Julien Macdonald: ‘plus size girls have no place in modelling’

15 June 2010

julien macdonald

Tears and tantrums are par for the course on Britain’s Next Top Model, but the new series is shaping up to be more of a bitch fest than ever – thanks to fashion designer Julien Macdonald. The show’s new judge has controversially claimed that plus-size models have no place in the modelling competition.

‘You can’t have a plus size girl winning – it makes it a joke,’ insists the ex-creative director of Givenchy. ‘It’s not fair on them – you’re setting them up for a fall. They are looked down on, they’re frowned upon. A catwalk model is a size six to eight. If you’re a size 14 in a room full of size eights, you’re in the wrong room.’

Despite the face that series founder Tyra Banks is famously proud of her own voluptuous figure, and even crowned size-16 Whitney Thompson ‘America's Next Top Model’ in 2008, Macdonald is proving that not everyone in fashion is keen on curves. And when the new series begins in July – with Elle Macpherson taking over from Lisa Snowdon as presenter – he believes he’s qualified to tell wannabe supermodels the truth about the industry.

‘Just because you’re gorgeous it doesn’t mean you can be a model,’ he says. ‘I had to tell a lot of girls to stop kidding themselves. Some weren’t even tall enough. It’s not ‘let’s find a 5ft 2in model’ – you have to be over five-nine or you can forget it. It’s a competition; it’s going to be tough. The bad go and the good stay and that’s how life is.’

So is Julien right to protect plus-size models from a notoriously bitchy industry? Or should runway girls come in all shapes and sizes? Let us know what you think…

By Caroline Benjamin


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