Mind the Gap
According to the Wall Street Journal, models recently vying for catwalk spots in New York’s fashion week were paid special attention if they exhibited any of the following physical attributes: gapped teeth, tattoos, piercings, scars and even Albinism. Called “characters” by casting directors, these imperfect people seem more authentic, according to Stefano Tonchi, the new editor-in-chief of W magazine. He says originality and authenticity are “values that are more and more important for younger generations…in a world that is more and more digitally enhanced.” A natural knee-jerk reaction to a Photoshopped world of 10-inch waists and pore-less skin, it’s no surprise that physical quirks are the next trend in beauty and fashion.
As much as the hunt for the disfigured may be haute today, it’s been an ongoing trend for the fashion industry to celebrate what is considered not traditionally beautiful. In my very limited knowledge of the biz, I can remember a number of instances where the industry heralded physical characteristics not usually thought of as desirable — Alek Wek’s closely-cropped hair and dark skin, Kate Moss’s heroin chic and sub-5’7” stature, and most recently, Kristen McMenamy’s mane of silver hair.
While it’ll be a few years (if ever) that Vogue will feature an Albino model on their cover, I think it’s definitely a move in the right direction for casting directors and designers to encourage the imperfect. As long as plastic surgery maintains its meteoric rise among everyday people vying to look like each other, someone needs to stand up and make a case for the truly unique.
Posted by Amelia