Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Take that, skinny models!

Loots of kookiness today with shows by Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. Gaultier shot the whole skinny models debate straight out of the water by doing a show on the theme of aerobics, and then sending out an oversized model to illustrate it. Ahaha, those crazy French! You gotta love them!
A model at the Jean Paul Gaultier show (Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

The audience went wild, though you wonder how most of these people would react if the same woman showed up at a fashion magazine or department store applying for a job. Still, kudos to JPG for the statement. The French designer plans a big party on Saturday night to celebrate 30 years in business. Women's Wear Daily reports that leading fashion editors will do magic tricks (this I'll pay to see). Anna Piaggi, the grande dame of Italian fashion, voiced some concerns about her turn as she congratulated Gaultier backstage, but he was egging her on with encouragements. Good thing she already wears a magician's cape!
Anna Piaggi
Anna Piaggi of Italian Vogue

Vivienne Westwood was in fine form with a collection labeled "I Am Expensiv" (sic). She said it was a reaction to logo-driven consumerism. I asked her about an interview from 1987 in which she criticized the fashion for "asexual bodies". I thought it was interesting given the current debate on skinny models, but she denied ever making the comment. When I said the quote was taken from the catalogue of her retrospective at the Victoria & Albert museum, she went into a rambling critique of the book's author, Claire Wilcox. To me, it's one thing to change your mind about something you once said, but it's another to deny you ever said it. Still, Westwood is her own mistress and she has genius enough to make you pardon a few inconsistencies. The best thing about this show was the catwalk comeback of Sarah Stockbridge, Westwood muse extraordinaire from the 1980s.
Sarah StockbridgeSarah Stockbridge
Sarah Stockbridge, then and now (Photo on right: Jacques Brinon/AP)

I told her that I remembered seeing her on the King's Road in the 1980s and being just blown away. Those were the days of the mini crini and rocking horse shoes. Sarah told me she now has kids but still works as a fittings model for Westwood. She didn't know she would be in the show until this morning, but said she couldn't refuse because her 8-year-old daughter would never have forgiven her. Sometimes, it's great to be reminded just why I wanted to work in this industry. Sarah Stockbridge is one of the reasons.

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