Listening to: sewing machines.
Reading: zig-zag machine instructions.
Watching: the bobbin go up and down.
Playing: do you get it? i'm in studio.
Eating: nah not really, i'm on my sofa.
Drinking: but i should be in studio haha.
This is a rant. About fashion. I don't rant often, but I feel very strongly about this topic. Feel free to ignore, respond, argue...you probably won't agree (I sense that this will be an unpopular opinion) but that's good too. You probably won't even be reading this warning, because who the fuck reads journals anyways?
So I was watching the news today, national not local, and I saw a discussion between a female journalist and two guest correspondents. I'm not sure what their credentials were, but they were also female. The title of this segment was "Scary Skinny", and it was about the 'dangerous' tendency for the fashion industry to a. use anorexic looking models in fashion shows, and b. to design with thin clients in mind. The women made the claim that in doing so, designers perpetuate harmful and outrageous ideals for girls and ignore a huge percent of the population. I think they quoted something like 62% of US women being above a size 12.
Now, I have a lot of new watchers, so let me give you some background on me. I am 4'11''. I have a very curvy body and I do not have a small waist. I am not astoundingly attractive. I am perhaps the opposite of the tall skinny beautiful model that these women are railing against.
I am also a fashion design student, and I plan to pursue that career when I graduate.
And, as you can see from my galley, my aesthetic leans towards that anorexic, outrageously tall and beautiful figure. I have drawn like this since I was two. This is not something I learned from celebrities, barbie, or fashion. It is me. Despite this, I use models with 'real' bodies. If I had to guess, I'd say none of my models have been below a size 4...but that's really a guess. I don't ask their sizes, obviously.
You may have guessed from my abrupt tone that I completely disagree with this 'anti-skinny' attitude. "Why's that?!" you ask. I should be totally for it, considering my unusual body type, right? Wrong! Before I am anything, I am an artist and designer, which means I understand the concept of art, I understand the concept of the aesthetic, and I understand the concept of passion.
Because fashion is something that we can wear, I think a lot of people forget that it is actually, first and foremost, art! Fashion designers, the type who put on runways shows and concoct those crazy exiting garments, are actually artists too! Just like you, fellow deviants! They may not practice on a canvas or in a museum (well, sometimes), but what they do is still art. A designer sat down with his sketchpad, collected his inspirations and aesthetics about him, and worked hard to create that garment you are wearing. Do you know how much thought goes into those couture looks? How much work? How much dedication? I have been working on my current collection since this past summer, and all I have to show for it are five completed looks on paper and one dress which I haven't even made yet (here's hoping it'll be finished next week, since finals are rapidly approaching!). I have whole sketchbooks dedicated to this concept, and entire stacks of paper full of clothing ideas and sketches.
My point is, no one questions the painter or photographer or sculptor when he chooses the beautiful woman as his subject--so why do we criticize the fashion designer? Fact is, the model is just his canvas...and, I'm sorry to say this, but it needs to be said, and we all need to come to terms with it, including me...clothes just look better on skinnier people. Don't throw things at me! It's true! I can't tell you why. I know several people will disagree with this statement, and I myself like a little flesh on the bones of whoever I'm looking at naked, when it comes to clothes--just the pure artistic value of clothes--they usually read better on someone who is skinny.
(The best way I can describe it is, you wouldn't normally paint on a wobbly bobby canvas right? I mean maybe, if that agreed with your concept, but usually you're looking at the canvas as a totally blank starting point. The model is supposed to be like that. A flat, blank canvas. It's really the only explanation I can find...although often I bypass this concept entirely. I'll say this again: I use real girls as models. Did I ask you not to throw things at me? Please don't throw things at me...)
As an artist, the designer is only interested in acting out his or her concept and ideas, which brings me to my next point--who are you to judge, Mrs. National News Anchor Journalist Girl? What does it matter to you if a designer uses skinny girls or fat girls or drag queens or elephants or hippos or planets or street lamps or anti-matter as his models? Does your opinion matter? No! Because this is a work of art, and he is under absolutely no obligation to fix your self-esteem issues. Yes! That's right! I as a designer am not responsible for making you feel better about yourself!
I mean, I'm sorry if girls have poor body images (I know I certainly do, if that flattering description above didn't tip you off), and I'd certainly love to help them overcome their problems, and I really really hope that my clothes make them feel beautiful, but it's not my fault, at all, if they don't. We, fashion designers, did not raise you. We did not tell you to look like the models we like to use. We are not responsible for your self-esteem. We are only trying to show the world what we think is beautiful. We are only trying to express our aesthetics and passion, our calling as artists. Why you playa hatin'?
Let me end this fairly long rant by saying this: I will always continue to draw skinny, tall people. It's just my thing--always has been and probably always will be. I will never compromise my artistic ideals because of outside pressure. I don't know what my taste in models will be in the future, as I pick my models based on an instinctual drive that says "Yes! This one! Stalk this girl or boy until you find their name, and then sneak up on them and ask really quickly so they're so stunned they can't say no!!" (true stories) (I suck at asking for models) (usually I just use my friends because I'm too much of a pussy to ask total strangers). All I know is, I will never pick a model or design a piece of clothing because the news media or any other sort of social commentator is yelling at me about what I should and shouldn't be doing with my time and money. And why is that? Because I'm an artist, and I stand by what I do.
Thanks, if you read all that. I'd love to hear what y'all think about this, apparently, rather controversial topic. Like I said, I'm sure I have a lot of dissenters. All I ask is that if you do want to discuss this, we do it calmly, responsibly, and with a smile. Yay.