Thursday 17 January 2019

Are Hollywood stars facing a catwalk ban?

Is there a reason more Hollywood stars are strutting their stuff on the catwalk than ever before? Recently we've had Blake Lively modelling for Chanel, Emma Watson for Burberry and January Jones for Versace.

The fashion industry has always courted A-list actresses, and the bond between designers and Hollywood stars will be in evidence at the Oscars on Sunday. Speculation is already rife over which star will be dressed by which designer for the Academy Awards ceremony.

However, we're more used to models changing course from the catwalk to the movie set -- taking the daily grind of hair and make-up from design houses to Hollywood. Actresses who began their careers as models include Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry and Milla Jovovich.

Yet in recent weeks, American supermodel Niki Taylor issued a passionate plea on behalf of her fellow models by calling for magazines to put them on their covers instead of movie stars. It seems the blonde beauty has had enough of screen sirens stepping on the toes of supermodels. When she was asked what changes she would like to see in the world of fashion, the cover girl-star-turned-TV-personality quipped: "Put models back on covers of magazines and in campaigns and let the movie stars do movies."

Size Zero

Yet has she got a point, and should the profession of modelling -- which, like every business, has been hit by the global recession -- be the exclusive domain of career models?

Some people would welcome the inclusion of real women, if not actresses, on the catwalk following the controversy this week over ultra-skinny models working for Erdem at London Fashion Week. Some of the 'shrunken size-zero models' made the front pages for the wrong reasons, and the design collection received the kind of negative publicity every designer dreads.

Earlier this year, Isabelle Caro, a well-known French model, died of anorexia, so you would think designers would be keener than ever to hire 'real women' to show off their season's new collections. Yet professional models such as Niki Taylor have nothing to fear from ordinary women talking over the catwalk any moment soon, it seems. Instead it is movie stars, and even WAGs, who also appear regularly on the covers of fashion magazines, who are in the firing line for stealing prize jobs from supermodels.

Yet models become actresses all the time, so is it any surprise that screen beauties are sought after by designers wanting the maximum exposure for their glam designs?

> Anna Coogan

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