Tag Archives: Fashion Industry

What is a fashionable body shape and does it matter?

What is a fashionable body shape? This is an interesting question and has different answers in different contexts. A friend recently shared two photographs with us that illustrated this concept perfectly. The question is what makes one body shape more acceptable than another? The ultimate answer is none.

Changing Body Shape

Body shape has been and continues to be “valued” and viewed differently over time and it is also viewed differently in different cultures. Body shape changes through the decades and fashion trends emphasise different parts of the body. Think about Victorian body shapes and fashion styles; think about the shape of women in the 1950’s. Think about the shape of women today. In western society this is accentuated by coverage in the media and by people in positions of media influence promoting one body shape as being more attractive and acceptable than another.

No guesses as to what I’m referring to here. We are in a time where larger people are not viewed as favourably as thinner people. The fashion industry plays and has played an aggressive role in the promotion of “thin” women – anyone remember the “drug addict” look of very thin models made up with shadows under their eyes? Was this really considered to be attractive or was it just media hype?

Health And Body Shape

The government and health bodies also play a part in shaping peoples perceptions about body shape by claiming overweight people are more likely to suffer from health problems. In reality any extremes in body shape can cause health issues. So an emaciated person is just as likely to face serious health issues as a morbidly obese person. Larger people are criticised for their size to a degree that women who aren’t that overweight feel tremendous pressure to conform to an ideological shape that is more difficult to adhere to the older we get.

Consider the following two images (mentioned above) both are marketing images for very different brands. Both are celebrating women’s beauty but they sending very different messages. Someone even suggested that one of the photographs has been adjusted to change the shape of the models. I don’t know whether that is the case or not, you can judge for yourselves. What is clear though is that taste and style is subjective and people will make harsh judgements about body shape which to my way of thinking is a shame.

Body Shape Image for discussion about fashionable body shapes

Normal Body Shape?

Potentially the whole concept of what is a normal body shape is disappearing. The fashion industry doesn’t appear to recognise this. As a whole they largely still aim for a market aged between 16 and 34 and who are a “standard” shape and size. I’ve been to many trade shows where the manufacturers just can’t fathom women being over a size 16.

The reality of the matter is that body shapes and sizes are changing and probably not in a manner that will suit the fashion industry. So far the industry is struggling to recognise this and make clothes that are suitable for different body shapes and sizes. I’ll discuss this further in a follow up post.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Plus Size Clothing For Women With A Curvy Body Shape

Comments { 3 }
"Big Sexy" plus size reality TV show

A “Big Sexy” Date For Your Diary

"Big Sexy" plus size reality TV showOn August 30th TLC channel launches a new reality TV show which follows the lives of five plus size ladies trying to break into the fashion industry. The objective is for the five belles (all New Yorkers) to alter the preconceptions of the size obsessed fashion world, challenge stereotypes and make plus size sexiness more mainstream. The show is also balanced with a look into the their personal lives and examines their relationships as plus size women.
At this stage of course it’s impossible to comment on the show as I’ve not seen it yet, but I am interested to see whether it will go anywhere near to achieving it’s objectives and to reading your opinions. Even if it doesn’t, well done to those ladies and the programme executives for taking on the challenge.

Joanna

Don’t forget it is the last few days of the summer sale at Vida Moda – If you are a “curvy bird” we’ve got a designer bargain for you! – Click Here to view our sale items.

Comments { 2 }
Plus Size Models on Vogue Italia June 2011 Cover

What Is Plus Size?

What is a Plus Size and why can’t the fashion industry deal with it properly?

This is an area under debate at the moment and some people are clearly struggling with it. They know that plus size is popular and is a hot topic for discussion and they wish to participate and comment on the plus size market. But what is “Plus Size”, what does it mean and how do we view it?

The words “Plus Size” are used to refer to clothing for larger people, there is a wide area of debate around what is considered to be large, where does it start? Size, 10, 12, 14 or 16?. The debate then also becomes associated with health issues as many people consider that larger people are automatically unhealthy (this is untrue). The Fashion Industry is totally focused on how people look and larger people do not figure on mainstream fashion’s radar. This is regrettable as a lot of people are larger than the models generally used by the fashion industry (they are then expected to buy clothes modeled on thinner women). It is interesting that the fashion industry is associated with thinness which itself can also give rise to health issues. It seems that people (both large and thin) slightly outside the “norm” are viewed and treated differently though interestingly in certain circumstances both are perceived as being “unhealthy”

However these perceptions are being challenged somewhat because people are getting larger and what used to be considered “plus size” is now much more common than previously. Dress sizes have become larger over the years but have remained labeled as previously known as “Vanity Sizing” to make customers feel good about themselves. Typically the fashion markets are driven by designers setting trends. Their work is an art form and is displayed in an artistic manner. Ready to wear on the high street takes it’s cues from these trends although you also get designers who set their own trends for their market.

Ready to Wear is worn by much wider age and size groupings than shown on the Couture Catwalks, and a lot of the trends seen on the catwalk do not necessarily transfer well to the normal market. So while the “Plus Size” market may not be “media” popular they represent a good portion of people who shop for clothes.

The term “Plus Size” is commonly used in the USA but is less common here in the UK, it is a commonly used search term on Google but it’s not really that well used here in the UK. Media doesn’t really know how to handle it and this was never more clear when we saw the Vogue Italia cover for June 2011. It features 3 beautiful women photographed in lingerie. These women are plus size models and while it is wonderful that Vogue featured them on their cover is a shame that they felt it necessary to photograph the women semi naked and with one of them posed somewhat inappropriately.

Plus Size Models on Vogue Italia June 2011 Cover

Editor in chief Franca Sozzani launched Vogue Curvy in February and the June Cover of Vogue was aimed at helping promote Vogue’s new affinity with plus size women. It is excellent that Sozzani has a launched Vogue Curvy, is this mainstream fashion recognising that there are lots of women out there who are curvy or plus size and who demand that their fashion needs and desires be catered for? On an equally positive note Sozzani is also campaigning against web sites that actively promote anorexia which the fashion industry has been blamed for encouraging in the past. So well done to her for taking an active stance on this issue. In time perhaps the fashion media will focus on fashion as opposed to the size of the individual wearing it. After all everyone has the potential to be elegant and beautiful regardless of their size.

“The Cut” blog also posted an article “No One Seems To Know What A Plus Size Model Really Is” and they featured some quotes from Madeline Figueroa-Jones editor-in-chief of Plus Model magazine. Interestingly “The Cut” also featured a photograph of one of the covers from Plus Model Magazine and of all the covers they could have chosen they chose a cover with models wearing lingerie and posing provocatively. Plus Model Magazine has plenty of covers showing larger women wearing beautiful clothes. So it was a shame that both of these well traveled web sites chose to somewhat cheapen plus size women by showing them in skimpy lingerie (however well photographed).

Both Vogue and The Cut could have chosen photographs showing plus size women wearing beautiful clothes and illustrating the fact that larger women can look just as fabulous as other women and that fashion should be about fashion and not body size. Designers could also look at the world slightly differently and if they were brave they could view curvy women as presenting them with an opportunity to design clothes that flatter curves and to allow them to make a different and new fashion statement. At Vida Moda we argue that curves are required to wear clothes really well! It is part of our mission to find beautiful clothes for larger women that will flatter and make them feel and look wonderful.

One of the things we’d like to know is what term you use to describe your size when you are shopping for clothes or discussing clothes with friends? Do you use any of the following terms, Plus Size, Curvy, Larger-Size? if not then please tell us what terms you do use. Add a comment here or vote for the terms in the poll on our Facebook page.

Vogue Italia Cover Image June 2011 courtesy of The NewsFeed and Vogue Italia

Designer Fashion Size 16 to 24 From Vida Moda | Stylish European Plus Size Designer Clothing Collections For Ladies | Browse Our Online Store For Clothes For Curvy Women.

Comments { 0 }
Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor