Above: The lovely Lara Stone

I recently saw a headline in a paper that said Vogue to use curvier models and the first thing I sarcastically blurted out was who, Lara Stone? Yes, Lara Stone apparently. Stone is featured in the January 2010 issue of American Vogue and I don’t think she’s curvy. I’m sure upon closer inspection compared with other models she is but I really don’t see it. Wintour said "Vogue has always been supportive of healthy models and will continue to be so in the future. And I hope that Lara’s success as a model, even though her image does not fit into the existing norm, will inspire the industry to rethink its current preferences.”

This is quite the coup for Wintour, reinforcing her influence over the fashion industry despite being in it for what many consider to be too long.

I suppose from a healthy image point of view this is a good thing and it’s easy to see both sides of the debate about too-skinny models. I have to admit it has become quite a trend over the past decade, particularly in the last five years where emaciated girls have become the norm in high fashion advertising and fashion spreads. The truth of the matter is, clothes look better on skinny people. That will never change but I think there’s going to be some changes over the next decade in what is perceived as an acceptable weight for a model.

It may not occur to many people but as well as there being trends for clothes there are trends for models too. The end of the 90’s and the early 2000’s saw a slew of peculiar looking models such as Devon Aoki, Hannelore Knuts and An Oost strutting their stuff. This was a reaction against years of classic, bombshell beauties like Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista etc.

Above: Devon Aoki

Above: Hannelore Knuts

Above: An Oost

Above: Some of the unstoppable supers

The last decade has not just been too-skinny it’s also been too white. There was a preponderance of white skinned, blonde haired waifs mostly from Eastern Europe with Sasha Pivovarova being the prime example. The back-lash has been interesting to see. Italian Vogue had an entire issue featuring black models such as Sessilee Lopez and Chanel Iman. The July issue was a success and a reprint was done to keep up with the demand. The sad part is that in this day and age a magazine is causing a stir and considered edgy by using black models. It really isn’t an issue, it’s just nervous executives with the belief that white people sell more product.

Above: Queen of the skinny bitches, Sasha Pivovarova

Above: Sessilee Lopez. Amaze

As well as white girls used as a premium marketing tool you’ve also got the ‘supers’ from the 90’s being trotted out of the stable and back onto the circuit in the hope that a recognizable face will draw customers to part with their cash. Christy Turlington recently did Escada and YSL, Claudia Schiffer also did YSL and a double whammy at Dsqared with Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell in elegant bondage (if there is such a thing) battling it out in a sexually aggressive campaign.Even the cougarlicious Jerry Hall starred in the Chanel bag campaign this year. At 52 she looked hot but heavily air-brushed, much like the Louis Vuitton Fall 09 campaign that starred Madonna.

Above: Naomi & Linda for Dsquared Spring 09

Above: Cougar Mommy Jerry Hall for Chanel

The use of Lara for Vogue is an incremental step towards a new era of models who will hopefully not be as bland and cadaverous as what we’ve seen in the last few years.

Below: Lara Stone for Givenchy. Curvy? Where?


Jennifer Jewels said...

Great post.
I too disagree with the lack of ethnic supermodels in magazines or on the catwalk. Naomi will always be one of the supers however having her appear in the ocassional ad campaign or editorial does not make up for it. I think everyone needs to take a que from Nathan Jenden, specifically his spring 2010 runway collection.

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