Paris Fashion Week is doing much more for the plus-size model movement than New York Fashion Week, where the only notable plus-size model casting was Crystal Renn at Z-Spoke. Jean Paul Gaultier, who has become known for casting Renn in his runway shows and current fall 2010 campaign, cast Beth Ditto to open and close his show Saturday. Renn was one of the few other plus-size models on the runway. Gaultier told reporters after the show, “What counts is personality, there is not just the one form of stereotyped beauty. This collection’s pleats can be worn by any size and adapt to different body shapes.”
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But critics were left feeling confused by the clothes in the the show, invitations to which came with 3-D glasses guests had to remember to bring. WWD called the partially 3-D collection “disjointed.” Style.com thought the clothes were “all over the map.” And Cathy Horyn liked some of the S&M and biker-chic looks, all worn with Joan Jett wigs, but thinks the “deviance feels a bit old hat.” Everyone seems to agree that Beth Ditto was the best part of the show and perhaps overshadowed it. But is that a bad thing?
British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, for one, is tiring of “shock” casting. She told the Guardian, “Instead of a fuss being made about a few cause célèbre exceptions on the catwalk, what I’d really like instead is for most models to be a size 10 rather than a size 8.”
Beth Ditto Among the Plus-Size Models in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring Show