In 2013 I was sent to Melbourne to interview fashion superstar Jean Paul Gaultier. As it turned out “interview” meant standing at the back of a large auditorium listening to Gaultier be questioned on stage by someone else. Still, my hotel was great. And, even from a distance, Gaultier was pretty charming. His schtick was that he hates clones, loves the unique, the fantastically flawed, the beautiful anomalies of life. He also likes breaking rules. Gaultier used black models in the 70s when that was considered commercial suicide. He’s used voluptuous models and even models with – gasp! – big noses. That day he was joined onstage by Andreja Peji, a Melbournite and one of the world’s first transgender models, whose career was launched when Gaultier sent her down the runway in a wedding dress, back when she was still known as Andrej. It’s only three years since that trip but the idea of a transgender model already ready seems much more ordinary. The fashion world d might be elite and superficial, but its effects do tricklee down to the masses. A prominent designer’s choice of models can truly make a difference to how we see the world and each other. On page 10 you’ll meet some ome models helping to beat down our narrow notionsns of beauty and who gets to feel good about themselves.
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