'Real women' elbow girls off the catwalks

"We've seen enough of 15-year-old Russian girls," sighed Karl Lagerfeld after his Chanel show in Paris, one of a string to make space this week for older ex-models, plus-sizes or street-casted unknowns.

"Enough of these kids, fashion isn't only for teenagers," the Chanel designer told AFP Tuesday, after a show that starred the 1980s top model Ines de la Fressange, as well as Stella Tenant, whose face marked the 1990s.

He is far from alone. On Monday it was British designer Giles Deacon at Ungaro who had career and non-professional models of different ages mingling on an indoor lawn - chatting to guests and plucking macaroons from trays.

"I design for women. I'm not intent on designing for infants," joked Deacon, who called on friends including the fashion director of Vogue Japan, Anna Dello Russo, to model for him.

"Women are all ages. What is important is that they have strong personalities," he told AFP.

Dello Russo said later she "accepted to play, to pretend to be a model for a day - because why not?"

And Ungaro's offbeat casting was just the latest example of a trend seen at Balenciaga - where Nicolas Ghesquiere hired non-professionals and a pregnant Miranda Kerr - and at Jean Paul Gaultier who used plus-sized models, while John Galliano also called on catwalk veterans for his Paris show this week.

Ghesquiere scouted the streets for many of his models, sending them down the catwalk alongside top-models like Denmark's tattoo-sporting Freja Beha.

"There is a tendency to clone women and erase their personality," he told AFP. "I want to stress their individuality. I wanted to show different types of woman."

For Patrick Lemire, in charge of booking at the Marilyn modelling agency in Paris, the industry is at a "real turning point."

"Designers no longer want to show underage girls who are not yet women," he told AFP. "There is a move back towards mature, confident women, who are afraid of nothing and who are comfortable in what they are wearing."

"Our little youngsters are less in demand for shows," he added, who said he was "delighted" to see a "return to reality and to women with figures."

"It is as if designers have understood that you have to be a real woman to be truly elegant."

The casting trend was first spotted earlier this year, including at Prada in in Milan or at Louis Vuitton, who both used fuller-figured models with pronounced waistlines.

Marc Jacobs at Vuitton chose to cast the voluptuous veteran models Laetitia Casta and Elle Macpherson.

Magazines picked up on the trend, which has burst back out in fuller form this season.

Luxury and fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart believes the shift signals a shift away from extreme glamour and back towards common sense.

The economic crisis "is forcing everyone to be more rigorous and to offer clothes that mean something and which make sense - ie ones that can be worn differently by a women of 20 or 50."

But calling on famous faces from the 1980s or 1990s is also a way, he suggested, for fashion houses to "affirm their brand identity" in strained economic times.

For him, there is a feel-good rationale behind the casting of past catwalk stars: "These faces are linked with a golden age of fashion - a time when fashion was very much in fashion."

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

    £35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

    Property Finance Partner

    Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

    Agile Tester

    £28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

    Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried