The Age of Fashion (from 25.09.10)

Earlier this week, a spanish fashion designer used four older models in a show to display his new collection. An unusual and original idea to move fashion away from the stereotypical size zero younger model. The Metro stated that “if your old enough you’re good enough”. I totally disagree. I can understand Spanish designer, Juan Duyos, boredom of seeing 20 year olds on the catwalk and 60 year olds advertising anti-wrinkle cream but there is a reason for past choices of the models used in campaigns and marketing. it would be inappropriate to use a 20-year-old in an anti-wrinkle campaign so why feel the need to use grannies in fashion shows?

On a  catwalk, the models are there to show off the clothes. In high-end fashion models are used as living hangers for the audience to view a desinger’s collection. It allows the viewer to see how the material chosen moves and how the cut of the clothes look. It is clear that just looking at a picture in a catalogue is not good enough to view fashion. The problem with today is that we are getting too involved in questioning the methods of displaying fashion. From using plus size models, to plus age models we are unintentionally moving away from the real reason for catwalks; the clothes themselves. I have never been that involved in high-end fashion, recognising designer names would be about as far as I go (although I can’t say no to a good old mulberry here and there!) but I would never be able to tell an Alexander McQueen from a Christian Kane.

In a way to increase people’s interest I guess introducing old people is a good way to tell everyone that you are not too old to appreciate fashion but I don’t really see a strong market for further use of older models. And where do we draw the line? If he used old women for his designs why not use old men as well? If it’s stereotypes that Duyos is moving away from then why has he continued to stick with females in his catwalk? Why did he not create clothes for men in his 2010 collection?

Fashion should be admired whether you are old or young, fat or thin, male or female. When a designer creates a new collection, yes they do have an audience in mind who could wear the clothes but initial viewing is for everyone. By using a model who is not skinny, who is curvy or has wrinkles from old age creates blemishes that divert attention away from the clothes which I do not believe is right. fashion is an art, and the introduction of anything diverting the attention away from this art is insane. You wouldn’t put a piece by Michelangelo in a large old rickety frame that had faded in the sun, and been damaged after years of wear and tear. No, you would put it in a frame that suited the piece, preferably a newly made frame that is clean and fresh.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps Duyos’ use of elderly women was a good way to market his clothes, by creating awareness of his collection to the greater public. But seriously, there is no need for elderly models in high-end fashion. Maybe in shows to display high street clothes different models can be used for the appropriate niche who would be wearing them, old people for older people’s clothes, larger models for plus size shops like Evans. But high-end fashion is art. designers should not feel the need to move away from the traditional ways of showing off their collections. Creating new interest is from creating amazing designs which spark debate and passion in the fashion world, not from using unusual models.

Lets stick to what we know. And this isn’t intended in a way to undermine population diversities but a way to exemplify fashion, to show off its pure beauty because let’s face it, some of those designs are fantastic and do not deserve to have their attention taken away from them by original models.

About Daisy Bambridge

I am a student at Wesminster University studying a Masters in Broadcast Journalism. I recently graduated from Southampton University after studying Politics and International Relations. I have a strong interest in social issues such as crime,drugs, alcohol, eating disorders. I am also deeply fascinated by terrorism, after the disasters of 9/11, as can be seen in my unergraduate dissertation on anti-terror legislation and human rights.
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