Monday, January 14, 2008

Blogging Project Runway: Plus-Size Project Runway

I have come to the realization that me and PR would be kind of a hard fit because I don't even draw thin women.

The show is highly enamoured of the whole skinny, getting skinny and skinny as a better alternative thing.

So I came up with something that amounts not only to a revolutionary idea but a seriously money-making one.

Plus-Size Project Runway.

Same premise.

12 designers. Plus-size designers.

Model host. I will like here to suggest the magnificent Velvet D'Amour.

Judges... Dig up the former editor of the defunct "Mode" magazine, Ceslie Armstrong ( yes, there was a Mode before Ugly Betty) and probably, Monif C or another well known plus-designer. I would actually prefer a regular fashion designer that does plus well...Like Sunny Choi or Ralph Lauren or Carmen Marc Valvo

Bradley Bayou, former designer to Halston can be the mentor... He is a brilliant technical designer and he is GREAT at plus. And has personnality out the ears.

12 or so young plus-size models can participate too.

I can find you right now, probably within 15 minutes, 12 AMAZING plus size designers that would love to do this.

This show would have all of America glued to the TV like nobody's bussiness because NOTHING like this has been seen on US television.

Let the plus-size challenge on Project Runway Canada and what Brian Bailey said be a lesson.

What does everyone think of the idea???

I am thinking the prices should be 100k to start own line ( just like they do with the regular one) , a spread in ELLE magazine if Nina puts her money where her mouth is and an internship at either Marina Rinaldi or Elena Miro in Italy.

And I hope someone from Magical Elves is reading this....

May 15, 2007 9:23 pm US/Eastern

Top Designer Pushes For Not-So-Thin Models

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CBS News) ? For years, top designer Bradley Bayou used super-thin models to sell his clothes.

But, reports national correspondent Tracy Smith on The Early Show, his own daughter was overcome by the binging and purging of the eating disorder known as bulimia. Ironically, she was seeking to fit into his clothes.

Now, says Smith, Bayou is changing his look, and outlook, pressing for change in an industry gripped with controversy over the use of super-skinny models.

The issue, she says, got truly personal for the Beverly Hills designer for the stars.

Marilyn Monroe, Smith reflected, was a 1950s sex symbol — and a size 12, close to average.

But now, the standard of beauty in the fashion industry has shrunk to a size zero, as designers demand thinner and thinner models.

Bayou is bucking that, telling Smith, "Fashion and beauty are not just about the skinny girls."

Once called "the man for all sizes," Bayou rose to the top by mastering the art of concealing a woman's flaws and revealing her beauty.

But even the man for all sizes knew that skinny sells. Thin was in.

Bayou's oldest daughter, Alexis Bayoud, noticed.

"I never fit into any of his sample sizes," she says. "As a teenager and as a young adult, I thought I should be able to fit into his certain size (the tiny sample sizes) … because I was his daughter. And I just — didn't."

Bayou observes that the message the fashion industry "is sending to everybody is, 'If you're not thin, you're not going to be happy.' "

"I wanted to be thin," Alexis recalled. "I wanted to fit in. You know — I wanted to be beautiful. … I've always been so proud of him, and I always ... I always kind of wanted to fit into his world."

When Alexis started college, she started taking diet pills — binging and purging.

To Bayou, she looked great: "All of a sudden, like, she was like she could wear my clothes. She was like model thin."

"I was like, 'You know I'm working out,' " Alexis says. "I'm eating right. And really — no — that was a lie."

The truth came out when Alexis had a breakdown, and had to tell her father she was bulimic.

"She was literally collapsed on the floor, and was hysterical, like, out of control, and saying things like, 'I want to die,' " Bayou remembers.

"It was that serious," Alexis says. "And I think, if it had kept progressing, it would have been really bad."

Alexis, Smith points out, is like millions of other women striving for the unattainable image of beauty created by skinny models.

"Potentially, tens of thousands of girls may develop an eating disorder because of the fact that they're trying to live up to this," observes Sean Patterson, president of the famous Wilhelmina Models in New York, the setting of the reality show called "The Agency."

Patterson says the show's scenes of models being pressured to be thin are "pretty real. … If we don't find the models that fit into the clothes … we go out of business. We can't exist. … And the talent that a designer's looking for is going to be a size zero or a size two, at the most."

Like Bayou, Patterson says he misses the models of the early '90s. Those size sixes and eights looked healthy.

"As a reaction to the supermodel era," says Patterson, "there was a certain group of stylists and designers who said, 'You know what? It's not about these girls anymore. We want to make it about us and the clothes.' "

Bayou and Patterson assert that recommendations the Council of Fashion Designers of America ( issued this year, calling for healthy snacks and for designers to look for signs of eating disorders in their models, won't fix the problem.

Says Patterson, "I don't believe, necessarily, that having a guideline that says, 'Have healthy snacks' backstage at the show is gonna change the fact that the girls have to get on to that runway and squeeze into size zero dresses."

Adds Bayou, "I think we have to do more, because it's not gonna change with those guidelines."

Bayou has written "The Science of Sexy" and now he's telling aspiring designers it's up to them to take the initiative and use larger models.

"Just because a small, elite group has told us that thin — skinny, forget thin — emaciated is in doesn't mean it's in," he declares

Alexis, says Bayou, "is one of many, many, many people out there — millions — who have this problem … where they don't feel like they fit in … and that can be changed."

Can skinny models be made passé, Smith asked.

"I think they're gonna go out," Bayou responded. " … More than half the women in this country have got to speak out, you know, 'We're not hideous.' "

Alexis fought for six years before asking for help, and she's doing great now, Smith adds.

Bayou, a member of the CFDA, has a fashion show later this year in London, and his samples will be in sizes four through 10.

He says he'd like to see models pass a physical to prove that they're eating properly. That's what they started doing in Italy, but doctors in the United States say eating disorders are so complex, with so many physical and mental elements, there's no simple, reliable way to diagnose them, at least for now.

Bayou also points out that, if the average woman is around a size 12, there's a huge market out there that is underserved, with lots of money to be made designing clothes in larger sizes.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


Joy said...

OH.MY. LORD. we are so on the same page. I was seriously talking to people MONDAY about this exact same thing.
We can't be the only ones with these wheels turning. :)

Joan said...

I have always said the real challenge for a designer is to create clothing for larger women. I hate that there's rarely anything that would translate well on someone of my size and even more, it bothers me that most designers can't think beyond the size 0 they normally see. This is one reason I love to see PR designers faced with non-model clients. For one challenge, they get to feel like we feel the rest of the time.

magickal_realism said...

AMEN! I have my own essay on why the models-as-hangers thing has GOT to stop that will be posting from Fat Chic blog January 31st. I'm glad I scheduled it out, because I want to link back to this now within that essay.

When you mention Mode, it makes me think that, given the 3-4 "plus fashion" magazines out there, I'd really like to one - just one - that does not come off like a patronizing combination of fashion pitch and diet ad. Our bodies and health have become so politicized, it shouldn't be that difficult to create a magazine that has good plus clothing fashion and some actually decent, hard-hitting articles.

Hm, Plus Runway... I'd LOVE to see that. Maybe we can all put calls out to the plus clothing stores that read these blogs and create our own Internet-only show to start it.

Milla said...

You guys are awesome...
I just found all of these blog comments and all along I thought no one was paying any mind or reading.
This makes me feel awesome!
I am so happy I am not alone thinking this way.
Thank you for your support and ideas.
We should seriously find a way to make it happen :-)