This Fall season’s fashion week at London has just passed, and caused quite a stir in media across the globe. This buzz was nothing to do with the designers, stunning dresses or potential scandals, rather, London plus-size models and bloggers led by Hayley Hasselhoff and the body positive movement ‘Simply Be’ took to the streets outside the internationally recognized show, calling for more size inclusion in the fashion industry. While this season for London Fashion Week was more inclusive of plus size models than ever before, it still fell short of filling the very big boots of it’s American counterpart, New York Fashion Week. The Summer fashion season in London saw 12 models on the runway who were categorized as ‘plus size’, where as the recent 2018 Fall show that was held last week, saw 27 – a whooping 100% increase (we are so not going to talk about the abysmal number of plus size models at the Fall 2017 London Fashion week – which was just 4). However when comparing this years fuller figure count to the 200 plus models who were categorized as ‘above average size’ walking the New York stage, this feels like a pretty disappointing result for the European body positive movement who had pushed so hard, and done so well, to be let down in one of the biggest opportunities for inclusivity.
While the London protests raised awareness and celebrated the plus size mantra, we still have a long way to go before we can claim we have put all shapes and sizes on the global fashion stage. If New York can do it, surely so can London? Also since when was a 12 a ‘plus size’? Most strikingly, all the ‘plus size models’ in London Fashion Week were walking for only two or three designers. Rather than there not being models to fill the plus size role on the runway, it appears designers are not willingly coming to the table with plus size appropriate fashion, which is more disappointing than models simply ‘not being there’.
Hollywood and Fashion Week trends are curated by unofficially traditions that continue to exist after decades of ingrained culture, sexism and the advertising power has constantly and subconsciously enforced them. The fact we managed to get 27 plus size models into the London Fashion Week is a small victory and the designer’s responsible – Michael Kors, TOME and Christian Siriano – are worthy of some admiration for creating designs to fit, work and wear on bigger sized people as this is a huge change from the traditional size zero model we have grown accustom to in both the Hollywood narrative and from the confessions of the famous super models of the 80s and 90s admitting to starving themselves for work.
Patting a designer on the back for ‘making fashion for plus size models’ is almost worthy of an eye roll. Admittedly there lies a dangerous potential potential to create a token response to public demand by using one or two plus size models for a brand; but an entire collection? That
could should be celebrated. Progressive changes like this continue to change the culture and push through for more positive plus size representation not just on the fashion stage but at a global forefront, we need to celebrate small victories and celebrate those willing to fight the good fight.
This season total babes like Ashley Graham and the instafamous Minahil Mahmood strut down that center stage like nobody’s business. I wanted to share five of my favorite boss babes who graced 2017/2018 Fall Fashion week that will make you love your curves even more! However over the images for designer and model information!
How fierce are these ladies? What did you think?
How do you feel about the rise of plus size models and where do you think the industry could work harder?
Until next time; stay shiney!