Devil’s Advocate: Garance Doré On The Plus-Size Model Debate

When it comes to the fashion industry size debate, even we admit that as much as opposing sides keep launching rockets, it often feels like a peace treaty will never come to be. After seeing such incremental changes towards a healthier body standard, we sometimes feel like raising our shoulders and saying, “So what are you going to do?” You get a wave of “normal” or “plus-sized” fashion shoots that get good press, but the attention is often treated as a trend and an unsettling novelty that only recedes back into the shadows once the hype dies down. It’s undeniably frustrating and disheartening.

One of our favorite fashion photography bloggers, Frenchie Garance Doré is experiencing some heat for some controversial comments she recently made about size. On the use of curvy models, she says, “I think it’s too much and almost naive of the fashion industry, because it would be nice in a few years that the idea of different body shapes is normal, but right now it’s not quite there yet … It should not be such a big deal to show women with different bodies, but sometimes it’s treated like a bit of joke, or for shock, like the plus-size models on the runway in the UK fashion week.” This is a reasonable argument; however, her point seemed to be overshadowed by what she said next, which painted her as pro-thin: “It’s not such a good thing to show plus-size because it’s not really physically healthy and not always flattering to fashion.”

Doré may be getting slammed with criticism for these remarks, but she does make a point both for players in the industry and for consumers of it. If designers want to promote a different body vision, the marketing behind it has to be there in the first place. And maybe we too need to realize that not all types of fashion can accommodate certain sizes from a commercial view point. At least, perhaps not for the moment. We hope that in the future, there will be a place for all types of beauty to naturally (not forcefully) co-exist. It’s how we get there that’s the tough part, and, like Doré suggests, shouldn’t be with gimmicks. [Sydney Morning Herald]