Fat models: New breeze to the fashion world

Upon hearing that Victoria’s Secret’s annual lingerie show was canceled, oversized model Robyn Lawley celebrated.

Not only did the brand stop making the show that has been famous for two decades, for the first time the lingerie firm used an oversized model – Ali Tate-Cutler (size 14) – to promote the Autumn-Winter collection 2019 with the slogan ” Love yourself “. This move is supposed to salvage the situation where the brand is declining reputation and sales.

More and more shows and fashion brands are using oversized models (size 10 and up). Six years ago, a fat model was something that no one can imagine that ever to appear on the New York Fashion Week catwalk. This year, the event had 94 times the oversized models striding on the runway. A few weeks before New York Fall and Winter Fashion Week earlier this year, Steven Kolb – the Chairman of the Council of American Fashion Designers (CFDA) – conveyed the message to fashion houses participating in the casting: “When you select models, remember to appreciate and care about diversity on the runway. “

According to Fashion Spot, Fashion Weeks in New York, Milan, London and Paris use a fatter model from Spring Summer 2016 to this fall, with the number varies from 16 to 50. Christian Siriano, Chromat, Gypsy Sport, Tadashi Shoji … are the ones that often use fat models for shows. In 2015, Robyn Lawley became the first fat model to appear in the popular swimwear magazine Sports Illustrated. A year later, Ashley Graham made the mark as the first model of size 16 to cover the magazine.

In the BST Foundation promotional video, Universal Standard uses models of size 34. Source: Instagram.

The appearance of oversized models in shows and promotional campaigns shows that the standards of the fashion village gradually change, bringing a new breeze.

Overseas model Robyn Lawley (size 12) wrote on Instagram: “I guess Victoria’s Secret didn’t show diversity on stage.” Robyn once condemned the perfect body concept of a lingerie company, selecting all standard body models for the annual show. According to Time, the fashion house has been too focused on the sexy image of an outdated ideal.

For decades, the trend of “heroin chic” – reflected in the skinny image of supermodel Kate Moss – crept up, creating a race of size 0 of the US size system (for women with measurements from 76-56-81 cm to 84-64-89 cm). For many years, the fashion world liked thin models with sizes from 4 to 8, so the costumes are not for fat people.

Victoria’s Secret once got people go crazy with the image of models with perfect bodies in the annual lingerie show. Photo: Reuters.

The size system is frustrating for consumers, according to Alexandra Waldman, founder of Universal Standard. “Not just in the field of clothes, we want to support a positive outlook on the body in every way. I don’t want a fat woman to pay emotional costs every time she shops. What’s important here?” Must be large-size clothing, but the way a woman feels about her body, “Waldman told The Washington Post: Last fall, the company launched a collection (BST) Foundation, with the size up to 40.

Krista Burton – the writer of Rookie magazine – told The Guardian: “Consumers always want to see their images on the advertised costumes”. Typically, slender models are considered beautiful while most customers are unable to meet this standard. The average size of British women is 16 (equivalent to size 14 in the US). In the US in 2017, 67% of women wore size 14, according to Glamor.

The oversized model image is a way for women today to assert their diverse body beauty instead of following men’s standards. According to The Atlantic, Victoria’s Secret was originally created as a paradise for men. Former chairman Howard Gross once boasted he did not conduct any research on women’s requirements for underwear. Instead, the company’s male executives sat down and “shared romantic fantasies”.

The growing movement of #Metoo and gender equality is also a major cause for the emergence of more and more fat samples. Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s newly launched oversized fashion line for clothing brand Ashley Stewart “has a duty to support feminism, especially equality in choosing the outfit she likes.” Meanwhile, Rihanna’s lingerie brand aims to convey the message of comfort and confidence to the wearer.

Bao Thu


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