While the who’s who of the fashion industry know that they have an immense power of influence, they forget that their influence goes further than just clothing. It goes as deep as what’s underneath the clothes, our body. For so long, the coveted designs of the most notable designers have seemingly been preserved for the “perfect body” consisting of nothing bigger than a 24 inch waist. But designers who are embracing the curvy bodies of celebrities and everyday women alike are redefining the “perfect body” ideal. The clothes that they so thoughtfully and majestically create are no longer just for the tall and slender, but for the tall and curvy, the short and slender, the short and curvy, and any body type in-between.
The people who wear the clothes are as important as the clothes themselves. A model’s look - not just their face, but their body as well - is what influences a lot of society’s image of ‘the perfect body’. It’s noteworthy to take a look into the history of the ideal woman body and see that the appreciation for the curvy body isn’t a new thing for society. While today we appreciate the tall slender frame, in the past the body to strive for was curvy and accentuated large thighs and wide hips. In the 50’s there were ads that sold products to achieve this body type, not just in the form of waist trainers, but also in the form of supplements to help a woman fill out. What we find ideal is ever-changing, much like fashion. But just like a DVF wrap dress, the unique female body should be timeless and always appreciated in all its different shapes and sizes. So by dressing celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, there has been a shift in the bodies that we appreciate and envy in this generation. These designers have shed light on the different body types found in the world, and prove that everyone, not just a size 2, can look good in Chanel or DVF. Designers like Olivier Rousteing for Balmain and Alexander Wang, who deliberately choose to dress the bodies of curvier celebrities, have brought an onslaught of women who no longer feel self conscious for having thick thighs or big busts, and have rather created a line of clothing and style that celebrates these assets.
Let’s take for example the uprising of the bodycon dress in couture and mainstream fashion. Bodycon clothes, including dresses, skirts, and pants, are a type of clothing constructed to be completely fitted to one’s body, almost like a second skin. Usually free of buttons or zippers, bodycon clothing aims to show off a woman’s curves and celebrates a woman’s sexiness and body, regardless of size. For so long, this style was shunned from couture or high fashion markets, but slowly and surely the clothing became embraced by designers, leading to an embrace of the beautifully faceted womanly body. The rise of this style of clothing alone is a representation of how the fashion industry is loving curves, not just because the Kardashians are wearing it, but because any women can wear this style and feel sexy, confident, and beautiful.
Fashion has such an immense power over what we determine is beautiful. Whether through fashion trends or runways, we imitate what we see, and by creating a world in which women of different body types are appreciated, designers allow for these bodies to be appreciated in society as well. The curvy body is revolutionizing the fashion industry, single handedly taking over Vogue and Elle covers, and shedding a beautiful light on the curves that us women are blessed with. And I’m not just talking about bodies like the Kardashians, but also bodies like Leslie Jones, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Gabourey Sidibe, and Ashley Graham. What we wear is such a huge part of who we are and how we feel, and that is the power of fashion. By creating a world in which each unique body can wear a Marchesa gown regardless if you’re a size 2, 12, or 22, lets women know that no matter what they deserve to be dressed to the nines at all times. By creating clothing that embraces all bodies and including different styles into their shows and collections that can look good on any curve, it demonstrates that the curvy body is not something that you need to hide, but something that you need to show! There is no body type that deserves more attention than another. Each shape and curve is different, but they all are becoming represented in fashion and that is something to celebrate. Because let’s be honest, we all want to get in on this runway action.
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