>> 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?”
>> Tonight is the night the CFDA convenes to hear president Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, and Coco Rocha wax philosophical on "The Beauty of Health: How the fashion industry can make a difference."
The event's expected attendees "include Donna Karan, Francisco Costa, Nicole Miller, Tory Burch, Doo-Ri Chung, Amanda Brooks and Michael Vollbracht." I hope that's only a smattering of who actually attends, considering the lengthy list of CFDA members, because if it's not, how does the CFDA ever expect to make any headway when no one's ready to make a change?
>> In February 2007, Natalia Vodianova participated in a CFDA panel discussion on the issue of dangerously thin models, where she ended up admitting that her modeling career had induced weight loss to the point of hair loss. Last month, Ali Michael spoke out about her modeling-induced issues with food, and how they caused her to lose her period.
Now, Coco Rocha is becoming the latest model to address industry health concerns. Along with Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors, she is part of a panel discussion hosted by the CFDA on June 10, dubbed "The Beauty of Health: How the Fashion Industry Can Make a Difference." I wonder what revelations, if any, will come out of that . . .