Tag Archives: fashion

More Plus Size Models Won’t Make Women Obese

7 May

A recent study came out linking a rise in the number of plus-size models to obesity, claiming that if women see plus-size models, it will raise the ideal body size and make them more comfortable to eat more. It says that if a culture is generally underweight, plus-size acceptance will make them healthier, but the opposite is true if the culture is generally overweight. While I do believe that the fashion industry has a large influence on women’s body image, I find this study ridiculous. Raising the ideal body weight will actually make a lot of women healthier.

Plus-size models are actually not unhealthy or vastly overweight. They are simply bigger than a size 0 and, while closer to the average size of women, they are usually smaller than the average women’s size 14, at about a 10. They have to maintain an ideal body shape, just like other models. They stay active and eat well. They are actually healthier than “normal” runway models, because they actually eat the recommended amount of calories per day.

Emaciated runway models present an ideal body image that is unachievable for most women, and has influenced women, (including models themselves), to chase this weight, often making unhealthy choices in the process. The idea that super-thin is perfection isn’t the only cause, but it contributes to the high rates of eating disorders. Eight million Americans have eating disorders, about 2 out of every hundred people, according to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (see more statistics here). Yes, anorexia and bulimia are psychological disorders, but the influence of this skinny ideal cannot be helping those suffering from the disease.

There is case after case of models struggling to stay thin. Crystal Renn (pictured at right), one of the most famous plus-size models, suffered from anorexia shortly after she was discovered at age 14. She was told by agents that she needed to lose weight to be a model, so she starved herself for years to succeed. She fought the eating disorder, and came back to the modeling industry as a size 12, much healthier than she was before. She has since lost a lot of weight, and is about an 8, still considered plus-size by the fashion industry.

If plus-size models were more accepted, maybe women who are overweight would be given hope that they too can achieve a body they can be proud of. They’re still smaller than most American women, and would give them a lower weight to work towards. The plus-size models can only help by possibly lowering eating disorder rates and giving women who aren’t a size 0 more self esteem.

Yellow Clover by Sarah Elizabeth

7 May

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Elizabeth, a fashion designer based out of Providence, at the Liberty Hotel the night she was showing her collection for Fashionably Late. I believe she’s one to watch; her clothing is beautiful and innovative with a vintage girly flair. We’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future. She’s showing again at Providence Styleweek in August, and her clothing should be available in Boston boutiques soon.

Read my full profile and check out her website.

Why I’m Excited for Boston Fashion Week 2011

5 May

I attended Boston Fashion Week events last year, and while a lot of them were enjoyable, it didn’t have the cohesiveness of other fashion weeks. A lot of the calendar skewed more towards cocktail party than fashion show, and didn’t do the designers’ work justice. The venues were mostly bars, hotels, and malls, spread across the city. Turnout was somewhat low for a city of Boston’s size, and people seemed disinterested. There was one event I attended that seemed to have very minimal tie-in to fashion, and seemed to be more about the socialization than the small trunk shows going on.

I’m excited for this coming fashion week in September because I recently learned that the format is changing. The organizers are finally purchasing a tent, which will be in a centralized Back Bay location, to house all of the fashion shows. This will allow for real runways, lighting and sound, more like Providence Styleweek, Boston Fashion Week’s more professional and respected sister. The fashion shows will showcase the clothing more, rather than an open bar. And that’s what fashion weeks are about, after all–the fashion.

How to Wear Heels: A Primer

5 May

How to Wear Heels from Sarah Jones on Vimeo.

Wearing heels can be easy; you just need to know which ones to buy and how to walk in them. Here’s a quick look at how to pull them off.

Work in Fashion

24 Mar

A new website launched  in January called Work in Fashion. It’s intended to help both current and aspiring fashion professionals connect with each other on the social media platform. It’s sort of like the fashion version of Linkedin. Designers and models can share their portfolios, users can look up job openings, and they can all communicate via the forum or stay up to date with the news section.

I think it’s a really great idea for people in the fashion world to be able to connect on their own social media site. As far as I know, this is the first time something like this has been made.  Sadly, as of now not many people have joined, making it less effective than it has the potential to be. It’s based out of the UK, but could expand to global if it had enough users across the pond. Maybe once it’s been around for awhile and word of mouth spreads, it will become more popular and effective, with more postings and people to connect to.

The Fashion Paparazzi

22 Mar

Fashion editors are the new celebrity, being stalked by street style photographers at every turn. Nowadays, photos of famous fashionistas can sell for up to $1000 dollars, according to the Business of Fashion. This is making street style photography a highly professional, and popular gig. During the fall 2011 season shows, there were hordes of fashion photographers lining the street outside of the venues, trying to get the perfect photo of Anna Wintour or Anna Dell0 Russo (Editor at Large for Vogue Japan, pictured right).

Photographing street style of famous fashionistas is nothing new. I trace the world’s fascination with streetstyle back to Bill Cunningham. The New York Times photographer has been peddling his bicycle down Fifth Avenue taking photos of well dressed people for decades. His first set of photos for the newspaper featured Greta Garbo and was published in 1978. This was the first time the Times printed photos of famous people without their consent. Cunningham paved the way for modern streetstyle photographers, like Scott Schuman of the widely read blog the Sartorialist.

What is new is the viciousness of the photographers. They pushed each other and got in the way of editors, who were just trying to get to the next fashion show on time. The sheer number of photogs makes a real nuisance for the sometimes unwilling photo subjects. And I feel the same way about these intrusive photographers as I feel about celebrity paparazzi who attack A-listers–they should give them some space.

While I am a sucker for streetstyle photos, there is almost too much of it these days. There’s Tommy Ton, Street Peeper, and Facehunter, not to mention the street style sections on major fashion magazines’ websites, like Vogue, Elle, and Nylon. There’s also sites for everyday people to join, like Lookbook, that let you upload your own photos and be judged on your ensemble making prowess. Everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon, and it’s getting a bit tiresome. So to those people who feel the need to snap a photo of that girl in the awesome outfit–make sure it’s something really unique, and not just adding to the clutter.

Fashion Journalists Are Journalists, Too

21 Mar

Over the course of my career, I’ve met many talented journalists who suffer from the same inferiority complex. Some are uncomfortable even admitting that they write about fashion; they feel the need to make excuses and intellectual justifications. Why is it that sports writers and food writers, for instance, have no problem seeing their work as relevant and serious? Fashion is an art form in its own right, one that has the power to change us, move us, excite us, and make us feel and look good.
–Stefano Tonchi, Editor in Chief of W

This quote from Tonchi’s letter from the editor really hit close to home, because I have been one of those journalists. As a journalism student, I had been taught to report about “real people” and  “things that matter.” It’s tough to feel like you’re a legitimate reporter when you’re bombarded by these messages class after class. I actually used to have guilty feelings about wanting to go into fashion journalism, feeling like I was a bad person to not want to write human interest stories that will change the world. But then I remembered that to a lot of people, fashion does change their lives. Opening up a magazine can take them away from their problems and putting on clothing that truly reflects who you are can be an uplifting experience. Fashion matters.

And I remembered that fashion reporting requires its own skillset. Just as sports reporters have to know players and coaches, fashion writers have to know designers and models. And like food writers have to have a refined pallette, we have to have a sartorial eye.

I think a lot of the stigma of fashion journalism comes from people who don’t understand fashion. They don’t get that it’s more than just clothing, when in fact it’s a designer’s vision put out on display, much like an art show. And the people who write about this art form deserve to feel like they’re doing meaningful work, because it truly is. I know deep down now that it is relevant and important. And even if the stigma doesn’t change, I’ll still be proud to be writing about what I love.

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