Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fashion Week Reporting - Are Sample Sizes to Skinny?

When I want to read quality reporting on the Fashion Industry and Luxury Brands, I check out the Heard on the Runway blog on the Wall Street Journal online. While I enjoy reading WWD, I find their articles to be more product promotion than actual serious reporting about the Fashion industry.

From the blog:

It’s a fair bet that there has been nary a runway show all week without the presence of a model with an eating disorder. The industry has begun trying to come to terms with the high prevalence of malnutrition among the six-foot-tall models who are asked to slip into size zero clothing samples.
One tell-tale sign of severe malnutrition is a blotchy mosaic of mineral deposits under the skin. At runway shows, this is visible on some models’ arms and legs from as far back as the third row. A fashion photographer told me recently that they use special software to digitize this effect out of photographs.

Skinny Model

What I would like to know is how much better do the clothes look on an anorexic model? Would an extra 5 or 7 pounds on these girls be so devastating as to ruin the designer's concept on the runway?
There is a simpler and more effective way to end the extreme pressure for models to look emaciated: show larger sample sizes on the catwalks and magazines.
“We see this as a first step,” says Ms. Billinkoff, the CFDA’s spokeswoman, of the signatures on the petition. “Depending on the reaction, it’ll be time to mobilize.
Will the next step be to go back up in a sample size from a zero to a two or a four or a six — which is what it used to be?”
Note: A little over 20 years ago on one of my trips to Paris I did my usual shopping for some pret a porter. Even then I was looking for a bargain so at Ungaro I ended up purchasing clothes that had been samples worn by the models in the Paris shows. They were chic and priced right.
My point...I was reasonably thin but certainly not skinny...and the clothes fit me fine. Today's models would have been swimming in the clothes that fit the runway models from 20 years ago.
Question: Were runway models during the 1980s too big to show clothes properly?
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's not only the designer's "concept" that has made the samples so small....the pressure from PR people and magazine editors to make little samples is enormous....also many of the celebrities are even smaller than the models....

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