Boobs are the New Black

Here is a very interesting quote from model agent Carole White, who used to represent Naomi Campbell:

“I now look for girls with breasts, and that is something we wouldn’t have countenanced ten years ago. Our biggest demand in the past two years has been for a D cup, but obviously you have to have a really fit body.

Now, we talk to our models about nutrition, make sure they have a personal trainer. Even our language has changed. A decade ago, we would have just said: ‘Don’t eat!’?”

Eniko Mihalik, model, fashion photography

Eniko Mihalik, a model of the moment who is quite busty.

This quote just goes to show how body types are just as much a fashion trend as colours, silhouettes, and fabrics. My review of the Burberry menswear show, particularly their use of “outdated” models, caused a few upset comments, but I think it is important to note that a model “shape” trend is not something that is expected to be followed by the consumer. Or at least, only to an extent.

Kate Moss, in the "heroin chic" years.

If you were supposed to be following “model” trends, you would have been busty and long-legged in the 80’s, a heroin addict in the 90’s, back to the amazonian look, a-la-Brazilian, in the late 90’s, then you’d be an anorexic size zero, and today you’d be plus sized, Asian, or a transvestite. Which is totally unrealistic. Just like no one follows EVERY fashion trend, you aren’t expected to look like a “current” model. Look at Anna Wintour, one of the most powerful women in fashion, she has been wearing a similar style of clothing for many, many years. Just because Balenciaga says “teddy boy punk!” doesn’t mean she follows. And you don’t have to either.

Anyway, it is refreshing to see a change in shape, just like it was refreshing to see Kate Moss and Stella Tennant in the 90’s, after years of Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. I am glad breasts are in, as it is time for a change.

On that note, Crystal Renn recently released this video about her career, and also explaining her recent weight loss. She denies being pressured to lose weight, but she admits being pressured by having the title of “plus size” on her head. I get really bored of hearing the raging media controversy over her weight, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up with an eating disorder again, simply because her weight has apparently become a national media issue.

Carmen Dell'Orefice modeling for Alberta Ferretti. Ferretti used some "real women" in her last fashion show, as well as some unconventional catwalk models, such as Dell'Orefice.

My friend Jason and I were discussing models and “real women” last night over coffee. He mentioned some local designers who were eager to have a fashion show with “real” women (presumable women who are not models), which we both agreed is a stupid idea (read why here.) But we also discussed the fact that while we agree with London Fashion Week‘s decision to ban under-16’s from modeling the catwalk, we also don’t feel THAT sorry for models who have to work hard to keep their weight down. There is a vast difference between watching what you eat and having an eating disorder. As long as models don’t end up with the latter, we feel it isn’t unreasonable to expect them to work hard to maintain their weight. Not many jobs will earn you enough money to buy a townhouse in Manhattan by the time they are 20. Abbie Lee Kershaw explains that talking about the pressure to be thin is absurd. “That’s like asking a bodybuilder how they feel about the pressures to be incredibly muscly. An elite performer is always put under some sort of extreme pressure that the rest of society can argue, might not quite understand.”

I guess I am just really glad not to be a model, it is a job with a very low success rate, lots of pressure, a short career span, and you are basically only judged by the way you look. Not very nice at all.

Eniko Mihalik photo.
Alberta Ferretti image.
Kate Moss image.

  • monica

    Hmm, interesting thoughts there. I agree that the whole ‘body shape’ thing is largely based on a trend. After all, fashion is always there to induce a new “thing”. Every brand is trying to convince you that they are more original, more “fashion forward” than the next brand and body shape simply just plays into the overall package.

    I mean look at the 20s when boyish figures were in and women started binding their breasts or the whole corset thing in the years gone by. People also need to remember that Vionnet decided in a bid to be more original and awesome than everyone else that clothes looked better on skinny tall girls. It was for the lack of better words, a marketing ploy!

    You are more than free to like or dislike this package they are trying to market, just as you don’t have to worship a design simply because it’s Dior, or Balmain or Celine.

  • anya

    These “model trends” actually kind of worked out for me. In the 90s I was a waif since I was still a teenager. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m quite curvy. Still no boobs, haha. Oh well…

    I love Carmen Dell’Orefice, one of the first top models. Loved her in the Banana Republic ads few years ago. Random: did you know she lost most of her life savings in the Bernie Madoff scandal?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I read up on her on Wikipedia yesterday, and she seems to have had quite a sad life, lots of partners and has lost her life savings twice! Hopefully she’s making enough money modeling to get herself back on her feet.

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    Great topic. Yay boobs! Who wants to look at/hug/dress/envy a stick fig anyway??