herald

Wednesday 23 January 2019

This 'fat' mum agrees with Karl Lagerfeld - round women don't belong on the catwalk

Thin: Sorry, but only skinny works if you want to see top quality fashion at its best

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has finally become the first to hit back at the politically correct efforts of fashion magazines who say they will stop using skinny models in their pages.

Mind you, he might have gone a bit over the top in his interpretation that the reason the media is running scared of publishing his size zeros parading down the catwalk is because they are "fat mummies who sit with bags of potato chips in front of the television saying that thin models are ugly".

He added that "Nobody wants to see a round woman" on the catwalk and cited "jealousy" as the main reason thin models were criticised.

Well, as a fat mummy (by your standards) who tries desperately only to eat the odd bag of Tayto now and then and doesn't get much time for the telly, I happen to agree with you Karl. Well, the sentiment anyway, if not the tone. And am I jealous of Claudia, Naomi and Kate? You betcha!

The designer was responding to German best-selling magazine Brigitte's decision to ban zero size models from its pages.

The editor went further in his condemnation. He said his staff were "fed up" retouching photos of underweight models and giving them a few pounds to make them look "normal".

"For years we've had to use Photoshop to make these girls look fatter," he said, remarking that their thighs and breasts need most of the boosting.

"What has it got to do with our normal readers?" he whined.

Well, absolutely nothing, but that's the whole point.

Designers like Lagerfeld don't design for 'normal women'.

Indeed, even if we were all size zero we couldn't possibly afford any of the clothes.

It is an art form, no different to a painting or sculpture and is meant to be aspirational and to inspire a season, or trend, or style.

Illusions

Lagerfeld himself describes the world of haute couture as about "dreams and illusions".

Ordinary women are not like these models, but my God, they would like to be some of the time.

Ordinary women aren't six foot three, sashaying down a catwalk without a bump or bulge in sight. Then again, ordinary women are not completely stupid.

They understand completely that Naomi, Kate and Claudia are there to display a piece of art. They get it all too well that they themselves will end up buying a version of that art for a fraction of the price and cut for their 'normal' size, in Zara, or Marks & Spencer or Dunnes next season, and they'll be delighted with it and pleased that artists like Lagerfeld and others shaped the look.

They are happy to do that and don't actually want to live on 500 calories a day to get the look just right.

Do magazine publishers actually think they're depressing women everywhere by showing us pictures of the clothes as they are meant to be worn?

Look, designers design for clothes-hangers. Every single piece of top quality clothing looks better on a tall, thin woman. Yes, it does. You know it's true.

Nobody likes the rakish, anorexic, bone-protruding specimens which are occasionally portrayed.

They're not attractive enough to present the clothes well in any event.

But a healthy, thin, gorgeous model who we know we will never look like, is exactly what makes the outfit stand out in a way it was designed to do.

Lagerfeld and his ilk should absolutely continue to design whatever they want and obviously portray that down a runway in the way that best shows it off.

Why on earth should they pander to the PC-ness of editors with normal size readers?

Honestly, would you feel better seeing an assortment of size 12 to size 16 women parading down the Chanel or Dior show catwalk with their bulges popping out, muffin tops and thighs that meet at the knees?

Would it do the clothes any justice? Would it make you want to save up and buy a dress for €10,000?

Can't we be granted the small intelligence of knowing the difference between Kate Moss wearing a tiny shift dress and us looking eight months pregnant in the same clobber?

We don't need to be minded and hand-held through the realisation that we don't look like them.

We know there are clothes out there for us that catch the look well enough.

Let fashion designers do their thing -- it's not for us, but we'll benefit down the line.

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