Louis Vuitton’s last Resort Collection was presented in Tokyo. Ulrikke Hoyer, 20-year-old Danish girl, 24 cm waistline, flew all the way to Japan only to be rejected on the day of the défilé because she was “too fat“. This, unfortunately, is a frequent occurrence in fashion today but it might stop here. Voted by the French Parliament two years ago, the « Loi Mannequin » came into effect on October 1st.
Henceforth, models have to present doctor’s notices, which cannot exceed two years, saying that the model is in good health and testifying his/her ability to walk on the runway. In fashion, designers generally prefer to put their clothes on very skinny models to appear more flattering and therefore easier to sell. A few years ago, Karl Lagerfeld had stated that no one wishes to see round women on the runway because fashion is a business of dreams and illusions.
This preference for extremely thin models is also being supported by advertising campaigns, that obviously don’t represent reality. Unfortunately, it has shaped our vision of beauty and became a standard to aspire to. Now advertisers have to write « Photographie retouchée » (Enhanced photograph) on each picture where physical appearance has been modified.
The goal of the French law is to flag and discourage ultra thinness from runways, keep young people from aspiring to a distorted image of beauty and developing eating disorders with trying to get the same body.
The fashion world is now trying to change. In September 2017, LMVH and Kering signed a chart engaging them to ban models under 16 years old and under a size 34 for women – a size 42 for men – from the runway. This chart goes beyond the French legal provisions and applies for all over the world. Other brands (Damart, Aerie, Asos…) followed and announced they will stop modifying or correcting silhouettes.
Industry actors should keep it this way because there is NO perfect body or ideal beauty. Beauty has thousands way to exist.