As womenswear designers are embracing curves by adding lbs – in all the right places – to their mannequins, their male counterparts are swinging in the other direction, looking to Russell Brand and his cigarette legged clones as inspiration for their boy-cut shop front dolls.
Next month British clothing firm Rootstein will unveil its Young and Restless collection, on a mannequin with a 35in chest and a 27in waist - 11in smaller than the average British man. But it’s not an unhealthy role model for men they insist, because it’s modeled on a ‘prepubescent boys’ not anorexic grown-up. Except the super skinny dolls still being used to model adults clothing…
Eating disorder society Beat doesn’t agree. ‘Men nowadays are subject to the same insecurities around their body and self-image as women are,’ said a representative, ‘Unrealistic images in the fashion world – such as these mannequins – and in the media still abound and the pressures they bring can lead to low self-esteem in often young and vulnerable people.’
Rootstein’s defense is ‘it’s a trend’ and the larger models with a 38inch chest and 30inch waist they used last season wouldn’t fit the ‘current fashion trends for skinny jeans and very tight tailoring, as seen everywhere from Topman to Gucci and in the fashion magazines.’
Is the male ego just as fragile as ours? Or are they more accepting of their figures, flaws and all?
By Amy Molloy