Older Models & "Curvy" Models: Fashion Loves A GimmickS

A piece on The Huffington Post points out that in addition to the gray-hair trend, (gray-haired) 43-year-old Kristen McMenamy and 47-year-old Elle Macpherson have graced recent fashion runways. The headline asks: "Are 'Older' Models The New Black?"

New York magazine's fashion blog The Cut answers: Not exactly. Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa used McMenamy in his show, but he opened that show with a model called Jac, who is 16.

The Prada show earlier this year featured "curvier" models —many known for their work with Victoria's Secret — but as The Cut's Amy Odell writes, "Sexy, curvaceous figures seem to be on the rise, but the vast majority of girls walking that we saw were still super-skinny and super-young."

It would be wonderful if designers wanted more diversity on the runways — age-wise, body-type wise, race-wise — to the showcase the universal appeal and wearability of the clothes. But unless the fashion industry makes inclusive casting a steady habit, whenever a model deviates from the norm, it'll feel like a stunt for attention instead of progress.

Were the Fall 2010 Runway Castings Really a Turning Point? [NY Times]
Are 'Older' Models The New Black? [HuffPo]