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Old 13th September 2006   #1
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Better with ''old-style curves''

Every once in a while, I feel a tinge of hope for the fashion industry.

This is a short comment, but I wanted to post it because it seems significant enough. In a review of several new collections, exhibited on the runway,

the reporter makes the following observation:

[Monique] L'Huillier is mistress of the dress and her glamorous beaded concoctions announced "Red Carpet" while the short dresses, sometimes strapless, would have looked more impressive on a model with old-style curves.

Now, not only is it wonderful to have a fashion journalist acknowledging that dresses would look better on curvier models, but note what kind of dresses prompted her to make this observation: "short dresses, sometimes strapless."

In other words, she realizes that dresses which reveal a figure require a fuller figure to reveal, to look "more impressive." It makes perfect sense, of course - those designs frame a woman's body, they are designed to draw attention to it, to accentuate it. But if there's nothing there to accentuate - no flesh, no curves - then the whole purpose of the dress is lost. Who wants to draw attention to a "rack-of-ribs torso" or sickeningly bony arms?

It seems obvious, but the fashion industry seldom realizes this. It's nice to find someone who does. I hope more designers pick up the point, especially if they will finally be required to use fuller-figured models. They should see it as a blessing, an opportunity.
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Old 14th September 2006   #2
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Re: Better with ''old-style curves''

It is also encouraging to see the phrase "old-style" used in such a positive way. So many of the problems with high fashion are a direct consequence of its blind pursuit of the "new." In fashion (and in other art forms) during the last half-century, anything "new" was uncritically embraced, while anything "old" was reflexively shunned. Suppressed. This politically-motivated break with the past became an end in itself, regardless of its destructive consequences for contemporary culture.

But "new" is not a synonym for "good," let alone for "better." And in blindly pursuing the "new," newness itself became stale and outdated.

Today, a few visionary designers and artists are beginning to realize that the "old" is paradoxically more novel than the "new." Old World beauty is far more avant-garde than rehashed urban minimalism. Femininity is far more original than shopworn androgyny. And models with "old-style curves" are on fashion's cutting edge, because their look is fresh and unexpected. Jean-Paul Gaultier's Old World runway show, featuring Crystal Renn (a model with "old-style curves"), was thus far more groundbreaking than any other designer's catwalk production of the last half-century.

Charlotte Coyle put it very well during her Channel 4 documentary, while pitching Beauty Reborn to a skeptical sponsor:

It's different, you know? This has never been done before. It's interesting. I love opening magazines and seeing Giselle and Naomi Campbell. It's beautiful. But it's been done a thousand times. There's been nothing different.

"Old-style curves" are thus fresh and novel, even as they are also timeless (for "old" is simply another way of saying "timeless"). Old World beauty (including "old-style curves") was originally canonized precisely because proved itself. It stood the test of time. And designers today would do well to reconnect with this timeless aesthetic, both in their designs, and in their choice of models.

Christina Schmidt, proving that "short dresses, sometimes strapless" do indeed look "more impressive" on modish young models with "old-style curves":

(Image from

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