Size-zeros are so last year

Emaciated models have gone out of fashion during this economic drought, says Vogue.

Published June 16, 2009 11:01AM (EDT)

I have some bad news for size-zero fashion models. To borrow the words of Project Runway's Heidi Klum: You're out. You can now leave the runway.

That's according to Alexandra Shulman, editor of Britain's Vogue magazine. She's sent letters to virtually all of the major fashion houses demanding that they stop sending her size-zero samples for photo shoots. Designers often tailor a particular garment for the model who will wear it on the runway, and often that model is the skinniest of the skinny. The same size sample is then sent to Vogue, which dictates the shape and size of the model who can be used in the shoot. So, by asking for larger samples, Vogue is hoping to be able to use models with a tad more skin on their bones.

Now, don't go cheering this as a righteous political move. It isn't a defense of the health of models or fashion consumers. It's just plain and simple good business: Apparently, size-zero fashion models are so last season. The withered look isn't playing very well amid the financial crisis because it hints at deprivation, and some have had a little too much of that as of late. I guess you could say that sunken cheeks have lost their aspiration luster. Shulman says she has "a feeling that in the current climate, people actually want models who look more reassuring," and less like they are wasting away.

How's that for glass-half-full thinking: Sure, the economy's in the crapper, but, uh, at least we're creeping toward healthier beauty standards! It's hardly a worthwhile trade, and it certainly won't last.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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