Monday 28 November 2011

Versace, Keep Your Size Prejudice Out of my H&M!

Once in a while I feel a need to hate on something other than frumpy bras and inept drivers/pedestrians, and when I do, it’s usually high fashion. As a disclaimer, I really am no expert on the topic. I mostly wear black, white and gray. In fact, I don’t even spend time trying to dress properly for my giant boobs. I just wear stretchy, tight clothing and throw on a cardigan if I start to feel like I’m offending people. My bra straps are usually hanging out. I like to think that I usually look vaguely normal for a college student, but I don’t think I ever look “on trend.”

Now that you know this, check out these bizarre pieces from Versace's collection for H&M! I personally do not know anyone who would feel a need to own these items for the low, low price of £99. That first one looks kinda like an apron to me (it's supposedly a shirt/skirt set). 

I kind of resent this invasion of a store I like by the mystifyingly overpriced, postmodern, mind-boggling experience that is Fashion. Fair enough, though--I'm sure there are plenty of fun, vibrant people who could pull off these pieces. I am sure there are lots of customers who won’t mind paying about five times more than what H&M clothes usually cost. In fact, people's desperation to do so has apparently led to bloodshed! So I guess I can't complain about the collection itself. My real problem is that I don’t want this normal store, which sells plenty of different sizes, to suddenly start endorsing the sizeist rhetoric of high fashion that makes women all over the world feel like crap about themselves. 

Here’s what happened: H&M, which kindly caters for more than one body type (though to be fair you wouldn’t know it from their web photos) tried to get Versace to let them model the collection on “real” women, that is, up to a size 6. Donatella Versace apparently threw a hissy fit because people that “large” cannot be allowed to represent her brand. That doesn’t exactly answer the question of why she sells her weird clothes in this size if it is so important that only size 0s wear them, but it also makes me wonder why people are still allowing her to perpetrate this idea. Please can we just be over this glorification of small women over all other women? If fashion is about pushing boundaries and celebrating extremes then why don’t we see the same number of curvy and plus size women on the runway? Who, exactly, has the self-confidence to shop a collection when they know the clothes are only “supposed” to be worn by the skinniest of supermodels?

Here’s one of the articles about Donatella’s freakout. There’s also a more scornful account, with more cursing, here.The best part is the comment pointing out that Donatella Versace really just looks like Keith Richards in a wig.  Mean but true. 

If anything, her massive amounts of plastic surgery prove that she has a great deal of body image issues of her own which might cause her to lash out at other women. But I’m still disgusted by what she stands for.


  1. I could go on for hours about the fashion world's general obsession with thinness and why I hate it so much, but quite apart from anything else, why do people become fashion designers if they're only interested in designing for one body type? The whole "clothes look best on tall/thin women" thing strikes me as very narrow-minded.

    ...and whilst writing this, I remembered that Donatella Versace's daughter suffers from severe anorexia, which makes the sizeist comments even more disgraceful. :( I know eating disorders aren't just caused by fashion and the media, but the last thing a recovering anorexic needs to hear is that thin = best.

  2. I have definitely heard it justified as "curvy bodies distract from the clothes" but personally I don't see why the interest in the clothes and interest in the body need to be separate things, I think they can enhance each other.

    I was recently reading about her daughter's anorexia as well. I imagine that living deeply within the fashion world, especially with one's mother so much involved, could be very triggering. I think it is very sad. I know that eating disorders are not always preventable but some of the factors that can contribute are just senseless.