Thứ Ba, 9 tháng 10, 2012

Balenciaga Justifies Size Zero Models

This week, Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere commented about why and how his company started the ‘size zero’ trend in the early 2000s. He said that it was because he could not afford a fit model when he was cutting his designs and he cut them too small.  He said, “Yes, we did have a size issue. We started very skinny, it’s true. Strangely, we didn’t have fit models at all to be begin with — just to give you an idea of the size of the company. So we did fittings on the girls at the studio and they were often quite petite. I had a tendency to think good cut and small size, but it should be a good cut in big sizes, too. That’s what want I want to focus on — it’s the cut, not the sizing, and if people see they can wear something in a big size, then I did my job.”

Ghesquiere had no formal design training, which seems to be why he did not have a fit model for his designs in the beginning. A fit model is a person who acts as a human mannequin, matching specific measurements to certain sizes for designers and manufacturers alike. They’re used early on in the making of clothing to see how fabric drapes and hangs on a real person and how movement affects the garments in each size.

While it is a stretch for me to believe that this is the cause for the cult following of size zero models after his work was debuted, I can understand it as well. The Balenciaga brand is notorious for people wanting to copy it. If I could get my hands on a knock-off of one of his designer purses, I’m not sure that I would be able to pass. His work is gorgeous and he tries to focus on cut rather than size.  It is very hard to differentiate that in advertising and media because it is hard not to look at the size of the model and look only at the clothing and picture it in a different way.  I’m not defending his small sizes - I think they give women a reason to lust after smaller figures - but I see where his inexperience could lend to a sought-after size and ideal that he did not intend to create. I’m sure that he did not mean for others to use his small sizes as justification for perpetuating eating disorders or overly skinny models.


See the follow-up to this post here.

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