Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

The Skinny on Fashion

Club Sandwhich, istockphoto.com

Well, the idiocy that has beleaguered women for ‘lo these many years has finally caught up with us. Just when the fashion industry decided that having women dying to be models wasn’t the best business plan, we get this.

From The New York Times:

“I personally think that it’s the consumer that’s doing this, and fashion is just responding,” said Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, a fashion branding and production company. “No one wants a beautiful women or a beautiful man anymore.”

In terms of image, the current preference is for beauty that is not fully evolved. “People are afraid to look over 21 or make any statement of what it means to be adult,” Ms. Cutrone said.

George Brown, a booking agent at Red Model Management, said: “When I get that random phone call from a boy who says, ‘I’m 6-foot-1 and I’m calling from Kansas,’ I immediately ask, ‘What do you weigh?’ If they say 188 or 190, I know we can’t use him. Our guys are 155 pounds at that height.”

For the record, I’m all for “healthy” weight, and a few years ago, size 38 suits weren’t even going to be produced. Size 50 was the new extreme. But even back in the day, the size 38 man wasn’t likely to be 6’+. I don’t think this is about beauty, I think it’s laziness. I think it’s far more difficult to cut mass-produced clothes that are flattering on people who aren’t rail thin. Especially if those people aren’t acquainted with the idea of having a tailor fit your clothing. It’s easier, in the long run, to change people’s perception of beauty… publicize it enough and you start believing the hype. Draping skeletal models has to be easier. You could put them in anything and it will hang better — like on a wire hanger. And an ounce of material will certainly hide a flaw in the figure, if there is very little figure for the cloth to grab onto.

I think the telling statement here is Ms. Cutrone’s, who states that no one wants to “make any statement about what it means to be an adult.” I find that funny, it isn’t about making a statement, it’s about being an adult… it’s tough, it take a lot of work to develop the healthy body, healthy mind revered by the Greeks. Suck it up… literally, hit the gym, suck in that gut and be a man. Look like one, dress like one, and above all, act like one.

Seriously, ladies and gentlemen, who has your vote: a Cary Grant or Sean Connery? Or that guy featured in the article? For that matter, what about an Anne Margaret, Ursula Anders, Rita Hayworth or a Sophia Loren? Or are you more of a Karen Carpenter fan?

Do we all really want to date high schoolers?

And if you answer yes, I expect you to look the part, too.

As the right-minded Mrs. E. puts it: “Anorexia is a rich county’s disease. Eat a sandwich.” You can’t be too rich, but you can be too thin.

Thus endeth the lesson.

8 thoughts on “The Skinny on Fashion

  1. E&E – My big city friend just got back from a very nice trip to Mexico and said, “There are no grown-ups anymore. Everyone wants to look 16.” He claimed there were no Cary Grants anymore – but I don’t think that is true. It’s tougher with women. As for the eating thing – imagine how much attention you need and how little you care about yourself to not even feed your body. Yikes. And, of course, the “fat kid” was from Kansas. Naturally. No one would weigh that who lived on the coasts.

  2. Designers have long been obsessed with the perfect “hanger” for their designs and the truth is that they photograph better on thinner and taller models.
    Valentino has sent many a model back stage, chastising her for not being thin enough.
    The old adage “never too rich, never too thin” is and always will stand at the forefront of every collection. Even designer, Gianfranco Ferre, (and he was a large man) his designs were admired by the richest and the thinnest.
    Beauty has a price.

  3. It occurs to me that at one time, a chicken-chested man would go to his tailor (probably Dege and Skinner) to have his suit made to make him look boarder in the chest… the look that started with the British Army uniform (the redcoat.)

  4. I doubt there is any arguing that the current fashions look best on those rail thin. I do not fit in this category. I am just under 5’2 , a size 6, and have an athletic build. Sometimes it’s impossible to find clothes that fit well and most of my purchases have to be tailored. I wish the stores and designers were a tad more in touch with how people are really built vice designing clothes that look great on only the rail thin.

    I think the saddest sight I have seen in DC was seeing a gal who looked like she was in the advance stages of anexoria, walking into a mall. She was literally skin and bone, I saw very little muscle tissue on her and she looked like death on a cracker but I could almost hear her thinking “gee I am fat.” Everyone who saw her stopped in their tracks, it was that disturbing.

  5. Welcome, Cindy. Yes, Mrs. E and I had the same experience on the Riviera a few years ago. We watched a woman of a certain age stub out her cigarette in a breakfast egg while her friends tried to get her to eat something.

    On the flip side, I’ll never forget our former next door neighbor in France, with his mullet and five teeth, beaming proudly in his new electric blue sportcoat — “Je suis beau, non? Si, mince….”

  6. 30 years ago I was 6’1″ and about 150 lbs and wore a size 38. I did some modeling locally in the Cleveland area and while I never intended to make a living at it I was told by an agent that contacted me that I’d have to put on weight in order to do it seriously. Back then the minimum acceptable size for a male model was 40-41. I ate more then than I do now and today weigh 35 lbs. more.
    The trend toward stick thin is ridiculous and not very attractive in my opinion, my clothes hang better now than they did then

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