While US fashion discusses a healthier body image, Australia takes a U-turn

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Fashion designer Michael Kors, US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, and supermodel Natalia Vodianova came together at Harvard Business School March 22 to discuss changing body types in the fashion industry.

During what is known as the Annual Public Forum, "Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion," Kors called today's waif-like models an "army of children" and announced that from now on, he would only book models that are at least 16 years old. Unfortunately, many industry insiders know that this won't change much since models and their agencies alike frequently lie about their age, which means that only an official proof of age would really change the business. However, Kors's announcement was a bold move and earned him the applause of 1,000 attendees.

"The fashion industry is starting to address real women again," Kors said, according to The Boston Globe, and with a nod to designers including Louis Vuitton, Giles Deacon, and Prada, he added: "This show season really was about the return of the adult in every city. The emphasis in fashion is shifting toward an emphasis on real women who are women, not girls. The reality is that women who buy designer clothes are 30-plus. The visual has to match the reality. Girls dressed up in their mother's clothes? Guess what, it's not attractive.''

Boston University's newspaper, the Daily Free Press, reports that Wintour weighed in saying: "We want healthy-looking girls, the readers want healthy-looking girls. Except it is not always easy to dress them," hinting at designers only producing size-zero sample sizes, another fact that would have to be eliminated to make way for long-term change.

Vodianova told the audience about how she developed a post-natal anorexia due to the pressure of going back to modeling directly after giving birth, which has also been demonstrated with seeming ease recently by supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum.

Meanwhile, Australian designer Rosemary Masic of the Nevenka fashion label has angered the international community by telling the Sydney Morning Herald March 21 that she only produces clothes of up to size 14 (US size 10) because "I don't want to endorse unhealthy living."

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