Archive for the ‘Magazines’ Category

Fantastic Advertorial or Fantastic Tokenism?

June 5, 2010

ETA: The gorgeous Amy has alerted me to the fact that this is part of an entire issue that uses ordinary men in their photos as opposed to models, so this isn’t quite as simple as one big guy in a magazine. I’m going to try and hunt it down and see for myself.

Courtesy of Black Book (

It’s been noted before that the current wave of plus sized visibilty in fashion magazines has been 100% female oriented, with men’s fashion slowly emaciating itself. So it’s raised a few eyebrows that mens’ fashion magazine Fantastic Man used a plus sized male model in their new advertorial for H&M.

I have mixed feelings about it. First of all yes, I’m super pleased that a hot, husky dude is being used in a high fashion spread like this. But I am also aware that it is definitely tokenism, and doesn’t signal any specific change in the fashion industry the way plus sized female models are. It’s also worth noting that Fantastic Man is very much an avant garde magazine, and deviates from the fashion norm where possible. That’s not a bad thing at all – I’ve had the pleasure of reading through older copies and it’s a wonderful magazine – but at the same time, it’s never going to have the global reach of Glamour’s Lizzie Miller photo, for example. There’s nothing to be read into the photos – it is just a model who happens to be bigger than most.

But you know, variety is variety, and I am pleased that there is a spread out there featuring a bigger fella. I’ve noted for a while that male plus sized fashion is severely under represented in the fatshion blogging world, when there are definitely bigger guys who are as into expressing themselves fashionably as all of us. And from what I’ve seen, the choices for bigger mens’ fashion are absolutely dire. A few fellas spring to mind, such as my friend Dan Huntley, Nick A.K.A Mr Definatalie and the occassional sartorially daring big guy on Lookbook who manage to dress awesomely despite this conundrum.

What do you all think? And more importantly, if you’re a bigger fella who likes fashion, I’d love to hear from you! Send your (or your boyfriends/friends/husbands’) outfit pictures to lauren.darling at (clothes on, please) and I’ll do a post showing how cool and fashionable you all are.


Presenting the Fashion Size Debate FAIL Bingo Card!

January 13, 2010

I tend to be the more pessimistic plus blogger out there. I do apologise about that. While it’s been great to see large(r) models featured in a high fashion setting recently, the downside is it opens up the obesity debate to people who are notoriously shallow and judgemental… and man, does the discourse get real stupid. An hours’ worth of reading cost me an entire month’s worth of Sanity Watchers.

So I did the only thing that could keep me sane(r): I started compiling the most oft-repeated comments into a bingo card. Here’s the result – let me know when you get a full house! ;)

click for full size

There’s such a huge element of fear among these people – fear that they’ll lose their place on the perfect scale if we’re more exposed to attractive fat people, fear that they will become fat, fear of early death, fear of poverty. It’s ridiculous, because if they actually had an ounce of empathy, they’d see being fat, conversing with fat people and loving fat people is really not all that bad.

Incidentally, here’s where V got it exactly right. In their V Loves U Just The Way UR spread by Terry Tsiolis there are fat models, skinny models, short models, tall models and whatever else just goofing about and looking fabulous.

Image copyright V Magazine and

Image copyright V Magazine and

See, this is the thing – we don’t want to ban thinner or taller models, or say that one type of body is ugly or wrong, which is what fashion fans are seemingly afraid of. We just want to join in the fun. Is that so wrong? Apparently, it is.

V Mag preview #4, Karl LOLerfeld’s turn

January 6, 2010
All photos courtesy of V Magazine and

I have to hand it to you, you did good. I might even call you The Kaiser when I’m feeling charitable now.

Btw, I just have to plug Xtina’s incredible fatshion round-up of 2009. I don’t even know why I have a blog, I ain’t got nothing on these beauties!

Size Matters? V Mag Previews 2 and 3 (NSFW!)

January 4, 2010

I realise the second preview of V Magazine’s size issue as photographed by Sølve Sundsbø is all over the net, however they are too good for me not to post! Candice Huffine, who is probably my personal favourite plus model, is killing it in her Gucci one piece. As is Kasia P in her Agent Provocateur leopard body:

While this series veers a little into traditional plus model territory, presenting the women as classically sexual and/or an antidote to fashion rather than eccentric or modern, I still like the usage of contemporary pieces. I even approve of the hyper-photoshopping going on – it gives it an air of authenticity since all fashion spreads are as ridiculously unrealistic.

V Magazine has also commissioned shoots with straight size models (I imagine Karl Flabbyfeld is probably shooting one of those as opposed to a larger model), and today’s preview is of the supermodel Iris Strubegger photographed on the streets of Barcelona by Sebastian Faena (NSFW!):

This is where I start to wonder about the portrayal of the different size models between these two shoots. Iris definitely seems to possess more autonomy and feels less objectified (despite being less covered!) though that may be because she isn’t in front of a blank canvas? Who knows. They are beautiful photos, however.

It is hard to compare studio shoots to location ones. Hopefully V have a plus location one up their sleeves. Thanks for the previews, V and!

Seeing Double

December 22, 2009


Bet you didn’t think you’d be hearing from me this side of 2009, right? I’ve been in enforced fashion hibernation for the past few months. But I’m counting down the seconds till 2010 when hopefully I’ll be able to join in the fun again.

In the meantime, I’m sure all you savvy fatshionistas have heard the news about V Magazine’s size issue, due out in January! It promises to be super exciting and fabulous, even despite the inclusion of Karl (two pints of)Lager(and a packet of crisps for the fatties)feld. and V have released preview pictures of one of the shoots, called One Size Fits All. I see what you did there. It shows straight-size model Jacquelyn Jablonski and plus-size supermodel Crystal Renn in a series of near identical shots, which manages to prove the point that we’re all trying to make here: size is irrelevant to the supposedly-sacred ‘fashion fantasy‘ pearl-clutching fashion zealots use repeatedly as a reasoning to abandon models above size 2. Because look, here’s a 2 and a 12, and they’re BOTH workin’ it! Have one example, where they look spookily like an American Apparel ad:

Who looks better? Actually that’s kind of an irrelevant question – they both look incredible, don’t they? I have to admit I’d have loved a Velvet D’Amour or a Johanna Dray in a modern shoot like this, but I’ll take any high fashion size acceptance that I can. And damn, do I want a necklace like theirs.

Check out the full size shots here or see Frances of Corpulent’s take on it here.

Both photos are copyrighted to V Magazine and and were taken by Terry Richardson. More shoot previews are coming in the next few days. Thanks for spoiling us at Christmas, all of you! Mwah!