British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has got glossy tongues wagging with a letter she sent to fashion design houses deriding them for supplying size-zero garments going public.
Written off by Gawker as nothing but a backpeddling publicity stunt, Shulman has been largely (no pun intended) applauded for her firm stance. In the letter, sent to key designers (and, notably, glossy advertisers) including Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Prada and Versace, Shulman wrote:
"We have now reached a point where many of the sample sizes don't comfortably fit even the established star models. Instead, we are having to use girls with jutting bones and no breasts or hips, to fit them... Quite often I hear the fashion editor say when talking about one model or another "I don't think she will fit the clothes". Some of the girls she was talking about were already very thin... Nowadays I will often ask the photographers to retouch to make the models appear larger... I am finding that the feedback from my readers and the general feeling in the UK is that people don't really want to see such thin girls."
Shulman may have presided over Vogue when Kate Moss's heroin chic became the look du jour (care of Calvin Klein) in the 90s, but I believe magazines have to evolve along with public consciousness (if not direct it). And we are all simply fed up with seeing underfed models (and celebrities, for that matter). We've been talking about this for a long while now. Sowly, we are collectively coming to the realisation that size zero is not aspirational... if it ever really was. Even Moss has loosened the belt on her skinnies.
Fashion fantasy glossies have never really been into what's realistic – even LOVE's use of Beth Ditto on its debut cover was extreme (albeit at the opposite end of the scale). But designers, magazines, stylists and modelling agencies all need to come to the party and get real about pushing healthier models down catwalks and using a wider range of shapes in fashion editorials and advertising.
They might just be surprised by the public's positive response. And, like, SELL MORE STUFF!
Sources: The Daily Mail
See also: Is Size Zero Finally Over?
Girl With a Satchel