Backstage last night before Erin Wasson's RVCA show at ABC Carpet and Home, model Ali Stephens recalled fond memories of working with Alexander McQueen. She walked in his spring 2009 show. "He was amazing. He was so nice. You could tell he really cared about people, too, and that he cared about the girls," she said. "I don’t ever remember any bad experience with him at all, or anything like that. He wouldn’t be the type of guy who would be like, ‘Oh if you don’t fit that outfit, you’re out of the show.'" Does that happen a lot with designers? "Uh, yeah!" Stephens said. "I mean it depends [on the designer], but that could get me into a whole mess of trouble."
Stephens, who is very tall, very thin, and very gorgeous, said it has happened to her: "Oh yeah. Of course." She continued, "I’m not the typical skinny — I have hips. I love my body but I’m not one of the girls willing to starve themselves for fashion, so I do what shows I can but I don’t, pressure myself to fit into the sample sizes." Because of this Stephens only walks a few shows a season now. "I do good shows but I'm not a show girl. I was in the beginning of my career. But I grew up," she said. "I'm 18." We reminded her that's still young. "I know — I haven’t grown up. What am I talking about?" she said, laughing. "But it’s hard for these girls, you know? You start out when you’re 16 and your body is, you know, naturally a rail and then you grow up and it’s just unhealthy to make it a rail when it’s not."
Stephens has no current plans to go to Milan or London Fashion Weeks. She was hesitant to admit that European shows demanded skinnier models. "No, it’s true. It is. It makes no sense to hide it," she said. "You have to speak out about it. Europe is definitely, I think, skinnier. But it all just really depends on the designer and their aesthetic, which I respect. So I understand if I’m not somebody’s ideal. You know, so whatever works for them. But it’s always important to remember that models are humans. We’re not just ghosts."
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