“We have now reached the point where many of the sample sizes don’t comfortably fit even the established star models,” wrote British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman (the Miranda Priestly of the Sceptered Isle) in a letter “sent to scores of designers in Europe and America.” So narrow have the sub–size-zero standards become, she argues, that even girls like Agyness Deyn have a tough time squeezing into the frocks provided for editorial shoots and runway shows — the implication being that this is unhealthy for the models, the readership, and the stylists who have to shoehorn mannequins into their gowns. In her open (though unpublished) letter, Shulman demands that designers begin resizing based on more realistic body standards.
Now, we’ve been through this before, with various councils and local authorities demanding “healthier” Fashion Week catwalkers in Brazil, Paris, Milan, and Australia as women’s groups endlessly petition the industry to take a stand against what they see as anorexia-inducing imagery and expectations. But, as the Brit papers report, the provocative request from a sitting Vogue editrix has stirred up the sediment — sending industry types either rallying to her new cause or deflecting the blame. In the Guardian, designer Kinder Aggugin tosses the hot potato at Shulman, saying, “If tomorrow all magazines, model agencies and stylists used bigger girls, then the designers would too.” Gawker goes further, calling it a PR move, “aimed at winning a populism vote from an economically distressed public.” With everyone wringing hands, pointing fingers, and demanding that someone, anyone, reintroduce hips and breasts into the fashion mainstream, only one thing is clear — no one, not even the style cognoscenti, wants to stand next to a skinny bitch.
Size-zero hero: Fashion’s high priestess calls time on ‘size zero’ [Independent UK]