An all-too-common complaint about fashion designers today is that they don’t produce clothes in nearly enough sizes. Size and weight are similarly loaded subjects within the industry, and fashion’s apparent favoritism towards the thin and thinner is hardly unchartered topical territory. The house of Balenciaga, newly helmed by Alexander Wang following beloved creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s sudden departure after 15 years at the brand, currently dresses typically-sized starlets like Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, et al.
But a soon-to-be-released biography of the company’s founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga (at left), reveals a surprising bit of information from the designer who gave one single interview throughout his entire career: Mary Blume, the author of The Master of Us All: Balenciaga, His Workrooms, His World, “was fascinated to learn that he really liked to work on rather fat bodies.” In contrast, Ghesquière (at right) said of his initial vision of sizing for the brand, “Yes, we did have a size issue. We started very skinny, it’s true. … I had a tendency to think good cut and small size, but it should be a good cut in big sizes, too.” It’s interesting to think that there was actually a time or place in fashion where small sizing was not a priority or even a preference; designer collections nowadays rarely span up to a size 12. How things do change. [NYMag.com]