Size matters: The fantasy of fashion doesn’t need to upsize

ELLE UK

The size-related debate never subsides in the fashion world. Be it a daunting picture of a super-skinny Super somewhere, or celebrities looking fleshless, working that French girl rakey décolletage look, critics will be, well, critiquing.

A recent article published on the Business of Fashion circulated mixed opinions on social media sites, urging industry insiders and lookers-in alike to comment on whether the current image of fashion’s brigade – that’s the models not the immediate fash pack –desperately needed re-evaluating.

Well, that’s not strictly a point of contention, given that models appear near-anorexic, and don’t really promote the best health ideals to a generation of women and girls watching them grace the runways. But, when you look at the issue from a wider fashion perspective, it almost begs the question: does fashion’s fantasy justify its use of unreal ideals?

To answer my own question: yes, it does. See, when I pick up the latest copy of a glossy magazine, I do so with the intention and hope that it will whisk me away to an almost unobtainable world – unobtainable being the operative word here, because a) I cannot afford most of the things in there and b) because, personally, fashion has always provided me with a window of escapism, where my imagination could run riot. So seeing a lithe and lean model draped flexibly over beach rocks in the latest minimalist wares, well, excites me.

Being an average size 10, below-model-height woman, I don’t instantly want to become the person I see on the page. The fashion editorials I feast my eyes on are supposed to excite me, show me how Givenchy can be worn in more ways than the catwalk could ever explain and make me realise that being stuck between a rock and a hard place on shoot in new season Prada is a good thing.

But alongside feeding my fashion fantasies, it also helps to remember the digital wizardry that goes into these pages. If the stunts in a film are applauded for every time a Jackie Chan-esque flying kick is flawlessly executed, why can’t the same be remembered for fashion images?

It’s a different matter on the runway though, I hear you contend. Yes, indeed it is. But again, the community that subscribes to these events is well-versed in what goes on behind-the-scenes: the intense pre-Fashion Month diets and workouts; the sheer stress of travelling to four different cities to walk down a ramp for approximately 45 seconds does take its toll, eventually allowing these young women, some girls, to fit into sample sizes.

Editorials are a morphed realisation of what the catwalk fed us six months prior, so mistaking it for reality is a mistake on our part. The image wizardry isn’t played out on catwalks, but one brushstroke in the studio, and you’re Moss-worhty in a flash. Remembering this, paired with a watchful eye on health and diet, can help you achieve your personal best, without using a lanky, super-slim silhouette as inspiration.

Enjoying the fantasy, rather than employing it into everyday life is what makes fashion so alluring, and until I can, I will continue to be allured

What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy fashion as a fantasy, or want it to become one with reality?

(Image: ELLE UK)

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