Straight / Curve the documentary has been making the headlines over the last year. And as they begin to come to the end of their filming, eyes are beginning to turn to the final cut.
Last month, the jaw dropping statistic that 67% of American women were now falling into the plus size bracket, urged Refinery29 to ask, ‘Where are the 67%’ – a question team SLiNK has been asking for the past 6 years.
This doesn’t mean where are all the plus size women. Hell no, we know where they are. It means where are the 67% in the media? Where are the 67% in magazines, in fashion spreads and shows and where are those fashion forward clothes for the 67% of women the fashion industry isn’t catering for.
Even legend fashion king, Tim Gunn has come out to challenge designers over their lack of willingness to design plus size clothing.
As part of Straight / Curve the film, last week saw a one day, pop up exhibition of fashion photography, by fab fashion photographer Anastasia Garcia (who has shot for SLiNK in the past). The exhibition aptly entitled ‘Fashion Re-Imagined’ pulled together some of the industries leading models hosting several body types, ages, heights, ethnicities etc. As the name suggests it was about reimagining the fashion playing field and what it might be like if these women were given the same high fashion editorial opportunities as their straight size counterparts.
Involved in the shoot were some firm SLiNK favourites and past SLiNK plus size models and editorial stars including Nicola Griffin (representing the over 50’s) and current cover girls Denise Bidot and Philomena Kwao. They were joined by the likes of plus size model legend Emme and current media crush Iskra Lawrence and swimwear line mogul and curvy model Robyn Lawley, model and campaigner Charli Howard, our total girl crush Sabina and Erica Krauter (many many models).
Of this project that included plus size and straight, photographer, Anastasia Garcia said, “This project (Fashion Re-imagined for Straight Curve) is a collection of photographs that show case an array of models of varying sizes, ages, ethnicities and body types. Our idea was to create the type of highly polished fashion images we are accustomed to seeing, only featuring models we aren’t so accustomed to seeing. Taking inspiration from the great iconic fashion photographer Richard Avedon; my goal was to create a simple studio environment where the focus could be solely on the women.”
The clean and crisp images, with a peppering of sculptural shapes and body con looks really make you want to get to know the women in the picture rather than just their clothes. But why does Anastasia find this new push for representation so important?
“As an image maker, I’m interested in changing the dialogue around exclusive representation. I want to create photographs that show women coming into their power. Images where women are portrayed as strong, sensual, and in control of their skin. Images that showcase a spectrum of women, and in doing so, celebrate the vast array of beauty that exists in our world.”
As the discussion around fashion and representation gathers pace it is interesting to see how mainstream media & fashion responds. There is almost still that disconnect between celebrating fantastic moments like ‘Fashion Reimagined’ and the final translation into runway, in book copy and campaigns. Although 2016 has been a year for great strides.
But what did the fashion industry make of it all?