There are tipping points in everything, even who is welcome on a fashion runway. For years there has been outrage at the super thin bodies of models who walk the runways at NYFW and in other capital cities with a plea to stop making models starve themselves to get chosen by designers. And suddenly at this NYFW instead of introducing a few models with bodies more representative of us ordinary folks there were designers like Carrie Hammer who made ALL her models ordinary women, women who have a role in public life and who had to study up to do the runway walk.
And it went much, much further with models who are disabled, Rebekah Marine and her bionic arm, Maysson Zayed who has cerebral palsy and a young model from Astralia who has Downs syndrome. And then there was the growing group of Transgender models and models who are plus sized and more ethnically diverse than ever before. Once the switch in public acceptance of diversity has occured, fashion designers who cling to the old standards of what you must look like to wear fahsionable clothes end up looking old fashioned and ridiculous. Better to look…fashion forward.
Part of it is the tipping point has been reached, there’s so much human diversity now on show everywhere with no one fainting or looking sideways at different ways of being that being different becomes a selling point instead of looking like a pencil being necessary for a fashion show. Then there’s the $17.5 billion being paid for plus clothes, that undoubtedly played a part too. Showing clothes for about 2% of the population starts to look truly ridiculous when you work out what clothes are actually being bought.
So congrats to the designers who showed at the NYFW just finished. You’re truly the pioneers, the men and women who made New York fashion something that embraces all sizes, shapes, forms and expressions of human diversity where it is at. you make us so, so proud.