For the past several decades, female models have been expected to be tall and unquestionably thin in order to present the garments as they would fit the women for whom they are designed. This expectation of thinness has sometimes gone to the extreme and helped to reinforce a beauty standard that is generally unattainable for most women. But at long last, all that is changing. Top designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Giovanni Versace, and Giorgio Armani have taken the initiative to present consumers with more versatile sizing – and in doing so, have begun to enlist models whose physiques are more representative of the average woman.
It’s good business: expanding the size range to reach a larger audience means more sales, but this shift in doing things from the “old way” has a bit more substance than that. The fashion industry is showing that it is listening to the wants and needs of consumers, and that’s a very good thing. The recent surge of interest and focus on body positivity has become a worldwide movement. As beauty standards begin to shift for the first time in decades, women are now encouraged to embrace their own natural body types and to celebrate the allure of femininity that truly does come in all shapes and sizes. After all this time, it seems that high-end brands are beginning to leave behind the non-inclusive “tiny sizes only” mentality.
Dolce & Gabbana, for example, is now offering larger sizes in powerful new collections, a move that has brought them great respect among consumers and industry players alike. Garments that were once available only to the very thin are now offered in sizes 14-18, which is just about the average women’s size in America. Now, women of all shapes and body types can enjoy the luxury of designer clothing.
The body positivity movement began in this century and is picking up speed. Plus-sized Instagram models show off their bodies with pride and joy, often reaching influencer status. There’s something very appealing about the principle of loving oneself fully and embracing the natural state of one’s body and curves. It makes sense that this change is happening now because there truly is no longer a single standard of beauty from which we are to compare ourselves – there are no more “imperfections.” Instead, we are all encouraged by this movement to be who we are and to be happy and healthy in our own skin.
And the designers are loving it, too. This move toward greater inclusivity provides new inspiration for many brands in terms of shape and style. Clothes are being created to move and flatter a broader range of physiques, and so far, the results have been stunning. It just goes to show that garments can offer all the luxury and tailored fit of designer clothing while still maintaining a chic, classic look that sets them apart from less expensive, more commercial items. Women now have a whole new world of style to explore beyond the typical cocktail dress, and they are ecstatic!
All of these modern sorts of changes are really paving the way for even bigger revolutions in the fashion industry. And that’s the thing we love so much about fashion – it changes, it adapts, it becomes something new all the time. It is this perpetual stage of constant reinvention that inspires and moves consumers to take an interest, and this kind of growth is important to prevent stagnation. Designer clothes have been treasured and coveted since time immemorial, that hasn’t changed. It’s just that now, they are made to fit just about everyone – and that’s a reason to celebrate.
Image Credits: Gemma Chua-Tran