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June 17, 2010

Comments

Marv

I think you are, on the whole, right - and not in the least homophobic. Like you I have a lot of friends who are gay men in fashion - we have spoken about this (well, with the bestest one) and he admits that once you start getting into curves and sticky-out bits of all descriptions (toned and untoned) it gets a bit beyond his comprehension. It's just EASIER and CHEAPER to make clothes look good on sticks. That's why it happens.

Mind you, you don't get many women designers straight or gay using non-traditionally sized models on their catwalks either, do you? I still think that Westwood (and to a lesser extent Donna Karen) can make older, bigger women look fabulous - I have a friend who is a size 16, not exactly, erm, 'toned', but looks utterly brilliant in her Westwood dress, but even so she would not be invited to grace the catwalk.

And don't even get me started on the likes of Abercrombie and all their homo-erotic, hairless photo 'boys' we're all supposed to swoon over (OK, not catwalk) - surely that gives kids a slightly odd view of how bodies really are? Thought we'd got over that with Calvin Klein all those years ago.

OK. Grump over!

Becky

I think Julian McDonald's comments are offensive to the average woman - of which I am one. However I also think that he is just saying what most designers think - he is not alone in this. I am totally uninterested in high end Designer fashion for this very reason - it is so not relevant to me - I am too big and too poor to wear it ! It is never pleasant to be made to feel like a "joke" when you have managed to slim from a size 18 post baby size to just about a 14. Still, I have no plans to become a catwalk model this year so he will be unable to insult me to my face !

I fear that his comments simply alienate people even further from his version of fashion. As you touched on in you post, what worries me most is how comments like that affect young impressionable girls. I have only boys - thank goodness (although I am well aware that they can be equally susecptable to eating disorders) but if I had girls I would be terrified for them, exposed to all the imagery they are. When I was young, I was stick thin and hated it. We were not at all influenced by media imagery. The girls in "Jackie" or "Blue Jeans" were healthy normal looking girls. When did it become OK to promote such ill looking images to our young and lovely girls. I am saddened by the whole thing if I am honest.

jane

It really is sad that we all seem to agree that these images are negative and unhealthy, particularly to teenage girls, but we are continually bombarded with them.

I do agree jackie, that these things were just not an issue when we were growing up. I don't think I'd ever heard the word diet till I went to college!!

And as you say Marv, its not just men who perpetuate these myths. Female designers do it too.

for me it is about being healthy whatever your size and this is what we should be promoting as fashionable.

rollergirl

I think the thing I take issue with most is that BNTM is 'a serious show'. Er WTF?

amanda

I have a great JM story......
A couple of years ago, for the day job, I accompanied my then editor to a PR event where JM launched his collaboration with US skinny stylist Rachel Zoe, she had been booked to style his show that season.

My editor had been present the season before when the fabulous but distinctly portly Miss Piggy had been sat on the front row of JM's show. Said editor (rather brilliantly I thought) asked the stick like Miss Zoe 'So, are you the new Miss Piggy then?'

At which point both JM and Rachel Zoe nearly passed out from shock (as did half the Grazia team who were next in line to us to ask questions) It was an hilarious fashion moment that I am yet to better. Mr McDonald was not amused.

jane

Amanda that is the BEST story. Dont get me started on Rachel Zoe, yet I find her tv programme strangely addictive and I LOVE Brad and Taylor.

jane

And on the subject of BNTM, these programmes are dangerous!!

Jude

Debenhams seem to be getting busy on a similar subject, and (according to last nights Evening Standard) in their swimwear depts have lifesize photos of swimwear models labelled 'before' and 'after' the usual amount of magazine Photoshopping has been applied. I think the gist is that customers can leave comments on which image they prefer.
And I'm sure I read that they also had size 16 models, real ones, old and young, in the window during British Fashion Week
So I can imagine Debenhams PR dept is none too pleased about Julien's comments, stocking as they do his very succesful Designers at Debenhams range!

Becky

So right Jude - I read that about Debenhams last night and I thought good on them - but I had, of course forgotten that they stock Julian McDonald's cheap and cheeful range. I wonder how they reacted to his comments - interesting.

I wonder if any other retailers will follow their lead and show "normal" models - all very interesting - do you think it is possible for the high street to rebel and use un-photoshopped images and plus sized models if the high end designers perpetuate the ultra skinny look ?

jane

We would love to see more high St retailers take a stance on this. didn't realise Debenhams had, so good on them. But would imagine they are none too pleased about JM's comments.

J

jude

Well, Becky I guess Debenhams are offering us the opportunity to make our opinions heard, so why don't we all pop down to our nearest Debenhams store swimwear dept and make our thoughts known?! (Hopefully this is set up on a nationwide basis.)

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