Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fashion Hubbub!

Oh, my goodness! Controversy on the runway!

Canadian designer Mark Fast has only been showing at London Fashion week for a couple of seasons now, but he's already cemented a reputation. The Central Saint Martins graduate focuses on knitwear -- but we're not talking about twin sets here. Fast makes knitted dresses for the nightclub set -- dresses so tight and so slashed and so revealing that the corollary to Fast's reputation is that when it comes to his clothes, regular-sized gals need not apply. (His first collection was made in only one size.)

This apparently did not make Mr. Fast happy, and for his runway show last week the decision was made to include a few women who were larger than the typical runway models. Specifically, the models, who are represented by "Plus-Size" agencies, were British sizes 12 - 14 (which is translates roughly to an American 8 - 12). According to Mr. Fast's creative director, Amanda May, "We wanted women to know they don't have to be a size zero to wear a Mark Fast dress - curvier women can look even better in one."

Okay, great! So far, so good. Except that what resulted from this decision was that Fast's lead stylist and casting director quit in a big, skinny huff backstage when he refused to back down from his decision to use these ENORMOUS women in his fashion show.

Oh, for pete's...

Now. The question isn't whether Fast should have used models in larger sizes. That's a yes. It's a great idea and I think all of us who love fashion can applaud it, regardless of our own personal sizes. Inclusiveness = good! The question is also not whether, if the stylist they were using couldn't come up with better undergarment alternatives than the ones that came down the runway, perhaps Fast should continue his search for a show stylist, because obviously this person is not at the top of her game. Disgraceful.

Neither is the question whether or not it's ridiculous to paint the woman above as "plus-sized." Yes, she is obviously a bit larger than most of the women stalking down the runway in these holey knee socks posing as dresses, but she looks perfectly normal to me. This is not someone who screams "special sizes" to me. As a matter of fact, while the two models above were easy for me to pick out

in comparison to most of the typically-bone-thin girls in the rest of the show, the third "plus-size" model eluded me. I seriously wasn't sure which other of the models was supposed to be so gigantic that she caused a career-ending hissy fit on the part of this stylist. Which tells you a little something about the degree of change we're talking about here -- that degree being not too damn much.

So, bully for Mark Fast for taking a stand for all the real-life women in the world and speaking up for body diversity and all that jazz. He deserves our sincere appreciation. But the real question?

Why would anyone of any size want to wear any of these clothes?

Because my friends, I don't care how heavy or skinny or curvy or bony or whatever you might be -- that is one ugly dress.

Images: Style.com

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kelly said...

I'm confused-did the stylist quit BEFORE the show? Because if this is his/her work, she should be dangled upside down out a 20th story window...

Susan B said...

I agree that it's ridiculous to call these models "plus-sized" but yuck...between the dresses, too-small undergarments, hair, makeup and models' expressions, the overall effect in all of these shots is of a bad hangover.

Denise said...

I read about this yesterday, and on one hand thought: well, it's about par for the course, and then on the other, thought: I'm in big (no pun intended) trouble if this is what goes for "plus size." No matter what you think of his knitwear, you've got to give him credit for sticking to his guns. Can you believe that two of his staff, stylist included, quit over this? Staggering, isn't it?

dana said...

I've noticed that catalogues that feature ridiculously thin models carry clothing that is pretty damn unflattering, poorly tailored, whatever. If they can't show it on size 2 women and need the size 0s, there's something wrong with it. Stay away.

Natalia | Look-A-Porter said...

I agree with you! First of all, I also thought that they could have found better underwear. At least the one that fits! And the whole thing looked very ugly... the dresses.... the makeup... pale skin... horrible underwear... Nightmare, really.

Madame Suggia said...

"Why would anyone of any size want to wear any of these clothes?"

My thoughts exactly.

Kudos to the man for using 'plus-size' models (ha! plus size! ha ha ha ha ha...seriously?) and a big fat(!) booooooo to the hissy-fit stylist, but those are some damn fugly clothes.

As a transplanted Brit I have to say that London fashion Week has been getting worse over the last few years...and now it truly sucks.

dissed said...

The clothes are ugly, yes. But think how much better they would look if they FIT. These women would have looked just fine, even in butt-ugly dresses, had the "stylist" not squeezed them into dresses that are two or three sizes too small.

Belle de Ville said...

Plus sized...are they kidding?
These girls would have looked fine in attractively designed and properly fitted clothes.

Daisy Bateman said...

You know, those women look so terrible in those dresses, I almost wonder if the whole thing wasn't some kind of sniggering joke. Like "Ha-ha, look at the giant women trying to dress like real people! They look so stupid! Aren't we so edgy and cool?"

Either way, whoever dressed them clearly didn't care about making them look good.

Unknown said...

These girls would look amazing in anything that was actually stylish. These clothes are too tight even for the super thin models!
And 10-12 is not 'plus size', and they are beautiful girls with bad hair and makeup. :(