It seems like I can’t get away from this topic lately. First, there was the bare-it-all image of Lizzi Miller gracing the pages of Glamour magazine. Then there was the tell-all tale of the world’s highest paid “plus-size” model Crystal Renn. And now across the pond in the England, “plus-size” models are working the catwalk in London’s Fashion Week.
But, not without consequence.
When designer Mark Fast made the decision to showcase “plus-size” models in his collection, it almost cost him his entire runway show. After he shared his new vision with his design team they were less than thrilled. In fact, two people – his stylist and creative designer – were so angry that they quit only three days before the big day.
Luckily, the rest of Fast’s team was able to put it all together and on Saturday three models from 12+UK, a modeling industry that specializes in “plus-size” models, ranging in sizes 12-14 walked in the show, one of whom led the final walk-out for the show’s finale.
“There’s an idea that only thin and slender women are able to wear Mark’s dresses and he wanted to combat that,” said Amanda May, Fast’s creative director. “We wanted women to know they didn’t have to be a size zero to wear a Mark Fast dress – curvier women can look even better in them.”
This isn’t the first time Fast has worked with “plus-size” women for a project. He is also involved in “All Walks Beyond the Catwalk,” a photographic exhibition that features models aged 18 – 65 and sized eight to 16 wearing clothes by young London designers.
This is all great news, but like Judy Berman from Salon’s broadsheet I agree that, “making real, lasting changes to the industry won’t be as easy as sewing a few larger dresses and hiring some plus-size models, at the last minute, to walk them down the runway.”
While I’m thrilled Fast stuck to his vision despite the set back, there is more work to be done before the fashion industry begins embracing more shapes and sizes. Walk the Catwalk is a movement in this direction, working to change the fashion industry from its foundation to “start counting all sizes in.”
Until “plus-size” women stop being the exception to the rule, we will continue to see models on the runway that don’t represent real women. I’m ready for a new rule. Are you?
* I put the world “plus-size” in quotes because while I do not believe that these women should be considered “plus-size” they are considered to be so by modeling industry standards.*
Photo Copyright: Photograph by Ian Gavan / Getty Images (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1214799/London-Fashion-Week-stylist-resigns-designers-decision-use-size-14-models-show.html)
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