16 September 2010

Plus Size Models - Segregated At NYFW?

There is change in the air at New York fashion week, where for the first time in its 46 year history there has been a fashion show showcasing clothes for plus-size women. The OneStopPlus.com catwalk presentation used models between a UK size 12 and 14, and has been heralded as a landmark victory against sizeism in the fashion industry, where size zero waifs have been the norm on catwalks for over a decade.

Of course, curvier women have been filtering into some of the biggest catwalk shows for the past two seasons where models like plus-size supermodel Crystal Renn, who walked for Zac Posen's Zspoke collection earlier this week, are finally flying the flag for plus-sizers everywhere.

Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe on the FROW

But is the OneStopPlus.com catwalk show the victory they would have us believe?

If the fashion industry was really embracing plus-size models, then why are models like Lara Stone and Crystal Renn still the exception to the rule? And doesn’t the fact that there has to be a separate catwalk show for a (as yet little-known) plus-size clothing brand just go to show that the fashion industry still sees them curvier women as ‘different’ to the other size-zero models, while still dragging its heels about producing styles in larger sizes - as well as showcasing them on the catwalk.

What do you think? Is it good news or does the OneStopPlus.com show just reinforce negative messages about size?

Backstage at the OneStopPlus.com show

- Sophie Cullinane


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