Designers are seizing the opportunity to drag themselves out of the mire of bad headlines over the size-zero fiasco by putting pressure on model agencies to draw up a bill of health for the models on their books.

Industry insiders say that some key British designers have been asking the model agencies to sign forms pledging that none of their models are below a certain Body Mass Index.

One agency insider told the IoS: "Our clients are working on a bill-of-health agreement with us. Conversations are starting now but we are more likely to see something happen in February."

That means that the women on next week's catwalks might not look different to the untrained eye, but, in 12 months' time, when they are modelling the spring and summer collections for 2009, they will have to prove that they are fit and healthy, or find themselves out of a job.