Posts for June 11th 2008
>> At last night's CFDA-hosted "Beauty of Health" discussion, Michael Kors, Coco Rocha, and casting agent James Scully all stepped up to the plate to address the waning weights of models.
Kors threw in a designer's perspective, suggesting that his peers should "stay away from child-size clothes unless [they're] designing for children," and pointing out that when designers offer such small sample sizes and celebrities starve themselves to fit into them, their super-skinny aesthetic has a far-reaching impact on the general female population. He also advised agents to only send the most suitable girls to castings: “Sending a girl when there's little chance of her being booked throws a 16-year-old into a tizzy. The odds of a girl being booked for my show and Rick Owens’s are slim.”
Next up to the podium was Coco Rocha, who just like Natalia Vodianova and Ali Michael before her, admitted that the job comes with some very unhealthy habits. Two years ago, she weighed 108 pounds (at 5'10"), and yet people were stilling telling her "you need to lose more weight. The look this year is anorexic. We don't want you to be anorexic, we just want you to look it." Even crazier, an agent once advised her to throw up after meals.
Eventually, she submitted to the pressure. "Last season I took diuretic pills. Once I took so many on an empty stomach that I was doubled over for hours. That's the last time I ever did something so terrible to my body." She asked designers to provide healthier food at their shows — "No one wants to be caught with that photo 'Model Eats Cake'" — and to make their fit models, and therefore their sample sizes, bigger — models are humiliated when zippers won't zip up at castings.
Finally, casting agent James Scully advised insiders to consider the weight of their words. "Let's stop treating models like greyhounds we plan to shoot after a race. We have to remember we are dealing with real people who have real feelings."
Francisco Costa, Georgina Chapman, Keren Craig, Donna Karan, Richard Chai, Marcus Wainwright, David Neville, Derek Lam, Doo-Ri Chung, Diane von Furstenberg, Phillip Lim, and Anna Wintour, plus several other Vogue editors, were all in attendance at the event — which leaves quite a few American designers unaccounted for. But as Michael Kors pointed out, designers aren't the only people responsible. "The next one we need to do is about skinny people who work in fashion: editors, buyers, stylists. That’s called ‘Why Does This Sample Fit Me?”