It’s juxtaposition – to power-dress women using skinny models that barely represent 5% of the global body shapes¹. Why aren’t we also empowering the remaining 95% through embracing every size, on and off the runway? For the past few years, designers have been wondering what it truly means to power-dress a woman and the solution seems to stay the same – taking up space. In Yves Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello’s most recent show in Paris the focus has been on arguably the most important part of the power suit: the shoulders.
YSL’s primary purpose to express power movement – as seen in their exaggerated shoulder padded jackets – has not only received positive feedback as it may have been expected. Instead, they received backlash for not following their promises of ending the use of ultra-skinny models on the catwalk, as evidently seen in this show. And as if they weren’t skinny enough, the outfits including oversized jackets and baggy shorts were perfectly styled to make them look even thinner. According to Kering’s (parent company of Yves Saint Laurent) chairman Francois-Henri Pinault, “they wanted to inspire the entire industry” with this collection³. The question is, is this really how the current industry wants to be inspired? Recent size inclusive, technological advancements tell us otherwise.
It is surprising that nothing has changed since 2015, when one of Yves’ ad got banned for using an ‘unhealthily underweight’ model². We all know that fashion is a way for designers to express their fashion fantasy, but why do some brands have no interest in showcasing their artwork by other, fuller body types? Even worldwide social movements such as #body positivity seem to not have enough power to influence them.
What is worth noting is that it is the chairman of Kering himself, discussing this important topic with the DailyMail. This supports the idea that diversity and size-inclusivity are CEO-level issues. Meaning, it is a great opportunity for Allure Systems to engage with such brands, not only to help them avoid negative brand publicity, but also to offer further valuable benefits.