Last night I was working on the DIT Fashion Show in Vicar St. As mentor to the stylists I was backstage for most of the day yesterday fitting just under 50 models (all students) for the show. While chatting to one girl she asked me “is it really true that models soak cotton wool balls in orange juice and eat them?”. The answer, I don’t know! I’d like to think that most are a little brighter than that, but obviously body consciousness is a huge part of their job.

There can be no doubt that the fashion industry, more than any other is pretty caught up with weight. Some of the most iconic women in fashion history were diagnosed with eating disorders while most of the rest are undoubtedly super skinny. I’m often shocked to see celebrities in the flesh-they are always much smaller and slimmer than you imagine.

Sample sizes, designers, advertisers, celebrities have all been blamed for the size-zero phenomenon and while it is still coveted by some women, most girls I speak with relish the return of the curvy woman. Men certainly prefer it; Eva Mendes or Nicole Richie? Beyonce or Thandie Newton? Mary-Kate or Ashley? 

There’s no denying that a little meat on a woman’s bones is sexier than jutting hip bones. Everyone knows it but in terms of fashion it just makes things a little more difficult. Things don’t just “hang”, harem pants may not look good if you’ve got extra “junk in your trunk” (for many this is a plus!), sheer panelling as seen as Paul Costello and Luella may not be welcomed by anyone with a little padding in the midriff. 

But for the most part, us girls just need to figure out what it is that suits and stick with it. A signature style is much more memorable than slavishly following fashion. Think of Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Coco Chanel-there are three different items that spring to mind for each of these fashion icons. Pieces they return to again and again because they “work”. Change the colours, tweak the shapes and styles but know what works and forget about the faddish trends. That goes for diets too!

Skinny Versus Curvy