I was watching an interview on ABC with Marion Hume who was the editor of Vogue in Australia for a brief time. She is, I gather, no longer writing about fashion so she was talking about the limitations the fashion industry places on journalists.
It was quite interesting to hear her say the nature of the fashion world means that fashion critics cannot be truly independent of the people they are judging. She said a fashion critic has to be in constant communication with fashion designers to stay up to date on what is happening. If design houses don’t like what you say about their creations they don’t invite you to their shows. She said the problem is aggravated by the fact that you can’t say anything they don’t like about their subsidiary brands either such as Stella McCartney’s designs. Stella McCartney is, I gather, working for a major fashion brand name and is protected from criticism by their clout.
Ms Hume said a movie critic can pour scorn on a movie without having to face the director again for what may be years. In the fashion industry the time between is only months.
Suddenly it all makes sense to me!
Even when I had the figure to wear designer clothes I had no interest in fashion trends and I worry about it even less these days. I could never understand why people bothered with it. Fashionable clothing always seemed to be a waste of time and money to me. I don’t think I have ever seen anything come down a catwalk that did not look utterly laughable.
It has always puzzled me why journalists made such a fuss about what was always, to me, clearly impracticable, uncomfortable, and stupid looking clothing.
The movie “The devil wears Prada” taught me I have the fashion industry to thank for the regular changes to the colour, fabrics, and styles of the clothes I can buy each season in ordinary stores. Apart from those things, however, I still cannot see any real connection between the idiotic looking things I see walking down the catwalks and the things I see on clothing racks in the stores.
I have never been able to understand why fashion critics never pour as much scorn over these creators of rubbish as they do over the people who wear their ludicrous creations when the fashion show is over.
The power Ms Hume said fashion design houses have over journalists explains it. It also explains why the fashion industry has been able to ignore the fact that very few women come in size zero all these years.
Only now, when their refusal to permit reality to intrude on their little empires has cost models their lives, are they being affected by public opinions.
For years women have been killing themselves, literally, to be able to look like the coat hangers fashion designers prefer to hang their creations on. For years the industry has been ignoring those deaths. Now a couple of their coat hangers have died trying to stay thin enough to be coat hangers and the world is coming down, hard, on the industry about that.
Suddenly there is talk about not using size zero models and ensuring models have a healthy body mass index before they are allowed to model designer creations.
The thing that bothers me about this latest development is how, in this interview with Ms Hume, they were talking about a new trend that is emerging in the fashion industry – using children to model clothing!
Ms Hume said 13 year old girls naturally have coat hanger figures. She also said she is appalled at the idea of children becoming part of that industry. She said it is no place for children. She said there should be a minimum age for fashion models. She likened going into the fashion industry to having sex and said there should be an “age of consent” for models. Becoming a model is, from the sound of it, likely to have as serious an effect on a child’s life as starting to have sex!
That worries me. If the fashion industry can cause adult women to kill themselves trying to stay thin enough to hold on to their jobs what on earth will it do to children growing up in that world?
What will it do to a world filled with women who are already obsessed with plastic surgery and staying young looking if the new face of fashion becomes 13? It’s bad enough to have people who are trying to look 16, 18 and 20 with size zero bodies so they can look like those models! What will they have to do to themselves to look like 13 year olds?
I have never admired the work of fashion designers. I honestly think they have no real talent. I could grab a couple of lengths of fabric, drape it over a size zero model and make it look like what they send down the catwalks.
ANYTHING looks good on a size zero coat hanger! ANYTHING! They have no lumps, bumps, flab or cellulite to hide or disguise. In the above case, of course, a bit of material designed to hide the skeletal frame would have helped!
When some designer sends a size 20 model down the catwalk wearing something that makes her look as fantastic as a size zero model I will start worshipping. Only then will I become a slavish follower of fashion! I won’t be the only one either.
It can be done. I have owned clothing that somehow, by some magical trick of cut or colour, makes me look two sizes smaller than I am. I have seen other people in outfits that do the same for them.
That, in my opinion, is what fashion designers are SUPPOSED to be doing! It is their job to create clothing that will make me look good. For years they have been failing to do that job. For years they have been telling me they don’t have to make their clothing suit my body – I have to make my body suit their clothing.
They don’t do their job because they are arrogant, talentless, lazy and powerful enough to stop the people who SHOULD be saying these thing from saying them.
Society has finally, collectively, been able to tell them to stop forcing adult models to stay unrealistically thin but they are still not getting the message.
They still don’t intend to design their clothing to make real bodies look good. It sounds like they plan to simply discard any adult model who is not naturally shaped like a coat hanger and replace them with naturally coat hanger shaped children.
Here is the question that is burning in my mind right now.
If fashion designers are allowed to use 13 year old children as models will breast implants go out of fashion? Will tiny, budding, breasts become the new goal for fashion minded women?
Or will there be an increase in the number of breast implants being done on 13 year old children?
My fashion prediction is that it will be one or the other if fashion designers are allowed to continue to be too lazy, and talentless, to do their job properly.
I may never be invited to a fashion show for saying that but I don’t want to see their rubbish anyway. I can’t wear it. It isn’t created for me and I hate, with a real passion and for very good reasons, the sight of children made up to look like adults!