Friday, September 16, 2011

Fashion Disconnect of a Delicate Nature

This post began to brew in my head when I watched last night's Project Runway, and came to a head when I read this post earlier today.

You can watch the episode yourself here, or read the EW recap here.
Basically, the episode's challenge involved husbands and boyfriends coming in to help design a runway garment for their significant other.  There were men who knew what their ladies enjoyed wearing and men who were aware that their sweethearts wore clothes, but couldn't describe these clothes, their colors, or their general shape.

Marilyn Monroe, en pointe
It was amusing.

I have full faith, for the record, that my husband would be very, very good at this.

Sofia Vergara
The trickiness with the challenge was that the designers were designing for clients, and clients are shaped differently than models.

Some designers celebrated this fact.  Others - Olivier - were displeased with the turn of events.  Sure, they want to design clothes.  Sure, these clothes become a line which would be sold to retailers with the eventual reality being that they would be worn by women....

Designer Olivier Green, pondering the breast situation
But for some...Olivier...this was a problem.  He liked to design for models.  Why?  They don't have breasts.  He's good with this.  More than good, because he prefers for women not to have breasts.  "It disrupts the line," or something like that.
Much was made over the fact that these "real women" had "large breasts," "large hips," "large everything."  Those of us in the audience could point that that these womanly attributes, for most women, are not "large," simply "existent."

First Lady Dolly Payne Todd Madison
Now, a good deal of humor was to be found, since one husband was quite vocal about his obsession with his wife's breasts.  He liked talking about them very much, awkwardly, and every time the subject came up, Olivier looked as though he wanted to curl in a fetal position.  He fussed about not knowing what to do, or how to sew around them, and when he found out that he was designing for a woman with breasts described as a "Double D" he was truly confused.

How confused? He had to have the concept explained by the checkout girl at Mood.  "It's a cup size," she said.

"Hellooo! Our swimwear doubles as a girdle!"
It's probably for the best that she didn't go into bandwidth, and the fact that a 34DD is a very, very different cup size than a 38DD.  He probably would have quit the show.

The fashion world's abhorrence of breasts has long been a subject of contention for me.  While some women have smaller breasts and some women have larger breasts, breasts are a genetically-given part of a woman's anatomy. They have purpose, as do hips.

Sophia Loren at Cannes

But for some reasons, breasts are not en vogue. This has not always been the case.  In fact, for centuries, it was considered a good thing for women to have breasts.  They went out of style in the 1920's, but returned a decade later, and continued until the 60's when the "Twiggy" look became popular.

Am not a fan of her myself.

Is it that breasts are so 1891?

Andrej Pejic, of the manly legs
There are beautiful, feminine women with small breasts.  There are beautiful, feminine women with large breasts.  My point is that fashion shouldn't exclusively design for small-to-nonexistent breasts.

But where are we now? We live in a world where you can have a man work the runway for both men's and women's apparel.  The women's apparel is not designed for a body that appears womanly.  The article says that model Andrej Pejic looked just like every other young woman coming down the runway, but I'd like to point out that those are MAN LEGS.

I don't care how slim they are, the muscles are just structured differently.

Joan Harris, my hero

Add the fact that in 2010 alone, 319,123 breast augmentation surgeries were performed. Considering that 138,152 breast reduction surgeries were performed in the same year, it means that a woman is more likely to have cosmetic surgery performed on her breasts than any other body part.
It also means that, in America, they just keep getting bigger.

Just saying.

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