Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dear Blumarine

Dear Blumarine,
blumarine dress 2009I get it. I really do. The inspiration for your Spring/Summer 2009 collection came from the past. The graceful pleats of Madame Grès....

madame gres gownMadame Grès evening gown, 1954

madame gres gownMadame Grès evening gown, 1954

...and the draping skills of Vionnet.

vionnet gown Vionnet gown, 1938

And your designs are beautiful, they really are. But can you tell me, please, when did this become the type of woman you design for? When did this become your feminine ideal? Because it seems to me that this gal can't stand up straight due to malnutrition. She looks like a ghost, a ghoul, the walking dead. Her lack of flesh makes her body form odd angles instead of gentle curves.

Blumarine ad, February 2009

Dear Blumarine, I have to be frank. Though your dresses may be lovely, I can't get past my horror at the apparent anorexic state of the model to enjoy them. I can't move beyond my sympathy for her choosing a profession that demands that she abuse her body this way.

Dear Blumarine, is this really the example you want to set for our young women? Do you mean to communicate that a girl needs to starve herself to wear your clothes? Do you mean to say that normal body weight is not beautiful? Is that wise?



Dear Blumarine, take a look at these ads from years past. Aren't these women beautiful? Don't they look alive and healthy? Isn't your attention drawn to the garments because the models wear the dresses so well?

1937

1949

1955


1967

Dear Blumarine, please reconsider your choice of models for your runway and your advertising. Please set a better example for women. And please buy your model a meal....or two.

18 comments:

Stephanie H. said...

I love it! The vintage photos do present the clothes better.

Sal said...

Seriously. Those women look ill. In several different ways. And it really does detract from the presentation of the clothes.

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I know. How did we get here? Are skeletons next?

cmp said...

The contrast between the vintage photos and the current ones is, to put it mildly, stark! You are so right that the model in the Blumarine ad is painful to look at. Her face does not convey anything chic or sultry, which I gather is the intent. It just looks like she's in agony and going to vomit the minute the photo shoot's over! (And that's not to say that there isn't room for a thin or gamine body type--ie Audrey Hepburn or Katherine Hepburn--just that forcing every woman to have the same body type is pathological and unattractive...)

Hatfeathers Vintage said...
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Hatfeathers Vintage said...

I'd say "how rude, this gal has to work to eat, she's doing her job" but obviously she doesn't eat, so point shot. I agree 100%. She looks so scary, and the grace and flow of the gown isn't going to show through that. It's a bit tiring to see the scarce 1-2% of women that actually look like being used. We're not saying to stuff a fat chick in your gowns, oh designers of the world, but is a size 8 too much to ask?

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I'm with you 100% on that Hatfeathers. This gal is breaking new negative sizing records. She's probably a size -8. Ugh.

cmp - I'd much rather see Audrey Hepburn in the long dress. She'd have looked wonderful in it, and done it justice!

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

Ugh. Women as wire hangers. I am guessing that less than 1% of the female population is 5'-11" and up and a size 0. The vintage ads look like slim, but normal women and the dresess look great. These current ones look like starvation victims. How sad.

Living Doll Vintage said...
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Living Doll Vintage said...

As I do my best to guide my 15 year old daughter to adulthood, I long for her to love vintage as much as I do - she would appreciate the grace, elegance and beauty of a woman with curves - can you imagine this poor creature trying to wear Dior's New Look? The soft slope of a round hip, the gentle rise and fall of a fitted bodice - all lost. I just don't understand.

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Starvation, emaciated, heroin-chic, appalling - All heard in response to this post. Thanks for your support everyone!

J said...

Models are skinny. This isn't exactly news.

Some women are just slim, and just because a size is the average does not make it automatically healthy - last I checked, the average woman in the U.S. is a 12. There are some gross looking size 12s, but I'm sure you won't be attacking them all over your blog. Perhaps you don't realize the skinny models are, in fact, *people*.

To the person who remarked, "women as wire hangers"... Well, yes. Your job as a model is to make the clothes look good. You can argue that they don't present the clothes as well as they could, but it's their job to sell clothes, not be role models.

- J of HollowStar.com

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

J, I understand your point, but I am not attacking the model. My contention is with the company who feels it is necessary to sell clothes using an unrealistic body type. Unfortunately, young women and girls in America look at these ads and think this is what they should look like too. Whether intentional or not, models ARE role models. And I'm sure the only reason this model is so skinny is because that is what the client demands, not because she wants to be.

shuflies said...

To be honest, I don't think the current Blumarine model is any skinnier than the model in the 1955 photo you have posted. The difference is that the 1955 model has curves -- but you can tell that her waist has been strapped in to be about the same circumference as her head, which isn't a particularly feasible or healthy ideal, either. I think what I find objectionable about the Blumarine ads is not that skinniness of the model (there are a lot of healthy women who are naturally that thin), but the fact that she is posed to look gaunt and hollow.

Trisch said...

I think their ad campaign is a little off as by making the model look that way, they are selling a strange image that is not very enticing to consumers. So what incentive is there to buy the clothes if the woman modeling them looks like a creep?

lisa said...

I agree with Trisch, the model looks gaunt and a little scary, but I think it's more her facial expression and the way the shoot was styled (with awkward angular poses) than anything else. The models in the vintage ads are still slim, but they were styled to look happy and womanly, whereas the present day ad's model looks angry.

Iheartfashion said...

The vintage photos are gorgeous, but I think the main difference is in the styling and poses. The model from 1955 is just as thin as Natasha Poly for Blumarine, and so was Audrey Hepburn. They just wore clothes that accentuated their tiny waists and gave them curves and smiled more.

Another Time said...

Applause to you. A couple of years ago, I wrote a written letter to Vogue magazine (and canceled my subscription at the same time) for exactly the same issue. Their models were 2-shakes-short of oblivion. Every now and then I take a peek at the news stand copies to see how much has changed since that year. I still haven't renewed yet.

Glad to see more publicity on this much needed topic.

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