And we’re off! NYC fashion week has begun! Over the years, many have begun to actively work towards activism and protection of our models. In 2010, Coco Rocha penned her infamous letter to the NYTimes and in 2011, Sara Ziff created The Model Alliance (more on both here). Amazing strides towards a better and healthier industry. Meanwhile, around the world, Madrid and Israel have imposed industry mandates and government enforced regulations, respectively (more on both here). The United States’ fashion industry continues to be self-regulated. In 2007 the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) took a step in imposing industry guidelines of their own (see here).
This year, however, the CFDA teamed up with Organic Avenue, a juice and health-food retailer well known for their juice cleanses, and is offering models a 50% discount during fashion week. While it is true that the 50% discount is for anything in the stores, not just juice cleanses, paired with Sara Ziff’s report of a Model Alliance survey (that showed 64% of models who responded had been asked by their agents to lose weight, 48.7% had done cleanses and 31% had suffered from an eating disorder), my guess is that the message the majority of models will take away is for them to lose weight for the runway.
We must acknowledge that the CFDA is working to uphold their health initiative guidelines but I wonder if this is effective or if it is a confusing mixed message that perpetuates unhealthy behaviors. What do you think?
Change.org has begun a petition against the Barneys’ “Electric Holiday” display for this upcoming holiday season. See here for the details about this outrageous display and then go here to sign the petition.
Please pass this along to everyone who you feel might be a potential supporter. Thank you!
I have so much to say about this, what i consider, brilliant illustration of the insane lengths both men and women go to in order to manipulate their bodies into some crafted unrealistic ideal of perfection.
Bravo, Leanie van der Vyver!
What do you think? I really want to know… (comment below)
Women’s Wear Daily reported yesterday that Barneys teamed up with The Walt Disney Co. to create “Electric Holiday,” an exciting film for the upcoming holiday season. Merging the concept of Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade with high fashion, the film will feature Disney’s most famed characters on a Paris catwalk.
When interviewed about the project, Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman detailed the immense time spent reviewing, “The world of the Paris fashion shows, of fashion, of people in fashion, of the rituals, all of the idiosyncrasies. The important thing to me was always that it had to be authentic. It really had to hit the nail on the head in every detail… When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion,” Freedman recalled. “The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.”
It seems that the bodies of the original Disney characters have been deemed unacceptable for the runway. These iconic characters needed to be turned into supermodels. In order to fit the mold, they were severely slimmed down (read: made gaunt and anorexic).
Needless to say, Electric Holiday has sparked generous amounts of controversy. What do you think about it? High fashion or highly disturbing?