Friday, 12 March 2010

Are Curves Back?

I haven't been paying much attention to the fashion weeks this season. For whatever reason I have been bored by "real fashion". Imagine my surprise when this morning's front page of the New York Times declared that curves are making a comeback. Curves? Really? I felt that I had perhaps missed something important.

The curves in question were those of Laetitia Casta and Elle MacPherson, who had been booked to walk for the Louis Vuitton show. As glad as I was to see at least some variation on the catwalk when it comes to the female shape, the whole thing seemed a little gimmicky to me. Cathy Horyn writes in her review of the show that

"[...] the demand for padded bras and breast implants, and the popularity of shows like "Mad Men" suggest that women like a kind of reconstructed femininity. They want hips and breasts, phony or not."

I don't know about you, but to me this just sounds like a different way of saying that women are not happy in their own skins. Move over, want-to-be-size-zero!, welcome, must-have-curves-for-this-season. Considering that we are talking about Louis Vuitton, it is bunny ears for one season, breasts for the next. I don't see any real development or any genuine attempt to change the way women feel about their bodies. Having said that, the 1950s silouettes looked beautiful to me, and I was happy to see that the usual "clothes look better on skinny people" thesis didn't hold for these garments.

On a different note, I was glad to be reading the latest issue of Glamour magazine, which made the effort to join forces with Michael Kors in order to find fitting sample sizes for previous Bond-girl Gemma Arterton. How crazy is it that they actually had a hard time finding clothes she would fit into, and how wonderful is it that Glamour actually said it out loud? What do you think? Are curves really making a comeback, or are we just seeing another way of telling women what they should look like?

Lemon dress: giveaway from Eunice of Fancy Pants
Cardigan: Soaked in Luxury
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Vagabond
images: the fashion spot,


Sal said...

It’s definitely hard to tell which efforts are genuine and which are gimmicky – but I have to say that I’m glad that the issue is being batted around and discussed, gimmick or no. For ages it seemed like there was just no way around the one body-type argument. At least we’re seeing some movement.

That is one fantastically springy frock you’ve got going on there, doll!

BookGirl said...

I'm trying to be optimistically cynical (if there is such a state), but this strikes me as simply the fashion du jour. The ladies usually mentioned as being "curvy" are still anemically thin by "real world" standards, and plus-size models are size 12s, which is a size smaller than the size of the average American woman.

That was the "cynical" part. The "optimistic" part is next. I'd like to think that the proliferation of style blogs by "real" women may be making a difference in the fashion business. Not because of any altruism or intelligence on the part of the industry (sorry, that's the cynical part again), but because of the recognition that these women have money that they are willing to spend if they can find clothes to fit them.

I recognize that I'm painting the fashion industry with a broad brush, and I have no doubt that there are those within it who have their hearts, and not just their pockets (or pocketbooks) in the right place. Like Sal, whatever the genesis of this conversation, I'm thrilled that it's happening.


Eyeliah said...

Who knows? I've been waiting since the 90s for curves to be back in. Obviously I'm not holding my breath.
When I 'tried' to model (at age 13-15) I wasn't big enough to be plus size and not small enough to be a regualar model. Nowadays I am sure at that size I would have been too big to even be plus size, it is ridiculous.

P.S. Thanks for the award :-)

Rad_in_Broolyn said...

I love you shoes and the layers of ruffles!
You have such great commentary about the "industry." I think I've been hearing conflicting claims that "curves are back" and "models are getting thinner than last season" from the high fashion world from the past few years, and now it just confuses me. I agree that while it's great to celebrate diversity in women's bodies, but why does it have to sound like a trend? Very strange.
Thanks again for the kudos!

SnapandPrint said...

I cannot help but feel that "Curves are making a comeback" just because the show Mad Men is popular.

Just love the body you have and dress it well. That is what I feel.

Reginasaurus said...

You look so cute! xo

Me said...

curvy? that model is still think to me, when I think curvy I think Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Shakira, grisl with more body fat. I still haven't seen enough "average" weight in magazines, but I guess it's a start, hopefully it's not what you said, telling how to be for this season. I love that yellow dress, it looks so good with the blue and the shoes.

Henna said...

Your outfit is perfect! Looks so good on you. I wouldn't have guessed that those are Vagabond shoes.

Eline said...

I don't know but either how the beauty portrayed on runways and fashion is far away from accepting true diversity. IF "curves" are coming back they'll be equally unrealistic as the waif teen bodies that are dominating the runway again. I think most business people believe they have to portray a completely unreal beauty standard just to attract consumers, it's also their plan to make consumers feel bad about themselves as they are, the business people will always give us the message that we need their product to be truly happy and perfect etc. I think it's up to us to dissect and analyse the media and look upon it all very critically.

wardrobeexperience said...

I feel bored by 'real fashion', too. I prefer to get my inspiration by strolling through the streets and fashionblogs... street fashion worn by real people... worn by slim and willowy, fat, middle-sized, tall, tiny, curvy, small, round, square-cut,....

eunice said...

aww glad to see the dress on you again! you wear is so well! just perfect :)

Charlotte said...

It's so ridiculous. Curves making a comeback. . .as if they ever really went anywhere!