After politely requesting that fashion and women’s magazines signify retouched images (uh… the whole magazine-) last year, the Federal Government has now formed a crack team set to re-bolster young women’s body image. Headed up by ex-Cosmo editor – and all round media darling – Mia Freedman, the group includes specialists from youth, health, fashion and publishing backgrounds. The Federal Government says that body image is a growing issue among young men and women, and that something needs to be done about the problem. Youth Minister Kate Ellis promises the result of the group will not be a skinny model witch-hunt, and that it will instead develop sensible and achievable strategies to address body image issues. We hate to play devil’s advocate here (no we don’t), but perhaps the rise in poor body image among teens has something to do with the rise in childhood obesity. We aren’t saying that it’s the only thing to blame – everything from Rachel Bilson to bony Bratz dolls probably plays a part in tweenage self-loathing – but it is worth considering. While it’s important for people to learn to love and accept what they were born with, we know we wouldn’t feel so great about our bodies if we were twice the size we’re supposed to be. Especially if someone pushed us in the mud, called us a fattie and then wrote a Dolly “How Embarrassment” about it after. That’s what fourteen year-olds do nowadays right-
Speaking of size, this year Fendi has gone from Amy Winehouse to Beth Ditto. They’ve recruited the painfully hip frontwoman to play out Paris Fashion Week; she’s the main act of Fendi’s hotly anticipated March 11 fashion event. Ditto has lately become fashion’s flavour of the month. She recently graced the launch cover of Love (the London based magazine that has the street credibility of Pop with the cold hard cash of Conde Nast), is besties with Kate Moss and has custom made costumes from some of the world’s top designers. We wonder if Ditto foresaw her time in fashion’s limelight when she proclaimed that “catty gay men who just think women should be dolls” cause anorexia amongst models. We also wonder if notoriously catty Karl Lagerfeld heard her say it before he signed her up.
In news that would be more exciting were this mag based in Stockholm, not Sydney, our favouritest high street store in the whole world (not that we don’t still love you Top Shop!) H&M, has just launched into home textiles. The range is currently available to a few European countries, both online and in store. The textiles encompass several looks, from natural neutrals in buffs and browns to crazy-town bright colours and prints reminiscent of Del Kathryn Barton’s work with Romance Was Born. It’s also dirt cheap, with pillows and bath towels going for 9.90 Euros and other items costing even less. The range was designed to supplement H&M’s flagging clothing sales, and we’ll be shocked if it doesn’t do a great job. While we don’t mean to knock Sweden’s other great export, we can tell you right now that after looking at the on-trend prints and patters H&M are putting out, we’re tempted to use our Ikea home textiles as toilet paper.
SWIM FASHION WEEK
Last week was Australia’s first ever Swim Fashion Week. While some of the bikinis on offer put us to sleep, there were several standout shows as well. We’ve profiled four of our favourites. Please note all images are from Seventh Wonderland’s show.
Swim Fashion Week began on a high note, with Zimmermann’s swimwear presentation. The Australian stalwarts demonstrated why they’re at the top of the business with a show that pushed the boundaries of swimwear. Laser cutting techniques gave swimsuits a futuristic makeover, with exposed slices of flesh adding interest without revealing too much. Prints were a highlight, one pale blue style – modeled on vintage maps – appeared on everything from bikinis to flowing beach robes, while a swirling pink and purple print caught the eye in a dramatic fashion. Harem pants in gauzy fabrics provided a new spin on beach wear, as did sheer flowing dresses and draped caplets. Purple was the colour of the show; it came veri-hued in plum, mauve, lilac and lavender. The use of small ruffles on one-piece swimsuits made for a girly look, but avoided tissyness, while the one shouldered cossie that ended the show was the piece of the week.
Now in their second season, Seventh Wonderland’s show at Swim Fashion Week cemented their reputation as designers to watch. Fashion driven, the show featured a number of one-pieces that were designed to appeal as much out of water as in. Beachwear was also a strong point, with crocheted dresses and other styling pieces extending the label from poolside to street. Classic swimwear cuts like the halter bikinis and strapless one-pieces were given modern updates with monochrome prints, laser cutting and lingerie inspired lace detailing. Fabrication was crucial and proved a selling point in all pieces. Seventh Wonderland designer Bonnie Coumbe has a background in textile design, which shows through in her current work. It is also worth noting that Seventh Wonderland’s styles – their one-pieces in particular – will flatter a range of body types. This, combined with Seventh Wonderland swimsuits’ appeal as daywear, will surely result in a highly commercially successful collection.
Anna and Boy
Polkadots prevailed at Anna and Boy’s swimwear collection. Titled The Bikini Club, the show was imbued with a sense of poolside lounging and decadent summer glamour. Retro prints – little white spots on a maroon background, black and white stripes, tropical florals in shades of blue - and colour blocking were both popular looks, while a neutral dun colour will probably prove successful with older bathers. The real treat of the show was the styling. Slouchy printed pants with mid-rise paper bag waists were pulled casually over bikinis in a look that would work brilliantly off catwalk, while flowing kaftans and long sleeved, loose fitting tops provided chic protection for sun-conscious girls. The classic cuts were flattering in the extreme, sitting prettily on models and ramping up the curves of lad’s mag starlet Jessica Gomez.
Hotel Bondi Swim
From your nana’s floral tea towels, to modernist graphical shapes, Hotel Bondi Swim had prints aimed to please. The collection featured the full range of classic swimsuit cuts, all of them designed to flatter different shapes. These cossies proved the perfect canvas for a series of prints and patterns based on an Australiana theme. Pinks, blues and eucalyptus hues were popular colours, with textiles ranging from 1950’s florals, to Ken Done kitsch and touristy road sign collages. Indigenous inspired designs also got a look in, they appeared in sumptuous colours that reflect Australia at dusk and dawn. Styling remained minimalist, models walked the catwalk in nothing but their bikinis, heels and a few jaunty bangles. Our favourite swimsuit of the show was a mint-green halter-neck one piece with a triangular dot painting print and black side panels. It looked unbelievably flattering.
What: Fashion Denim warehouse clearance
When: Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 March
Where: Suite 5, 119-133 McEvoy St Alexandria
What: The Suitcase Royale Space Show
When: Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 March
Where: PACT Theatre, 107 Railway Pde