Not as controversial as the Pain au Chocolat or the disastrous correlation between increased hip size and consumption of these French favourites; it appears France can’t stop with its notorious ignorance for matters high of importance.
Only recently, the scandal surrounding 10-year-old Thylane Blondeau blew out of control, after images of the young girl, dressed in adult attire and posing proactively for Cadeaux magazine circulated on the internet. The images caused a furore amongst critics and eventually led to the young girl’s mother terminating the aspiring child model’s Facebook page in order to protect her from negative media attention. France, undisturbed by the consequences, shrugged off the commotion.
And this blasé take on such a pressing matter only seems to have been continued with the launch of a rather disturbing concept: Jours Après Lunes – “the first designer brand dedicated to ‘loungerie’ for children and teenagers, comprised of loungewear and lingerie to be worn over and under, inside and outside.” It says ‘children and teenagers’, but the latter seems to have been forgotten as the range is aimed mainly at ages 4-12. Kids love loungewear – it’s the unwritten uniform of non-school days – but using the term ‘lingerie’ in this age context, combined with loungewear to create ‘loungerie’ isn’t distracting enough from the adult undertones.
The designer behind the sinister collection wanted mother and daughter to match their undergarments, but there appears to be a major oversight – the adult lingerie market is positioned very differently, and the sexual nuances present in lingerie ad campaigns speak for themselves. The danger of recklessly referencing this with a collection aimed at young girls can’t be ruled out, and some of the images for the ‘loungerie’ campaign are, simply put, shocking.
The young ‘filles’ in the campaign shots recline over chairs, covered in pearls and sporting sunglasses look far beyond their years. One particular image – a young girl clinging to a teddy bear while posing, head tilted back to reveal tumbling curls –verges on provocative and remotely adult. This isn’t to say underwear is a no go area for young girls – of course they wear it, but positioned as frilly, play garments with hint of grown-up and given the lingerie label will only prematurely educate young girls on what they can and should wait to find out.