Mark Fast was recognized for his size-embracing efforts at the first-ever Body Confidence Awards in London last week. Put together by Erin O'Connor, Caryn Franklin, and Debra Bourne's All Walks Beyond The Catwalk, Fast took home the fashion prize, beating out Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon. He said:
As a designer I care about the women that wear my clothes ... it is very important to deliver the technical aspects a look and a quality of make — I don't really understand this? — but I also want to make each wearer of my clothes feel empowered and affirmed. I want to celebrate women and make them feel good in my clothes.
Fast used normal- and plus-size models on his runways as early as 2009, one of whom opened his spring 2010 show. That same catwalk reportedly caused Fast's stylist and creative designer to bail on him (according to the Daily Mail, so take that story with the proverbial shaker of salt). In a February 2010 interview, Crystal Renn had nothing but praise for Fast after walking in his fall 2010 show:
Really, what a master! He's fantastic! I think what he's doing by hiring healthier women to represent his clothing line is absolutely amazing. Women can really relate to that because we aren't all one size. What he did last season in staying true to what he wanted for his show — which was a variety — is great and I commend him for that.
Now Britain, or its body-image arbiters, have, too.