Beau­ti­ful anom­alies

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

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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