Julien Macdonald has really put his foot in it. The Welsh fashion designer and Britain’s Next Top Model judge has totally slammed plus-size models, referring to aspiring models in a size larger than an eight “a joke.”
I can remember when I was a teenager in the ‘90s hearing tales about modeling being a career that went hand in hand with eating disorders. I survived Kate Moss and the whole “waif” thing. What I don’t remember is ever seeing a plus-size model in a magazine (beyond Lane Bryant circulars or something). This is not the case today, where some plus-size models are actually almost-sort-of household names, where you can see curvier women in an increasing number of magazines and billboards.
Am I just remembering things wrong, or are Julien Macdonald and I just looking at the same world differently? (And, to be fair — and unfortunate — it is far more his world than mine).
Macdonald, who has an OBE for services to fashion, told Wales on Sunday in an interview: ‘This is a serious show. A catwalk model is a size six to eight.
‘You can’t have a plus size girl winning – it makes it a joke.’
Um … a joke? You’re, uh, joking, right?
Macdonald, ex-creative director for Givenchy, is unimpressed with the move towards using larger girls in campaigns, claiming the reality of the industry will take its toll on any model over size eight.
He said: ‘It’s not fair on them – you’re setting them up for a fall – I know what would happen to them afterwards,’ he said.
‘They are looked down on, they’re frowned upon.If you’re a size 14 in a room full of size eights – you’re in the wrong room.’
Hmm. Apparently not joking. Fortunately, the modeling world seems to be parting company with Macdonald on this issue.
Several designers and high fashion magazines have begun to use curvier models as the size zero debate continues to dominate headlines since the British Fashion Council’s Model Health Enquiry in 2007 was launched in response to concerns about the health of models on the catwalks at London Fashion Week.
High end fashion label Chanel used plus-sized supermodel Crystal Renn in their most recent show alongside Georgia May Jagger and High Street chain Mango featured her in their 2007 campaign.