Miscellaneous

Canadian designer, Mark Fast challenges fashions love affair with size zero

By : Hilary Caton

A picture of a model from Mark Fast's runway show courtesy of Style.com

A picture of a model from Mark Fast's runway show courtesy of Style.com

It’s that time of year again; the highly anticipated Fashion Week is taking place in the some of the biggest fashion capitals of the world. But the city of London has managed to steal the show this year by stirring up some controversy.

All the future fashionistas attending Canadian designer Mark Fast’s spring/summer 2010 runway show, couldn’t help but notice something was a little different. Instead of the usual hangers posing as models strutting down the runway, Fast incorporated three plus size models between the sizes of 12 and 14 in his show.

“My knits respond differently to different bodies,” said Fast in an interview with the Toronto Star “some looks just work better on curves.”

It seems Fast understands the concept of women coming in sizes bigger than a zero. But will the industry follow suit and take Fast’s bold step, during the most prominent time in the fashion industry as a call to action?


“This is a big step. I’m glad he’s accepting to the fact that there are bigger women out there,” said Minza Nayyer, a second year early childhood education student at Ryerson University.  “His decision shows that the fashion world can easily change.”

Let’s hope that more prominent designers follow Fast’s lead in incorporating women of all sizes in their shows.  Rather than choosing to represent an unattainable body image for the women of society.

“I think it’s great that he decided to use real women in his show,” said Nayyer “It shows what real women look like, so that girls don’t have to make themselves sick to fit into those clothes.”

It’s about time someone in the fashion industry began to take the next steps to incorporating and embracing the variety of shapes women come in.  It was just three years ago in Sept. 2006 when Spain issued its first ban on excessively thin models at a top-level fashion show in Madrid.

Women’s health is steadily becoming a major issue, especially the issue of a healthy body weight. Studies show that models weigh 25 per cent less than the average woman. Unfortunately, this inaccurate representation of women has run rampant in our society for quite some time, causing women to have low self esteem and thus developing eating disorders, the most common being anorexia and bulimia.

Mark Fast wanted to do something different and with good reason. Juxtaposing the Kate Moss’s of the modelling world against the real women of society pushes the fashion industry in the right direction. His move shows that having uber skinny models on your runway is so last season, and what’s in is showing a broader range of women on the catwalk.

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