At a time when anxieties about body image are rife, the idealisation of skinniness is too dangerous to leave to the whims of the fashion industry
Reports from the latest high-profile catwalk shows have sent a shiver through the bones of the body positivity movement. From Versace to Burberry and Stella McCartney, wafer-thin bodies appear to be back in vogue, in costumes that both hide little and depend on having little to hide. The most striking example was at Paris fashion week, where Bella Hadid, a model for the French designers Coperni, stood almost naked for nine minutes while a dress was sprayed on to her body.
It’s in the nature of the fashion industry to be fickle, and to reflect idealised images that have little to do with the day-to-day reality of the people who, come next spring, will be buying more prosaic interpretations of these unworldly visions on the high street. You only have to look back at the work of, say, Zandra Rhodes to appreciate that catwalk designs are artworks: the veteran British designer has even set up her own museum in London to celebrate this fact.