Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Vogue Curvy: Hitting the Big Time

Writing for BrandChannel ("Italian Fashion Brands Now Fit Curvy Women"), Isobella Jade comments on a key fact that drives the fashion industry: while the desire to be beautiful, or to acquire objects of beauty, is presumably a constant, notions of beauty are in a regular state of change. Isobella says:
"When Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli painted his Birth of Venus between 1485 and 1486, he most likely would never have figured that Venus, with her tummy pouch and sensual, curvy, and milky soft skin, would be considered a plus size in today’s thin-obsessed world. However, if Venus was into today's latest trends, she might not even be able to find her size in fashion retail stores."
The good news for Venus (pictured above right, as we would imagine her today, and, below left, as she might be if you left her alone with some decent chocolates) is that
"Vogue Italia is rediscovering curvy women and dedicating a section of its online site to full-figured ladies, calling it Vogue Curvy.

There are very few fashion destinations on the web that celebrate and include the plus size fashionista; however on Marie Claire Magazine’s site, Ashley Falcon writes a blog called Big Girl in a Skinny World, which is really an online landmark within the virtual fashion spectrum".
She adds that the Vogue Curvy mission are writers from SaksInTheCity and Fashionista, who recalls marvelling at the massively outsized (by today's standards) chorus line of the outstanding 1955 movie production of Guys and Dolls, has no objection to others being, er, curvy. Her concern however lies with the confusingly wide range of clothes size-marking practices of some of her favourite shops. While attempts have been made to rationalise and standardise them (for example European Standard EN 13402), one supplier's size 8 might flap around like a tent while another's fits like ClingWrap. Since many of those who are large in limb and big in bulk do prefer clothes with lower-sounding sizes, confusion and customer annoyance may result. Fashionista is not yet aware of any legal action based on confusion or shopping rage caused by misleading size labels, but she bets that someone has been there. Does anyone know?


Zeppo said...

Hi Jeremy,
This isn't directly relevant, but a couple of years ago there was an initiative called SizeGermany to review German clothes sizes, which I blogged.
An ad in the local paper invited people to join in if they were of German extraction (deutschstämmig).
A couple of days later they backtracked when another law blogger and lawyer in Heinsberg wrote to them. I wish I had his letter, but the blog is no longer available.