Crystal Renn takes Julien Macdonald's comments on board

17 June 2010

Tizzy alert! Grazia Daily has already passed on the news to you about Julien Macdonald’s comments on the idea of plus sized models appearing in the TV show he is lined up to judge. "You can’t have a plus size girl winning – it makes it a joke.” On one level, this comment generated plenty of free publicity and headlines for Britain's Next Top Model BUT it was also met with a response from people who do take his throwaway remarks lightly.

Like plus size super, Crystal Renn, for example. She is a maverick in the fashion industry not only for her shape but for her willingness to speak out on the issues of eating disorders among models, and the need for the industry to start accepting a range of body sizes and shapes. In a retort to Mr Macdonald, she said in an article in the Independent,

Britain's Next Top Model is a reality TV show. Whoever wins it will find themselves facing a career in fashion, and lately the magazines and the runway shows have been using a much wider variety of sizes – that's not a joke.”

She went on; “The problem is this focus on straight sizes and plus sizes. It is creating an "us and them" mentality. We need to change the way we approach the whole thing, and do away with these terms. All we are is a bunch of models, no matter what size”

Julien with an "Acceptably sized" model at his AW show

It has been pointed out by more than a couple of commentators that the danger of using plus sized girls on the runway is that it can seem like a gimmick, overshadowing the clothes and making women’s bodies the focus more intensely than ever before. In Renn’s vision of the future, it would be so normal to see models of varying sizes on EVERY catwalk that the whole thing would cease to be an issue.

We have to say, Grazia readers usually feel strongly on this issue – and more along the lines of Miss Renn’s views than Mr Macdonald’s. Julien Macdonald claims he represents a certain demographic within the industry, but ultimately, it will be the women who buy his clothes who allow him to remain in business as a designer, so it makes sense for him to listen to them  . . .

So, what would YOU like to say to Julien Macdonald in response to his comments?

- Naomi Attwood


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