Why not larger couture?

 In Artist

I love it when exciting things pop into my inbox, well who doesn’t? I love being able to take part in things and getting invited to events because someone has seen my work and it has touched them in some way or another.

At the start of the year I was approached by Ms Curvaceous, an event I hadn’t previously heard of. From the name it was apparent that this would be working with ‘fuller figured’ women. Great, I thought. I have certainly found there to be a niche for the more extravagant couture pieces to be modelled by larger ladies. It got me thinking why this is the case, and I have a few ideas I want to share with you.

When I was at a friend’s the other evening her young teenage daughter (who happens to be gorgeous) was in. She’s already got hips and an ‘older’ figure. I manage to relate to a certain extent, I was tall and hippy from about the age 13, and I hated it.

We were chatting and talking about boys when she said something that truly hit hard, ‘guys only like skinny girls though’. What. Seriously what? How is this the view she has, or the view that large amounts of the boys and girls at school seem to have? Have we really managed to inflict our body anxieties and stereotypes of beauty on these children? And surely, they must know that in reality this is not the case.

Comedian Adam Hills put it best whilst talking about Katie Hopkins when he said something along the lines of, ‘men aren’t that fussy, seriously all I ever looked for was someone that wanted to kiss me and had a favourite episode of the Simpsons’. So maybe if we look at this on a ridiculously deep level, we could say that maybe we are actually worried that if we look different to the stereotype we have been told is ‘desirable’ we will end up on the shelf. No one will find us attractive, heaven forbid any one will want to give us any love and affection or sleep with us (because we should be honoured) and we will eventually end up surrounded by cats in a bedsit for one drinking scotch and crying into a photo album. It’s all lies, and it’s time we stop. Right now.

So here is reason two, less emotive and more practical from a design perspective. When we use industry ‘standard’ models of the same height and size it is simply easier if someone drops out last minute. If you imagine a row of size 8 ladies all 5ft 10, their bodies are likely to be very similar and therefore easier to dress. Now as a size 16 myself, I have size 16 friends whose bodies are so, so different from mine. This is simply because fat distributes differently on the body depending on many variants. This is much more difficult to accommodate if a model drops out or is unable to attend last minute.

All this said and done, I am thrilled to be representing all women. Not only will I be continuing to use plus size models alongside standard size models, but I am also keen to use disabled models as well.

It’s about time we started to represent all women

To see the clip of Adam Hill click here

To visit the Ms Curvaceous website click here