As an eager reader/collector of fashion magazines, I’ve realized that the world of fashion has got two big taboos – one is related to black (or non-Caucasian) models and one to size. This sounds incredible, but if you take a look at any glossy fashion magazine, you’ll realize it’s the truth: non-Caucasian models rarely appear on the cover of magazines and in editorials, and this is so much true for non-thin-stick models. As for black models, something has changed since the Seventies, when Beverly Johnson was the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue US – think of the iconic Black issue of Vogue Italia or of the September 2009 issue of i-D magazine – but it’s not enough.
If you think about models who don’t wear a size 0, the situation is a disaster . I’ve been reading fashion magazines since I was a child, and I can only remember Sophie Dahl, Crystal Renn and Cindy Crawford as famous models with real curves. Part of the Nineties was related to the waif look and the anorexic body of Kate Moss (and of many others), and this has continued up to now. I perfectly understand the reason why designers need thin-stick models on the runway, because they actually need living hangers to show their creations, but I don’t get the reason why the same models can be found in magazines, too. I am strongly convinced that fashion is an expression of human creativity, and as such, shouldn’t it be addressed to any type of women? Moreover, wouldn’t alternative examples of beautiful (but not anorexic) models be great for the self-esteem of women and teenagers all around the world?
V Magazine has tried to give an aswer to my questions in the spring 2010 Size issue, with some gorgeous editorials focused on the size of models. Some photoshoots are honestly creepy – Barrio Gotico by Sebastian Faena, for example, starring the scarily skinny Iris Strubegger) – but others are sublime. Apart from One Size Fits All by Terry Richardson, featuring the heavenly Crystal Renn and Jacquelyn Jablonski, my attention has been caught by Curves Ahead, shot by the Norwegian photographer Sølve Sundsbø and styled by Nicola Formichetti , at the moment my favourite stylist.
The protagonists of most shots are Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine, Michelle Olson and Marquita Pring. I love the style of the images, reminiscent of Richard Avedon’s work for many Versace campaigns. The setting is kept bare – the models pose in front of a neutral background – to let the girls do the talking – and there is an extensive use of a wind machine, which in my mind is immediately connected to the Eighties. In the shot above, the models all wear denim clothes – skinny jeans, a vest and a jacket – and they all look fabulous.
Omg, it’s so weird to see models (in this case, Candice Huffine and Tara Lynn) with real curves and with potbellies! Weird but refreshing. I love this shot because the make-up of the models is flawless; their thick and arched eyebrows and their wavy hair scream Eighties.
Michelle Olson is portrayed in black and white, wearing an Agent Provocateur Marie satin corset.
Tara Lynn is so beautiful in this black and white shot, where she’s wearing a striped bodysuit and stacked bangles.
This picture is one of my favourite: Candice Huffine is wearing a Gucci strapless swimsuit and platform sandals (both from the s/s 2010 collection). If you compare Candice to Lindsay Ellingson, the model who wore the same swimsuit on the catwalk, you’ll realize what I have written at the beginning of the post: designers don’t need women on the runway, but just walking hangers, who can show sample clothes at their best. The pose of the model is gorgeous, I love how she grasps the heel of the sandal, very sexy.
Marquita Pring is absolutely statuesque in this black and white shot. Her legs are stunning, so long and well-rounded.
The blonde model Kasia P is featured in this shot only, where she’s wearing Agent Provocateur Iona leopard-print bodysuit and Fendi bow peep-toe pumps. Her doll-like features are enhanced by smokey eyes and a neutral make-up on lips and cheeks.
Tara Lynn poses in all her naked glory, wearing strappy sandals and gold jewellery only. This shot reminds me the famous portrait that David La Chapelle took of make-up artist Sharon Gault, naked under a plastic cupola. Sølve Sundsbø’s approach is less dramatic, but the shot is still impressive.
Candice Huffine and Michelle Olson pose together for this last shot. Michelle is wearing a beautiful Herve Leger bright blue bandage swimsuit, which looks gorgeous on her.
Before closing the post, just a couple of thoughts about this editorial: in most of the reviews of Curves Ahead I’ve read so far, it is stated that the plus-size  models’ trend is exactly a trend, destined to have its rise and fall and to fade away. For some twisted reason – they say – photographers and fashion journalists think these models are trendy, but they will soon get tired of them, retreating to the reassuring thin-stick models. I don’t know if V Magazine has produced the Size issue just for boosting the sales and to give the fashion world something to talk about, but I hope this somehow will break the wall of racism and hypocrisy in the fashion iconography, and will establish a new – and democratic – reference point for women all around the world.
 I can only remind Love issue featuring a naked Beth Ditto as the only magazine which has chosen a non-thin model for its cover.
 He’s is the mind behind Lady GaGa’s outrageous style. I’m so proud of him, because he’s in part Italian!
 This definition is interesting, because it is certainly related to the 0 size of most models. I think most of the women out there – who wear 44 and 46 sizes in average – are not plus-size, but just real women.