Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Style.com: The CFDA Tackles the Complex Subject of Model Health

to show that the fashion industry is making an attempt to change it's own standards, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) gathered for a discussion last tuesday. read the Evelyn Crowley article, from Style.com, below:

june 12, 2008 – "i was so obsessed with food that i would flip out if i ate an apple," said Coco Rocha at tuesday night's CFDA-hosted discussion "The Beauty of Health: How the Fashion Industry Can Make a Difference." bravely (and for the first time, publicly) acknowledging her own struggle with eating issues, the model revealed that last season she turned to diuretics in an attempt at crash-dieting.

a year and a half after the controversy over dangerously thin models rocked the global fashion community, Rocha's statements were a sobering reminder of how much of a difference the industry still needs to make. joining her on the panel at Milk Studios were CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and designer Michael Kors, who addressed a crowd that included Donna Karan and Anna Wintour on the strides that have been made since the Council of Fashion Designers of America devised a list of guidelines aimed at keeping models healthy, and the steps still to be taken.

on the phenomenon of ever-shrinking sizes, Kors chided his peers: "stay away from making child-size clothes unless you're making clothes for a child." he also urged casting agents and bookers to be realistic about a model's body type and to not "try to force a square peg into a round hole."
following the speeches, the discussion was opened up to the floor. casting agent James Scully entreated designers to remain loyal to models who may have gone up a dress size. "don't treat them like greyhounds that need to be taken outside after the race and shot," he said. "why can't you alter the clothes to fit them?" designer Doo-Ri Chung, however, felt that the blame lay elsewhere. "i would love to make adjustments for someone who had a hip," she said after the discussion. "but we have a limited choice of girls and as they get smaller, we as designers have to adjust to that."

at the end of the night, guests united to lend their names to a petition demonstrating the industry's continuing support of the CFDA initiative. and Rocha's words were still very much in everyone's ears: "the pressure to be thin in this business is unbearable," she had said earlier. "people would say to me, 'we don't want you to be anorexic. we just want you to look it.' "

sadly, it is still a fact that models are too thin. some, yes, are naturally that way, but others continue struggle to maintain a size that isn't to them, just so they can continue to work. kudos to the CFDA for doing this! it may take some time, but the point is that it is being done. i am such a fan of fashion and it's models, i am nothing but hopeful. time will tell...

what do you think?


photos: Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene

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