Is Fashion Ready To Embrace A More “Normal” Body Type?

Berggren Studio Stockholm Fashion Week SS18

Berggren Studio Stockholm Fashion Week SS18

In the headlines this week, the news that big French fashion labels like Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton are pledging to stop using underage, skeletal models. At The Glass Pineapple we think this is très excellente. The need to promote positive body image is something we’ve been increasingly aware of and found ourselves increasingly frustrated in trying to do – do you know how hard it is to find campaign images that feature a ‘normal’ female body? And if you’re setting up a shoot, good luck getting hold of any sample sizes above a 10..

Alex Perry

A model for Aussie brand Alex Perry – the designer later apologised, saying showing clothes on such a stick thin frame showed a “serious lack of judgment.”

France is way ahead of the rest of the world on this one – this year the French government brought in a law that required fashion models to have a medical certificate confirming they were not dangerously underweight. The mega business that owns Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton – LVMH-Kering – has now begun creating its own charter that bans underage models and requires models to be at least a size 6 to appear in its ads and campaigns. Not exactly ‘normal size’ but it’s a start.

“Curves” Ararose

This is all great but the question really is why has this taken so very long – and why isn’t everyone doing it? Like the use of fur, the mental and physical health of too young and/or clearly underweight models seems to be one of those things everyone might feel slightly uncomfortable about but tends to write off as “fashion,” safe in the knowledge that everyone else is doing it too. It’s part of what has given an industry that is potentially so positive and empowering a really bad name.

Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence

However, we’ve noticed a real shift over the past year towards acceptance of bodies that don’t fit the traditional mould – the lovely Iskra Lawrence, brands like our own Ararose and NYC’s TORRID, which will stage the first ever plus size show at New York Fashion Week this week, are gaining increasing traction. We too hope to contribute more to this positive movement in the near future – the crowdfunding campaign we’re launching in September will enable us to create our own editorials and images in which we can use a more diverse range of bodies and request larger sample sizes.

Nicholas Nybro SS18

Nicholas Nybro SS18 || Shot for us by Kian Lagerstedt

Things are evolving slowly – but it is happening. As far as we’re concerned at The Glass Pineapple, it’s about time. The idea that the most beautiful, heart palpitating fashion should be exclusively for a certain body type or size is just a bit 1995 – and perhaps even a bit of a cop out. Danish designer Nicholas Nybromade an excellent point recently when interviewed about his SS18 show that we attended at Copenhagen Fashion Week“It’s tiresome to say that fashion only presents itself nicely on tall, skinny models – if that’s the case then isn’t something very wrong with the clothes?“ Well, quite.

Alex Pett