Earlier this month, three plus-sized models landed the cover of Vogue Italia. Velvet d'Amour — the plus-sized actress, model and photographer who famously walked the runway at the Jean Paul Gaultier show in Paris in 2006 — has some thoughts about the issue, and the fact that the women aren't actually wearing much in the way of fashion.
In an interview with Frockwriter, d'Amour (pictured at left) says:
Mainstream folk seem to take offense to the fact that the models included are even deemed PLUS, when they are more ‘average' size women, and others discuss a sense of exploitation, a lack of actual ‘fashion', and then the inevitable health debate, while many are quite simply thrilled by it.
The way I see it is, that we need fashion to catch up to women of size, in order to make a stunning FASHION orientated editorial. If you were to take the average Vogue Italia editorial, and attempt to dress these same models in the clothes, best of luck to the stylist to find their size.
How true. And we've questioned why plus-sized models are so often naked. d'Amour has a theory about that, as well:
Fleshy, curvy women have been relegated to men's magazines, whilst edgy editorial fashion in particular, has been inundating us with imagery glorifying adolescence (sometimes using models even as young as 13); the standard sample size forces the use of more skeletal models; and the opening of the Eastern bloc countries (where women are naturally quite delicately slender) caused an influx of lanky lovelies to grace the pages of our magazines and thus it's really quite normal that the curves here are deemed as more risqué. We have been fed a steady diet of rail thin, white, tall, Youth for the most part. Thus instead of delving further into what Beauty means to us as individuals, the tendency is not to question authority. And VOGUE is certainly the pinnacle of authority when it comes to Fashion.
She also has a few words for people who think that larger models are promoting an unhealthy image:
We are well aware that a great number of popular actors, models, dancers, rock groups etc that inundate media have dabbled in drugs, drink,etc. And rather than scoff at them with derision and judgment, we fete them on a daily basis.
Avoiding fat people isn't about health, it's about Cool and un-cool.
Yes. Fatphobia. And here's a last word from d'Amour regarding curvy women posing in classical, Rubenesque scenarios:
…Should one go out on a limb and include a genuinely voluptuous model, 9 times out of 10 they will do so by harkening back to the Renaissance. Rubens and the like, are seemingly our only reference point for a larger body […] If we continually marry the fat body with nude classics, then we are hardly creating a revolution.
"We Need Fashion To Catch Up To Women Of Size" - Velvet d'Amour [Frockwriter]
Velvetography [Velvet d'Amour Official Site]
Earlier: Velvet D'Amour: "My Quest Is To Diversify Notions Of Modern Beauty"
Not One, Not Two, But Three Plus-Size Models Land Cover Of Italian Vogue
So, Why Are Plus-Size Models So Often Naked, Anyway?