The House of Tatterdemalion

Unfashionable, unskilled, inexpensive--but still sewing.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Models, coat hangers, and clothes.

Recently, there's been a big fuss over Madrid banning models who's Body Mass Index is less than 18. I can't understand what all the fuss is about. A lot of people (the modeling agencies and designers, duh) are getting all up-tight because it "discriminates against naturally skinny people" or "people with a gazelle like figure" (yeah, right). When my sister was going through a major growth spurt, she was tall and skinny. So skinny, in fact, you could see the bump of her liver through her skin--if you poked it, it would quiver. As near as I can tell, her BMI was still 19, above the cut off point for the models.

But regardless of whether or not this has anything to do with health, I can't believe anyone would need to be told this--because I cannot understand why anyone would want prisoner-of-war zombies to model their clothes. They claim that they want "clothes hangers" so that they eye is not distracted from their designs.

I'm sorry, but I'm always severely distracted. Their bones jut out. Their eyes are flat and expressionless, like it is nothing more than a body without a soul. Their make-up is in shades of grey, black, purple, and green giving them the impression of a corpse beginning to rot. Their hair is pulled back so tightly or cut so horribly that they look unheathly, like they're loosing all their hair. Their legs are so concave, you wonder how they can possibly loose that much weight without also getting the distended stomach of one starving. I find their physical appearance so pity-inducing, so vile, that I can rarely ever remember what it was that they were wearing. If someone told me they were starving citizens of a third world country, wearing whatever rags they could find, I would believe them--except for the careful lighting and high-heels that makes it apparent the whole thing is horrifyingly deliberate.

I also don't understand the claim that they want a "coat hanger" for their designs. Even if you call it art, aren't clothes meant for the body? Until a piece of clothing is filled with a body, it is a lifeless piece of mangled cloth. It is only on a body that it comes to life, interacting with the appearance and shape and movement of the person. If they truly want coat hangers, why aren't they using coat hangers? Why do they even pretend that it would ever go over a human body? Why not just make it an art display of mangled piece of cloth on coat hangers?

To me, it is like drawing in 2-D. It is making a deliberate choice not to draw in 3-D, with it's depth and shadows, shades and subtle shapes---and instead drawing in the style of a child's coloring book--flat, life-less. How can you call that an advancement? Without the richness of a body with shape and fullness, the design is dead.

Then again, that might be my problem. I might be expecting depth and life to my art; but this is probably modern art--full of flatness and deadness. I never did care for modern art, philistine that I am.


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