When too lit­tle is too much

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Letters -

Syd­ney Fash­ion Week is sup­posed to be about clothes. The 2018 edi­tion of Fash­ion Week, how­ever, is about al­most the com­plete ab­sence of them.

This is an in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ment, and for many par­ents a po­ten­tially wor­ry­ing one.

For the past sev­eral years the fash­ion in­dus­try has made much of be­com­ing more so­cially aware, ad­dress­ing is­sues such as fat-sham­ing and eat­ing dis­or­ders. Plus-size mod­els are now far from a nov­elty.

Like­wise, the in­dus­try has come to ap­pre­ci­ate the dele­te­ri­ous pos­si­bil­i­ties in pro­mot­ing dra­mat­i­cally slen­der body shapes — shapes all but un­ob­tain­able for healthy young women. The fash­ion in­dus­try knows it has a broader so­ci­etal role be­yond dresses and hem lengths. How, then, do we square that with Fash­ion Week’s pre­sen­ta­tion of near-naked women strolling around in clothes so re­veal­ing that pho­to­graphs of them must be cropped for pre­sen­ta­tion in fam­ily news­pa­pers?

What mes­sage does this send to those most in­flu­enced by fash­ion — young girls and women? And how are par­ents sup­posed to deal with the main­stream­ing of nudity?

Even some fash­ion­istas have been star­tled this week by the ab­so­lute min­i­mal­ism on dis­play.

At the highly an­tic­i­pated I. AM. GIA show on Wed­nes­day night, re­porters noted fash­ion ex­perts ap­pear­ing alarmed by the amount of skin on pa­rade.

As The Daily Tele­graph re­ported: “Magazine ed­i­tors and fash­ion­istas sat open-mouthed as prac­ti­cally naked women sashayed down the cat­walk in the re­sort wear col­lec­tion.”

One de­signer, who de­clined to be named, nailed the is­sue with one brief com­ment.

“The taste level was ques­tion­able,” she said. “It felt like they were mak­ing things shock­ing for the sake of shock­ing. It would be hard for the ev­ery­day woman to wear a lot of the col­lec­tion.”

Good call. If the virtue of Fash­ion Week is measured in col­umn inches and tele­vi­sion cov­er­age, then mis­sion ac­com­plished. If it is measured by so­cial worth, we’re look­ing at a mas­sive fail.

Per­haps that should be the test. Can the gar­ments con­ceiv­ably be worn as street wear by nor­mal, sen­si­ble women?

If the an­swer is “no” then Fash­ion Week might be miss­ing its mis­sion.

It isn’t sell­ing clothes. It’s buy­ing stares.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.