Remember in The Devil Wears Prada (which I liked despite being the only woman on earth apparently not in love with Meryl Streep) when our straight-sized heroine Andy is told by creative director Nigel that “Six is the new fourteen.”?
Well, life imitates art.
First, you must go and read Style Spy’s revelation. She could be a plus sized model!
“But wait!” you say “Style Spy is a teensy tiny size 4!” and I say “I know. read on, my friends.”
Mme Style Spy posted a picture of one of Ford Models’ newest members of their plus division, Alyona Osmanova:
Now, just for comparison, Ms Osmanova’s measurements are reported as 36″ 28″ 40″ and she stands at just a hair under six feet tall.
Cindy Crawford, one of the few TRUE supermodels, is only 5’9″ but her model card from 1992 had her measurements as 34″ 22″ 35″, Naomi Campbell, same height, reported her measurements as 34″ 28″ 40″ on the Tyra show in 2005.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell: 34″ 28″ 40″ at 5’9″
Plus size model Alyona Osmanova: 36″ 28″ 40″ at 5’11”
Say what you will about the plus divisions of most modeling agencies (get a few sazeracs in me and I will) but at least back in my day –and we’re talking the late 90’s here– the plus sized models were actually plus sized: 12, 14, 16.
But I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom.
At this point, these size categories have been so bended and skewed as to be meaningless, and I think for the fashion world, that’s a good thing.
When reviewing the Chanel Resort collection, Andre Leon Talley (whose memoir ALT you MUST read) wrote:
“Lagerfeld had cast the show with a slightly more curvaceous model named Crystal Renn, not seen on any Chanel catwalk before. This in itself was groundbreaking for the house, but there was also the return of personality models encouraged to be themselves instead of robotic look-alikes.”
What I’m excited about isn’t known fatty hater Karl Lagerfeld casting “slightly more curvaceous” Crystal Renn (and THANK YOU, Mr Talley for that bit of intellectual honesty) it’s that we’re seeing a return to personality models.
We’ve kind of been doing 15 year old Eastern European automatons for almost a decade now, and they do look like robots, and while I understand the appeal having faceless identical clothes hangers must hold for a designer who wants all attention to go to his concept, not her beauty, I think we’ve gone as far as we can go in that direction and I’m extremely heartened to see pretty models once again, some of whom might even have what are recognizably womanly shapes.
I think the general acceptance of size 6 models –and dare I hope for an eight or *gasp* ten OTHER than Crystal Renn– is a much more tenable step in the right direction in the modeling industry than plopping down a handful of true plus size models as gimmick casting.
So I’ll end this little fashion rant the same way I end all my fashion rants, with a hope that fashion will start to incorporate actual meaningful diversity, not just high-heeled tokenism, into its editorials and advertisements.