A common defense of the fashion industry re: their use of uber-thin models is that “clothes look better on them.” What they need, essentially, are hangers devoid of any curve, not people with figures that take up space in the real world. Like any bad habit that’s repeated over and over again, we’re all used to that sight—the sliver of a human draped in fabric—and we’ve accepted it as “the way.”
Of course, in an effort to remedy this, some brands and designers have welcomed curvier women into their fold—usually of the plus-size variety, as fashion loves extremes more than it does middle-ground. Casting as such is certainly better than excluding body fat from the picture all together, but it feeds into the industry’s desire for spectacle more than it embraces the landscape (literally?) of real women.
I was struck by this while looking through London design duo Marques’ Almeida’s Resort 2016 lookbook, a winning collection regardless of who’s wearing it, but one that looked especially lovely on Marques’ sister—a non-model of what I call the “neither here nor there” weight class. Yes, she’s still thin—though not by industry standards—but she has thighs, a belly and arms that don’t appear whittled down via Equinox. Ruching details hug her body, perhaps “imperfectly” in places, and I find them more alluring as a result. Her belly protudes, as most of ours do (no matter how fit) in a bikini. Some of the pants look tight in places, but not bad because of it.
What I see is a picture of health so rarely seen in fashion—one that, ultimately, doesn’t stand out as much as the usual suspects. But it’s that downright blandness that appeals to me, and the familiarity—this girl is many of my friends, she is many of the women I see on the street. Quite frankly, she’s what I desire for myself, but can’t fully commit to.