This morning I was reading a story that I found disturbing. Plus-size fashion designed Elena Miro was excluded from the official program at Milan Fashion Week.
The designer, whose real name is Elena Miroglio, said she wondered why the organizers terminated a five-year-old tradition of scheduling her show as the Fashion Week opener.
The National Chamber of Italian Fashion claimed that the reason they removed Miroglio for the lineup was that “Some labels just weren’t in line with what ready-to-wear week should be. We wanted to champion the values of creativity to reaffirm Milan’s role in the world.”
Milan, once a leader in fashion for the plus-size woman, truly dealt a blow to all those out there who are little curvy. Even with this direct blow to the label Miroglio debuted to her Spring/Summer 2011 collection to a sold-out room.
Miroglio said her collection is reminiscent of the 1950s “when the beauty of women, the round shapes and soft bodies” were de rigueur.
Miroglio, who herself is diminutive and quite thin, recognizes that designing for larger women is more challenging than for the more linear, but said that through her 25 years of experience she had developed the “know how about proportions and shapes.”
One of the models interviewed before the show, Penelope Benson, 23, of Australia, said that “real women are the ones with the money.” I agree.
At 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighing 167 pounds, Benson is still not the “average” size women. But she looks healthier than the majority of models on the runway.
Since the death of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston in 2006, there has been a move for more generously sized models. Spain and Italy banned models below a certain body mass index after her death, while Great Britain only banned models under the age of 16 from the catwalk.
The other night I watched a documentary “America the Beautiful.” Director Darryl Robert’s took a look at America’s fixation with outward appearance and the unrealistic standards of beauty. Robert’s interviewed fashion experts, media personalities and celebrities, including then 13-year-old model Gerren Taylor, who made history when she became the youngest model to walk the catwalk in LA and New York.
I found Robert’s take on what women think about themselves, or better yet what we are programmed to think, fascinating. There are more plus-size women out there who want to look and feel great, but we are constantly fed information that we are supposed to look different than we do. It doesn’t help when teenagesr strut down the runway to try and sell something to a 30 and 40 year old crowd. We see something on someone so young and wonder “why?” we don’t look that great.
There’s so much to think about when it comes to body image. I actually thought Miroglio’s collection is something I could see myself wearing. What about you, what do you think?