Women, fashion and unintelligent design

I don’t understand the upper echelons of the fashion industry. I get that, objectively, you could look at it as a form of art, using cloth as a medium instead of paints or clay. But when it comes to creating things for people to actually wear, that’s when my brain starts to shut down.

Look, I shop at Old Navy and H&M. I cannot justify spending more than $40-50 bucks on a piece of clothing. I grew up in a family where being clothed was the vital thing, not how cool you looked, and as sullen I was about it at the time, looking back I appreciate that value being instilled in me. It probably comes from having a father who grew up in a rural village, worked his way through school and didn’t buy his first pair of lace-up formal shoes until college. (My dad is awesome, and I respect him so much for what he’s accomplished!)

So spending hundreds of dollars on a pair of cute high heels? Not my thing. I just don’t understand it. Why would you spend $600 or more on a shoe or a blouse? My skin actually crawls at the thought of wearing something that expensive, when that money could go towards rent or food or a vacation. Of course, seeing as how my freakishly small feet are the only part of me that could conceivably fit into a high end design, my bank account is safe. Because as someone who fluctuates between a size 10 and a size 12 at all times, I’m definitely not the target demo of your Ralph Laurens and Versaces. Hell, according to that world, I’m a fattie. Gasp.

This is hardly a new thing, what with sizes getting smaller and department store chains vanity sizing to make double digit women feel comparatively better about ourselves. But these past few months have been a truly eye-opening time when it comes to the fashion design biz. It’s like they’re not bothering to hide it anymore. Their ideal female is one grossly underweight and disproportionate. Beauty is less than a size zero. Beauty is too rich and too thin and way beyond the reach of the average woman.

Karl Lagerfeld thinks no one wants to see curvy women. Filippa Hamilton, the model infamously Photoshopped so skinny that she looked like a bobblehead doll, was fired for being overweight, when she’s 5’10 and weighs 120 pounds. Sought-after shoe designer Christian Louboutin created shoes for Mattel’s Barbie and thought Barbie’s ankles were too fat and altered her already ridiculous proportions. And then there’s October’s issue of French Vogue,featuring Dutch model Lara Stone in blackface, which is a whole separate level of WTF that I could go on and on about.

Perhaps all these cutting edge designs are tailored to make it easier to show one’s ass?

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and so does beauty. In fact, the sexiest thing about a woman isn’t her waistline, but her confidence. If you have self-esteem and self-love, then it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or who designed it. I mean, I work with some of the most beautiful women in the county — women who seem so perfect that you’re hard-pressed to find a flaw. And you know when I find them the loveliest? Not when they’re parading across my TV screen in a fancy dress and a pound of makeup, but when they’re wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt at a charity softball game or curled up on the green room couch with a cup of coffee and their hair in a ponytail. Because that’s real, that’s not an illusion created to give them glamour.

Real women can be a size one or a size 26, wearing Wal-Mart jeans and a Target t-shirt, and still be the most stunning person in the room. Of course, if we let that secret out, there would be a whole lot of empty runways, wouldn’t there? Gasp.

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