Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Real Women become real models!

Model competition finalists

With the 2013 London Fashion Week on the horizon no doubt our attention will yet again be turned to model sizes, along with the ongoing size zero debate.

It has been well documented that being exposed to young, skinny underweight models both in the fashion industry and media, has a detrimental effect on body image. I see first hand the issues that women have about their bodies, in my dealings with clients of all ages, shapes and sizes.

But is there a change in the air? Regular press features are starting to appear detailing members of the fashion industry who are starting to acknowledge a growing public desire to see real women adorn the catwalk and pages of our favourite magazines.

Marks and Spencers chose to feature fifty-six year old Yasmina Rossi in their recent Christmas campaign. A mother of two with two grandchildren, Yasmina’s career took off at the age of forty-five. The campaign also features models ranging in age from 20 -57, in sizes 8 to 16. 

Plus size model  23 year old Robyn Lawley has just landed a major contract as the first “plus size model” for Ralph Lauren. Despite the fact that 50 per cent of women wear a size 14 or larger, most designers only cater to sizes 14 or smaller.  Miss Lawlely and her size 16 curves, are hoping to be the catalyst which will change all of that that.

But whilst I applaud this “new” trend, featuring “real women” in marketing campaigns is nothing new to us here at the Catwalk Cafe. Our recent competition to find “The Face of Gillian Wesley Design” caused quite a stir amongst our customers.

Would be models, some of whom felt that they were “too old... “the wrong size... or “not tall enough” were given the opportunity to enter a very different modeling competition indeed. It really was a fashion competition with a difference, where a healthy image and vibrant personality were more important than age or dress size. Our quest to find a “real woman” to represent our customers was open to all who wanted to enter. Entrants were whittled down to six finalists who bravely took part in an impromptu fashion show. We eventually chose two joint winners... mother and daughter Pauline and Lauren Walker”. Both were selected for their healthy body images, engaging personalities and winning smiles!

Our winners will soon be starring in our forthcoming fashion show in April in aid of Warwickshire Air Ambulance. All of the models that night will be “real women” in line with our policy here at Gillian Wesley Design.
Our lovely winners, mother and daughter, Pauline and Lauren