Is The Problem With Plus-Size Fashion In Fashion Schools?

By: Leonora Epstein / October 22, 2010

In the debate about plus sizes in fashion, there seem to be few solutions. Perhaps the place to start, however, is not by going straight to the solution, but asking why we have no answers. The Los Angeles Times brings up some points that delve deeper into the economic rather than moral side. First of all—why is the fashion industry geared toward smaller sizes when it would seem the money is to be made by producing larger sizes, due to the fact that there are more overweight Americans than model-sized Americans?

Apparently, it’s not just a question of designers not wanting to create plus sizes; it’s also a mechanical matter of not knowing how to do it, or not being able to make a runway look larger without it turning into something completely different … Although, the Times does point out that the technical issue isn’t the whole of the problem: ” … fashion academics say design students have no interest in plus-size design, and as a result, few schools offer extensive courses in the specialty. To fit the multiple body proportions, retailers that cater to larger sizes often resort to carrying boxy, shapeless styles that accommodate a variety of body types.” So even before production, there is no supply and demand system in the academic and training arena.

We also learn that the problem is with the consumer: The plus-sized shopper has been so alienated by fashion that she doesn’t spend as much on clothing.

It would seem to us that perhaps some progress could be made in schools by advocating courses in curvy design, especially since this seems to be a specialty market where students would have a unique advantage. No? [L.A. Times]