Why is it that every Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week in Sydney, I am always in the same predicament? Menstrual; eating everything that’s not tied down and consequently becoming a barrel with several chins complete with adult acne. All while the rest of Sydney is hob-knobbing with their toned bodies in Louis Boutins, draped in designer garb and posting glamorous photos of themselves on Instagram. Why is this traditionally my most unglamorous time?
Many moons ago I used to work with the lovely M.A.C team on shows. And it was the same then. Bloated with period cramps and eating chocolate, I was a fat person amongst a sea of gangly young models. Nothing has changed. And neither has the gangliness of the girls. Again, just yesterday we have seen images of very underweight girls, nearly toppling over due to barely having enough strength to hold up their head let alone walk the gamut of a catwalk in towering stilettos. And every year the same calls for action: “terrible”, “this girl is not well”… I assure you, we will be having the same conversation next year. Thankfully, all this negative body talk has had a reprieve when it comes to Victoria’s Secret model and Goddess: Alessandra Ambrosio. The amazonian looking Brazilian (they breed them over there) shows us you can be a lingerie model and still be strong and healthy.
However, I do have clear memories of receiving girls in my make-up chair, who had just come from a show, and now late in the afternoon, were being prepped for another show – hungry and tired. Not a skerrick of food had been offered. It was all about Perrier mineral water or Red Bulls back in those days. (Except for the lovely Leona Edmonston who provided a table laden with catering – very like me to remember such a gesture).
So, Fashion Week for me, being an ample size 14, is just awash of clothes that I would love to wear but are more than likely unavailable in my size. Boring! We can have this conversation till we’re blue in the face: Can designers who create the labels that the cool kids wear, just make THE SAME outfits but in larger sizes? Not make a poor-cousin-diffusion label of fabulous clothes. But design the SAME said fabulous clothes in a size 14-16 versions?
We’ve all seen “plus-size fashion” and it’s nearly always atrocious. There’s a vibe to the designs (lack of) that subliminally says: You should be lucky you’re wearing something that’s not a kaftan. Just be grateful with ¾ pants and loud print polyester top with fake jewels on the yoke. Hello! I’m a glamour-puss and I want to look hot!
So my message to the organisers of Fashion Week:
Please consult my cycle before you book the proceedings next year. And then source someone, who is clearly living in a parallel universe, who designs beautiful, glamorous and sophisticated clothes for real women. Showcase that person’s collection on stunning strong, healthy women, and then hail them as a hero. That’s all.