Where the hell are the plus size models?


It seems the fashion industry is still stuck in its anti-curves comfort zone.

Over the past few years, there have been plenty of hullaballoo about the lack of fuller-figured models - especially during international fashion weeks. But, surprisingly (or not?), we can literally count on one hand the progress that has been made thus far:

•    In a head-turning move in 2010, Mark Fast held a show where all the models were above size British size 12.
•    That same year, New York Fashion Week hosted its first show which featured only plus-size models (although, compared to the main shows, it was a fringe event which garnered much less attention).
•     In 2011, designers in New York hosted a Full Figured Fashion Week; and
•    Brazil followed suit later that year.


I get that any development should be seen as positive, but it’s a multi-billion gazillion Rand industry. And this is nothing. Take this year’s fashion season for example. The so-called ‘changes’ have, in my opinion, not been embraced…

The Winter 2012 fashion calendar kicked off in New York, London, Milan and now it’s sweeping into Paris. Nice. Except that so far all I've spotted is one measly "mini catwalk" show throughout the past month.

I recognise that last month the Council of Fashion Designers of America got serious about not featuring underage, unhealthy models on New York's ramps. But it doesn't look like there's a concerted push to get fuller figured models on the catwalks. With only Paris Fashion Week left, I wouldn't be surprised if this season, we don't see anything other than stereotypical slimline physiques on the ramps.

So far, not one designer amongst the hundreds of main shows has showcased a single item in their collections on even one curvy model. I'm still looking for an extra kilo on the catwalks.

I'm bummed by all of this.

If you're creating clothes for real women – and I'm not talking about the crazier creations we've seen, I'm talking about ready-to-wear collections – then surely you can feature at least one model who isn't a waif?

Is the fashion industry making any progress at all when it comes to representing women of all body shapes?


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