Everyone a model
02.10.2013 | walking the walk
If you're one of the people who looks round our shops and says 'it's all for skinny young things', you've probably been told that it's not. We can make to measure and fit women of all shapes and sizes, standard and not.
But it's true that we largely photograph lovely young women in the size 8-10 bracket so that you can see what our clothes look like. There are a couple of reasons. The practical one is that first samples tend to be a bit unpredictable and it's easier to pin a slightly too big top onto a slender creature than try and squeeze on a too small item (we'd never advise that in the shop either!). The second is that we're probably as guilty as the next brand of the fashion industry dogma that 'images must look aspirational'. If we want our place in the industry, at London Fashion Week, for instance, we'd better toe the line.
When we launched our latest collection, though, we thought we'd try and do things differently. For our launch event, we commissioned Clare Chojnowski - who has photographed several collections for us - to take portraits of us, our customers and friends, trying on our clothes.
It was a lovely event. A few sips of fizz helped overcome the initial shyness and Clare snapped away. We had a lovely style advisor along too - Bridget, who's Cleverbird consultancy will help find the colour ranges that bring out the best.
It was brilliant to see how well the clothes worked on figures both curvy and less so, how they could get women to enjoy being looked at and pictured too. I love the photographs!
Every now and again, someone in the industry tries to buck the trend (Rick Owens dressed step dancers in his collection this season, fellow knitwear designer Mark Fast has a notable record of using size 12 and 14 models - yes that's a big story in fashion) but these initiatives are a drop in the ocean of the vast sea of fashion imagery. Progress towards a less ageist, sizeist and generally conformist view of what a woman's body should look like is slow.
We think what we do is about style - not conformity. So we will be doing more of this kind of thing. Mixing it up. After all, style isn't about matching someone else's template, but drawing your own for your own existence.
So, more events, more photos of you. It's a small step, but we always try and walk the walk.