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

Berggren Studio Stockholm Fashion Week

Berggren Studio Stockholm Fashion Week SS18

The last few years have seen a lot of headlines about changing attitudes to female bodies in fashion – even 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

[Above: 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.”]

As a country, France is way ahead of the rest of the world on this one – the French government has already brought in a law that requires fashion models to have a medical certificate confirming they are not dangerously underweight. The mega business that owns Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton – LVMH-Kering – has now created 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 couple of years towards acceptance of bodies that don’t fit the traditional mould – the lovely Iskra Lawrence, brands like Ararose and NYC’s TORRID, which staged the first ever plus size show at New York Fashion Week, are gaining increasing traction.

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 Nybro made an excellent point recently when we interviewed him 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