New regulations were supposed to prevent models from getting ridiculously skinny before the Fashion Weeks. Fashion Week in London in September this year proves that the law regulations don’t fix the industry wrongs. Before castings for every fashion, show models were supposed to provide a document from a doctor proving their good health condition. Although most of the designers decided to pick the models who are healthy looking girls, some brands hadn’t got rid of tight gaps and prominent collar bones along with the sunken cheeks.
During Donatella Versace’s opening show at London Fashion Week this year the models walking the runway were considered by the public as “underweight and unhealthy looking” as people wrote on a modelling forum. Matty Bovan, during an interview before his show, admitted that he thinks clothes do look better on skinny girls and that he would never agree to change his creations to fit the average, but still slim body type.
Models were supposed to need a doctor’s certificate to prove they are healthy before working in the fashion industry according to the new clause first introduced as “French Model Law BMI Certificate”, which did make a change for the first year after introducing the new regulations in 2014. Now among naturally skinny girls, we can still see ones that are underweight. The “glorification of anorexia” was supposed to come to an end, but last London Fashion Week proves that the clause will not be able to change anything because not many people in the industry can see the problem.
“I don’t think that the models I photographed were unhealthily skinny, although the majority featured a slim body-type”, said Simon King, a photographer during London Fashion Week. “I personally find that well-defined facial features and body shapes, with sharp edges and clear lines, make for easier photographing.”
The head of the MAMA group (Model Mother Agencies Association), which is an association of all of the modeling agencies, says that what would make a difference is “the fashion industry to stop just recommending the healthy lifestyle to models and start requiring it.”
“Don’t try to starve yourself to get that dream show” says Ola, one of the models, who takes part in fashion weeks every year, “Eat healthily, work out every day, don’t think about the ‘cheat day’ and take care of your body. You’ll not make it to the top if you decide not to eat. You’ll be too weak for that.”
Young girls and boys starting their modelling careers are pushed by industry expectations to constantly lose weight to achieve that ‘perfect body type’, easy to be photographed with no need to use Photoshop afterward. Although the public can see the industry wrongs the law can’t do much about it when there is not much support from the people working in it.
What London Fashion Week showed the public is that, although the law can be changed, it is the designers, bookers, photographers, and models themselves who need to want to make a difference and stop the glorification of the underweight body-type. The problem will end when people will stop believing that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” as Kate Moss once said.