Since Karl Lagerfeld’s change of heart towards plus size models, the media have been concentrating on “curves” for so long, trying to get attention of fashion designers to normal size women that now it is seems realistic to have curvy models on the catwalk even for Karl Lagerfeld shows. The Chanel designer once said: “No one wants to see round women”, but obviously his opinion has changed, as he has taken pictures of curvy models for the V magazine’s much talked about Size Issue. Lagerfeld had cast his recent show with a slightly more curvaceous model Crystal Renn, not seen on any Chanel catwalk before. This fact was considered as groundbreaking for the house, but there is also an emphasis on personality of models, they are encouraged to be themselves instead of robotic look-alikes.
The trend for womanly shape has probably started with wondrously pneumatic Lara Stone, whose forms were not accepted by many designers, but later she took over the fashion world completely. She appeared in dozens of advertising and campaigns and been featured in every major fashion magazine. The most in demand model in the business, among the hundreds of slender, androgynous models, who predominate, her silhouette is feminine and curvy and clearly accented by breasts. Karl Lagerfeld said about her: “She made shape trendy and invented a new kind of girly femininity”.
The rising acceptance of “plus size”, allows models to have more freedom to evolve and make the “healthy” look popular. The recent pressure on models to fit into size zero standards is not so strict anymore even in high fashion. Although, it is highly unlikely that the fashion world will turn round and forget their standards, but there’s a possible shift to acceptance of slender, but shapely models with feminine bodies in the industry. After all, a lot of people who love high fashion and high street fashion are not size 6, so it allows them to push the boundaries and forget the stereotyped principles of fashion.
Brilliant example to how plus size women can be still popular in high fashion is singer Beth Ditto, who was featured in a number of photo shoots for fashion magazines, being a special guest at the most famous fashion shows at the front row, even more walking on the catwalk for Jean Paul Gaultier show and posing naked for Love magazine cover.
With the help of celebrities, the high fashion industry is willing to push the boundaries and stereotypes, but it will always remain very fast paced – plus size is acceptable today, but it is not tomorrow.
By Tanya Andrejeva