CommunityPam's House Blend

I guess Kate Moss won't be on the runway

Madrid bans too-thin models from catwalk. No heroin chic or size zero clothes hangers need apply. The reason for the move is that the government doesn’t want young Spanish girls to associate the glamour of fashion and the ability to model with anemic-looking models, and encourage anorexia and bulemia.

Madrid’s regional government, which is co-financing the Pasarela Cibeles, has vetoed around a third of the models who took part in last year’s show because they weigh too little. The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organisation to come up with a minumum body mass — a height-weight ratio — of 18 for the models.

Spanish daily ABC said it was the first time such restrictions had been imposed on a fashion show, although a recent wedding dress exhibition in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight).

Several models at last year’s show provoked a row when they claimed their careers would be under threat if they put on weight.

Size 8? I don’t think many U.S. models would make the cut either.

The average U.S. woman is 5′ 3.7″ and weighs 152 pounds with a Body Mass Index of 26.3.. Forty percent of the women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger.

The issue of fashion and the average woman came up on this season’s Project Runway, when the designer challenge was to make a fashion-forward ensemble for “the everyday woman“, and the models were all the mothers or sisters of the contestants (no one could pick their own mother). Naturally, the smaller framed mothers were the first ones picked, with the plus-sized moms were the “leftovers.”

During the challenge design phase, more than one contestant, used to designing for the runway body types, plainly said they didn’t know how to design for a woman who had more junk in the trunk (and everywhere else). One contestant, Jeffrey, was so frustruated about having to work with his plus-sized model, that he insulted her, made her cry, and all he could come up with was this horrible tent-style outfit. It was appalling.

I love the description of the challenge @ Tubular:

Michael (dressing Robert’s young sister), Angela (draping Laura’s stylish mom) and Vincent (with Uli’s mom) got off easy. Their mom-models were slender and worked it like real models.

Uli finally deserved her Princess of Prints crown with a flattering chiffon V-necked tunic over beige slacks, for Kayne’s mom.

But faced with fat, Jeffrey and Robert were at a loss. Robert’s usual muse, Barbie, has an impossibly tiny waist, and Jeffrey can’t see past Jean Paul Gaultier’s Madonna costumes. So naturally, Jeffrey made Angela’s mom cry, ignoring her plea not to look matronly. He and Robert both slung an unforgivable insult at their clients: That a woman of size should be hidden beneath a moo-moo dipping to her ankles. The two were too weight-prejudiced to acknowledge that women of curves may have dynamite legs. Instead, they seemed to scream, ”What’s the point?”

…Yet the week’s true loser — who’d been last week’s true winner — was Jeffrey. He planted a periwinkle collar atop a wretched black jersey tent. Even worse, banished Brad’s spaceship blue triangle from outer space landed on the neckline.

Sad, sad, sad. See photos here.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding