indication of how mainstream the disgust at emaciated models is becoming, the company released a promotional video last season that mocked the size of its own models.

Here's a news item about the campaign:

The story in a nutshell:

ONE of Scotland’s best-known fashion houses has described its own models as “skeletal” and “horribly skinny” in its new PR video.

Pringle...sparked a row after hiring controversial artist David Shrigley to promote their latest collection.

In an animated film due to be screened today at London Fashion Week, the Glasgow based-artist mocks the models employed by the borders-based firm.

Here's the film in question. The pertinent section begins at 2:04:

The narrator states:
“When we have a lot of new jumpers and cardigans we put on a fashion show to show them off.

“The models are all horribly skinny like skeletons – I don’t know why they have to be so thin.

“Personally I would like to see a normal shaped lassie modeling them, with a big bottom and a nice pair of hooters.”

Apparently the original cut of the video was going to slam the fashion industry even more directly and was going to specifically condemn designers for promoting this toxic aesthetic:

Shrigley said...there was a serious message behind the film about thin models and that he had been asked to tone it down by Pringle before its launch.

“The models are horribly skinny aren’t they?

“It can’t be good for them eating fluff and snorting lots of cocaine.

“The only bit they asked me to take out was a part where I said fashion designers were disgusting.

“Maybe fashion designers are too sensitive for such harsh [words]."

I find it telling that while the company allowed the video to slam the models, it didn't allow the cartoonist to slam the designers - yet the designers are the ones who institute this grotesque aesthetic in the first place. Such designers are disgusting, as the cartoonist says, and the fact that the industry considers them untouchable and beyond criticism shows where the real power is, and who truly deserves the blame for the underweight standard.

The only limitation of this campaign was raised in the article itself:

Tessa Hartmann, who founded the Scottish Fashion Awards five years ago...said: “If Pringle feel seriously about the issue of thin models why don’t they use large-size models in their show in London next week?

“That would certainly be a more productive and significant way to grab the headlines.”...

Cheryl Hughes, who founded Hughes Models, the UK’s first agency for curvier models, said: “For as long as I can remember Pringle has used models with skinny, straight-up and down figures and that continues today with Tilda Swinton.

“They are criticising thin models in the video, but still do not appear to be employing any woman with more curvaceous figures.”

Very true. The best and most obvious way to solve the problem of underweight models is to use plus-size models. It's a self-evident solution. The fact that Pringle is not doing this suggests that they might be using this campaign merely as a screen, a way to forestall criticism by being able to say, "Yes, we know that our models are anorexic - we said so in our own campaign," and then not actually doing anything about it.

On the other hand, this video further shows how widespread the abhorrence at the starved look of today's models is. Virtually all of society, but for the fashion industry itself, recognizes this as an appalling situation. And when a warped, unnatural aesthetic becomes so universally reviled, surely change must be around the corner.
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