Wednesday, February 24, 2010

London Fashion Week: Stylist walks out as Mark Fast uses size 14 models

Designer Fast, known for his tight knitted dresses used both slender and curvier women for his show. He included three plus size models from the agency 12+ UK- Hayley Morley, 21, a size 12, Laura Catterall, 20, a size 14, and Gwyneth Harrison, 25, a size 12-14.
Amanda May, managing director for the Canadian designer said there were “creative differences with regards to the casting of those girls. There was a team change and we’re glad we stuck to our vision.”
May insisted that their selection of larger models was neither politically motivated nor a publicity stunt.
“The decision to use the fuller girls is something we have been talking about. There’s this idea that only thin and slender women are able to wear Mark’s dresses and he wanted to combat that," she said,
She added: “We wanted women to know they don’t have to be a size zero to wear a Mark Fast dress- curvier women can look even better in one.”
In recent years, the fashion industry has been criticised for its parading of extremely thin models. Psychologists and health experts are worried that designers have gone too far in pushing a dangerously slim image that women, and younger girls, will try to emulate.
Professor Ulrike Schmidt, chairman of the Institute of Psychiatry’s eating disorder team voiced his fears about the use of tiny models.
He said: “We are very concerned that the lack of medical checks of models at London Fashion Week, coupled by an environment where being underweight is the norm, prevents those with eating disorders into gaining an insight into their condition”.
Sarah Watkison from agency 12+ said: “Every time I think things are progressing, they end up going back to how they’ve always been. I hope this has sparked lasting changes”.
Fast has also been involved with the exhibition All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. It features models aged 18 to 65, from sizes to 8 to 16. The launch party was attended by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman.
Shulman wrote to top designers earlier this year, criticising the designers’ size zero garments: “We have now reached the point where many of the sample sizes don’t comfortably fit even the established star models”.

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