All Woman?

Today I purchased the August issue of Vogue. The theme  Autumn 2010. This Vogue was accompanied by a much smaller, less regal magazine labeled, New Season Newsflash, which I appreciated as an added bonus for my £4.00.

I began with the ‘mini-vogue’ , happily taking my time analysing each page, each fashion show, each new autumn trend planning on how I could disguise each look as my own, until I discovered something that truth be told bent me right out of shape. I reached a page with several pictures of high-waisted pencil skirts, conservative corset-dresses and was greeted by a palette of beautiful autumn greys, dark forest greens and different shades of sun-stained ambers. It was a vision of feminine beauty. Centred amidst this sophistication was the title ‘All Woman’ , the following passage raved on about this upcoming Autumn Collection being a ‘hymn to the female form – all tiny waists, full hips and bountiful bosoms.Here is where I began to feel frustrated.

For years now the fashion industry has been fighting to keep skinny, breastless models working the catwalks of Paris, Milan, London etc. Over and over again we hear that these women…these girls, are skinny in order to make the clothes look better and in all fairness they are right! The fashion Buyers, Designers, Marketers, Journalists of the world don’t attend show after show in fashion capitals across the world to sit and gawp at the models, they are their to witness history unfold on the catwalk in designer heels and couture gowns, yet when the Industry creates a collection praising the woman form, the word hypocrisy springs to mind… 

It carries on to read,  ‘sweet balcony corsetry to best display an ample bust’… of the models that I have seen, the features that make them and the clothes so coveted and look so unique is their tiny body frame, not their ‘bountiful bosoms’ as Vogue descriptivley put. Although some designs incorporated into this collection do naturally suit a smaller more petite frame, e.g. Pencil skirts demonstrated by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Lwren Scott and Dolce and Gabbanna, this would have been a perfect chance to actually use real curvy figures on the Catwalk, shapes that fit the contours of this ‘all woman’ trend, not these smaller bodied women who in all honesty really don’t do the Designers or their collections any justice. Although fuller figured women such as Elle MacPherson, Laetitia Casta and Lara Stones graced the catwalk proving that less isn’t always more, I couldn’t imagine that they could be classed as typically ‘average’ women. Their celebrity statuses force me to believe that their beautiful curvaceous bodies were exposed to the fashion industry more for press than to glorify the size 10’s and above.

As a young woman, growing up with this distorted image of perfection has been a challenge. After constant chopping and changing between Diet plans and Slim Fast I have finally exhausted my attempts to ‘lighten the load’ so to speak. I’ve made the clear distinction that my body is my own to do with it as I please and the finger of blame cannot be pointed at an industry that is creative, influential and inspirational in every sense of the word. I only wish that they would’ve taken this golden opportunity to let a selection of ‘regular’ sized women blossom on the Runways much like their slimmer counterparts, but as the world keeps spinning and subjective creativity continues to evolve in all directions, I can’t imagine it’s long until the runway isn’t just for the light hearted.




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