World Increasingly Fascinated With Plus-Size Models

By
Mark Fast, spring 2010. Photo: Imaxtree

British paper The Independent says plus-size models are increasingly sought after these days. "[D]esigners, retailers and magazine editors demand women with curves," the paper trumpets. Their evidence:

• Mark Fast used size 12 and 14 models in his runway show in September. He says he will use models of similar sizes again next month.
• Marks & Spencer will reportedly use a plus-size model in its lingerie campaign.
• Asos recently used a plus-size model in some ads.
• Catalogue company Boden is reportedly "thinking about using bigger models."
• The head booker at Hughes Models, a plus-size agency in the U.K., says she added twenty girls to her roster last year, "which is a lot."

The paper quotes fashion commentator Caryn Franklin, who says, "There is now a real ripple of interest around models that are different from the standard catwalk model, who is too thin." She's right, there is "a real ripple of interest" right now, and V's latest size issue is just one indication. But does it signify a genuine desire on behalf of the industry to project healthier body images to the world? It is perhaps too soon to tell, but it seems like a passing fad. So often fashion spreads of plus-size women, who are quite frequently naked for no apparent reason, seem to be a vehicle for gawking at a shape that is so different from what our eyes are used to. Fast will get plenty of attention for using plus-size women in his show again next month. But why not use women who are size 8? You hardly have to look at Alexander McQueen's spring 2010 Alien shoes to understand fashion is all about extremes, and a girl twenty pounds heavier than most runway models isn't as extreme as a girl who's 70 pounds heavier. We'd so much rather designers embrace women of an average size who are not overweight (or within the healthy range but as close as they can be to overweight).

'Models look like real women' shock [Independent UK]