The Issue of Age
The fashion industry thrives on our insecurities. Billboards and magazines are inundated with photos of beautiful flawless people draped in luxury and indulgence. You are designed to want when you see these images. If you're anything like me, you want the perfectly smooth skin, the white teeth, the sparkling eyes. You want the thin waist, the straight nose, the full lips. You want that handbag that costs 2 grand. You want the life, the image, the feeling that is depicted.
And, the older you get the more you might want the youth.
Because, it's undeniable, the fashion industry is flooded with young blood. Sure, there has been a rise in the return of nineties supermodels. It's not uncommon to see Christy Turlington on the cover of a magazine and God knows you can't move for advertisements that feature Kate Moss. But the issue of age is such a problem within the industry that the CFDA's President, Diane Von Furstenberg, began asking for IDs from models at castings to ensure no one was booked that was under the age of sixteen. Sixteen. What place does a fifteen year old, fourteen year old, thirteen year old have displaying clothes at a fashion show that are designed to be sold to women. Women with curves and lumps that, likely, resemble nothing close to a teenager.
What a step in the right direction then is The Row's Pre-Fall collection which features Linda Rodin who is in her sixties. It seems a strange concept for a luxury brand to feature models that are, in most cases, far too young to afford the clothes that are being shown. The Row's target audience is not a teenager and so why should its models be that young? By contrast, Burberry's latest campaign features a grouping of fresh talent that are as young as sixteen. While there is no denying the fresh-faced charm of Jean Campbell, I would have rather liked to see a slew of more aged British heavyweights donning those iconic trench coats instead of a bunch of high-schoolers.
Take note world, Mary Kate and Ashley have struck a chord with this one.
Images via Style.com