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Innnnteresting | Manolo for the Big Girl


So I was clicking through Style.com’s “12 Reasons to be Cheerful in 2010” with a bit of fear and loathing. Conde Nast is not historically a friend of the fatly, so I was interested to see three of their reasons –that’s a full 25% in some quarters– had something to do with fashion beyond the double-zeros.

First there was the downer we discussed yesterday, which was all about how Prada refused to design for non-model extras as the costume designer of the Met’s production of Attila. Bah and humbug and, as you may recall, suck it.

Then there was the bit about Mark Fast scoring a line with Topshop.  Fast, if you’ll recall, was the young buck who used to make his clothes only in one size but who sent down three plus-sized models the runway for Spring 2010, causing two of his stylists to quit.

Mark Fast

I very much Do Not Love his clothes, but I love Mr Fast for using plus size models as models, not as tokens in his ultra-shredded sexpot show.

Then there was a note –and this is the most hopeful of all– about how models like Lara Stone (a size 4 sometimes 6) and Catherine McNeil –who has been getting a lot of flack for gaining weight and now looks to be a size 4– are getting tons and tons of work as the trend swings away from stick-thin and back to merely very slim.

Catherine McNeil by Patrick Demarchelier

According to style.com:

“If McNeil, Stone, and Gemma Ward—another reemerging catwalker dealing with negative body-image hype—were the new prototypes for healthier-looking models, we’d be much relieved. For now, there’s always Crystal Renn.”

This is exciting. This is REALLY exciting. Because one size 12 model in a lineup of thirty double-naughts is a gimmick, this is CHANGE. If we can get back to where a size 6 is model-normal, then maybe a size 12 model won’t seem so out of the ordinary. Maybe young girls won’t be so likely to develop eating disorders to starve themselves into a shape they’ll never EVER naturally be.  We’ve been in Waif World for about 15 years now –remember when Kate Moss was the thinnest model on the runway?– and there’s a change in the air. Whee!

9 Responses to “Innnnteresting”

  1. wildflower January 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    That girl in the photo may be “plus-sized”, but she still looks sad. Why can’t models look happy instead of like druggies? Are they the ones inspiring teenagers to look “angstier-than-thou”? If being happy is uncool, then I’m so thankful to be uncool!

  2. Twistie January 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    wildflower, maybe if bigger models become a new trend, so will expressions less indicative of indigestion.*

    *This is not to say that thin women are automatically prone to huge amounts of gastric distress, but that since the two have been paired on the runway for so long, change in one aesthetic might lead to some change in the other.

  3. annie January 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Today, Neil Cavuto of Fox Business News interviewed a successful plus size model who is a size 16. She agreed that the trends seem to be shifting.

  4. ChaChaHeels January 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Yay! Have you seen Crystal Renn’s editorial for Elle Canada’s issue this month?
    She’s the star of the editorial, wearing incredible clothes, with not a peep in the copy (or the issue, for that matter) about her size or shape. It’s just the fashion section of the magazine, with good clothes and a great model, and some of the best stylists’ work around. It’s just so pretty–and such a good example of how it should be done.


  5. ChaChaHeels January 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    (posted before I was finished)

    I love all the good reasons to believe a change is coming after all.

  6. Lisa January 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I love Ellen Degeneres’ Cover Girl commercial “Why do models always look so mad? Maybe it’s because their makeup is so expensive!”

    I’d have that expression on my face if some designer made me wear that dress, too. But a job is job, and you really ought to throw your shoulders back and stomp it out as Plumcake would say. She’s hunched over which isn’t doing the presentation any good. And she needs some better makeup.

  7. All Women Stalker January 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I’m so happy to be reading this development. I am hoping for the best. That society’s standard of beauty will be more diverse and healthy.

  8. La Petite Acadienne January 12, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Glamour did the same kind of thing this month (albeit with the ubiquitous Crystal Renn) — a fashion spread that made absolutely no mention of the model’s size, and didn’t contain any “Look at how PROGRESSIVE we are, Mom!” back-patting.

  9. Plumcake January 12, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    La Petite: Now if only Glamour could stop the hellacious enskinnying photoshopping on the covers!