Friday, 7 May 2010

Protesting Fashion Week!

Wow... The agency BGM Models is literally setting Australia ablaze right now. After featuring on Aussie TV last week - Darrianne Donnelly, the founder and Agency Director at BGM has AGAIN hit the presses with her curvy models to stage a protest - because - this year at Rosemount Australia Fashion week... not a single plus-size model was booked! Last year plus-size models were featured at the SYDNEY FASHION FESTIVAL*, City Chic did a show there and it was amazing (See the YFF coverage of the event here!).

I've been reading up on plus-size models in Australia quite a bit lately and feel passionate about the protest staged by BGM in response to the exclusion (or non-booking) of curvy models during Fashion Week. I came across some recent comments I thought you'd all be interested in... In the first video attached below, I am absolutely confounded by the comments by Australian Designer Alex Perry (left)... I've always thought he was a bit of a knob, NOW he graduates to a callous knob. He states that he is "so over" the whole plus-size model debate and goes on to explain what he likes to see on the catwalk - "tall, thin and beautiful". What irritates me the most about Perry, is his delivery - like people should just shut-up about the whole issue...

More upsetting though are the comments by model Tahnee Atkinson (pictured left), the 18 year old who won Australia's Next Top Model in 2009. Atkinson, at a UK size 10, was considered quite a curvy contender - but still won the competition. She states that designers choose size eights (in Australia) to walk the runway because, "clothes do look better on a size eight girl with no curves or bumps in the way" (by the way, those curves and bumps she mentions are natural parts of the female form - she's not even talking about fat). She then continues, finishing with "that's just the way it is" (in reference to Designer model choices). I'm dismayed by Tahnee's comments and am hoping it comes down to her being quite young - because if not - someone is feeding her a load of crap. I hope that she's okay to embrace her own curvy fabulousness - because, well, she HAS curves and she's the kind of young, beautiful model I love and NEED to see. Hopefully someone will teach her that curves and bumps are feminine, healthy and beautiful. She's a size 10, for goodness sake - Crystal Renn ebbs between an 8 to 12 and she's just slammin' - maybe Tahnee needs to listen to some of the things people like Crystal and Lizzie Miller have to say! Can someone send her a copy of Renn's "Hungry" please?

You can see the video with Perry and Atkinson here: VIDEO: Dropping the curvy model debate

But - I won't end on that - because that footage makes me feel furious/upset/dismayed etc... what I will end on is the great footage and interview of Darianne and her BGM models from their Aussie Fashion Week protest. VIDEO: Plus size protest

(♥♥♥ Where can I get one of those awesome BGM T-shirts! ♥♥♥)

Smooch. x.


*Post edited to correct the location of the City Chic fashion festival.

Image of BGM Models sourced via the Daily Telegraph, picture of Tahnee sourced via, picture of Alex Perry via


  1. Alex Perry just seems like a conceited knobber.

    I think the model has a point though, clothes do look better on skinny models because they're made to. Whilst I didn't understand it at first, there's a reason plus size clothes (I'm thinking ASOS) are made/scaled differently rather than just extending the sizing upwards and that's so they fit the right aesthetic. It all comes down to the designers, until they start designing and making clothes that are meant to fit a women's body rather than hang nicely on a coat hanger, they're going to find models that represent coat hangers to model the clothes. Even something as simple a an oversized t shirt, hangs on a skinny body, the same way it hangs on a hanger, whereas on a curvy body boobs get in the way! The amount of models who are actually children/teenagers is ridiculous. When they start developing a womanly figure they're tossed aside. So until designers start designing for women, I don't see anything changing any time soon.

    Love the BGM models protest but a bit put off by the 'real women' t shirt. I loved the designer who came out though! It's always great to see those who aren't part of the 'fatshion' movement give their support.

  2. I actually agree with Tahnee when it comes to commercial, standard sized runway shows. The most are clothes hangers you see the clothing first then the model if you care to look. Its all about seeling the garment and those specific clothes sell better on a smaller model. Watch any runway show and you never even notice who is modeling.

    Its obsurd to expect companies that don't make clothing past a size 14 or 16 to use plus models.

    I'm a size 16 plus sized model believe it or not and I think all shapes are beautiful even the most boney ones.

    I spend a lot of my time helping curvier women smaller or much larger than me embrace their size and shape. Dress it well and if they are interested in the industry I also teach them what I can from runway to posing. Let use celebrate positive body image first and foremost.

  3. Hey Steph - I know what you mean about the "real women" shirts - I actually hate that that slogan is used, as it fundamentally insults less curvy women. I liked the "I love my curves" top though. xxx.

    Hey Teer - Great to hear from you. I totally agree with you that all women are beautiful. One of my best friends is actually "rake-thin" (her description) and she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen.

    I agree too that positive body image is really important. Perhaps one of THE most important things that both men and women need to learn/accept.

    The thing is - I do look at models on catwalks... and maybe that is where I differ. I look at how designers have dressed someone. I look at how the clothes are shaped/cut and how they fall on the model wearing them. For me - wearing clothes and how clothes are worn is a core part of fashion. I completely understand that runway shows are specifically designed to showcase clothes - but for me, that includes wearability on form... I mean, that's why designers often pair models to particular clothes - it is about the whole look walking the catwalk. I appreciate that mine, may be a different/unique viewpoint.

    I'm not saying in my post that slimmer models shouldn't be used - not at all - but in highlighting Tahnee's comments, I am saying that I fundamentally disagree with the idea that clothes simply "look better" on people with no "curves and bumps". I'm not saying that clothes look better on a pair of curves either - because if the clothes are made well and are on the right size, they should look completely slammin' on whoever is wearing them... that's more my point.


  4. Hi Em,
    Bit late to the party, but this is all just a bit of PR hype for the BGM agency. Models over a size 10 have been present around the RAFW in the public-access shows held concurrently to RAFW in what is called the Sydney/Melbourne Fashion Festivals since at least 2004 – BUT for specifically plus-size clothing vendors, such as Maggie T and department store Myer. The 2009 City Chic show was part of SFF, not RAFW. There is a big difference between the two!

    You’d have to go back some years to Sophie Dahl (and lesser-known US plus-size model Tracy Stern) walking for Charlie Brown to see a larger model in non-plus clothing on the RAFW catwalk. Brown was known for PR stunts because her clothes aren't that special; her usage was to bring hype to the brand, not because she wanted to start using larger models to serve her clientele or she wouldn’t have switched over to smaller-sized ‘celeb models’ such as Jade Jagger and Olympian Cathy Freeman in later showings.

    Because the media didn't care to make the distinction between the two different sets of fashion shows there was a lot of wrongful outrage created. Still, it served BGM's purpose in creating a bit of a frenzy around larger models, but there weren't any shows with plus-size models this season only because the plus size companies didn't hold them. That's all. - only models over a size 10!

  5. I love that you came a bit late to the party...

    It is funny, I was in Sydney at the time and thought the City Chic Fashion Show happened there, but when verifying this through a news site, they also seemed to have the two mashed into one. Thank you - I have corrected my post. I really appreciate the clarification, because it is something I had sought to verify.

    Love these comments too... I appreciate it was a publicity frenzy - but I have to say, I don't mind this so much when it IS making a distinct point about the lack of inclusion.

    Speaking of Charlie Brown, similarly, I am actually very skeptical of Mark Fast's use of plus models - considering what he put on Crystal and Hayley at his last runway show was certainly not made WELL for curves - if they were made for them at all really... I like that he uses them, but I wonder if he can smell the publicity in the air that comes with them a little too well.

    Thanks. x.


Hi there! Thank you for leaving your post. Due to some blatantly obvious spammers I have had to turned comment moderation back on with word captcha for older posts. Hopefully the spammers will bugger off and I can take some of the settings back to normal quickly! Thank you and smooches! Em. x