Is Christina Hendricks Really Having Trouble Getting Dresses?

It’s been a long and winding road for Christina Hendricks, the actress whose full figure and saucy character on Mad Men have helped bring to the world’s attention another idea of beautiful. And as the show has gained more success, greater acclaim and a wider audience, so too has Hendricks’ style on the red carpet gotten better and better.

But now, after she’s worn miles and miles of gorgeous fabric tailored by the hands (or under the guise) of some of the world’s most talented designers, there are people who would have us believe that she can’t get a designer to loan her a dress.

Scotland’s Daily Record reported last week that she couldn’t get a dress because of her size (The New York Daily News later picked up the comment and wrote a whole story about the same issue), but Hendricks has actually been lamenting about this since 2008. Back then, she told Page Six Magazine, “Designers loan size 2 or 4 samples to actresses, but I’m not that size. It’s like I’m a freak because I’m curvy and I can’t squeeze into those things. I’ve had some problems with that.” It’s an old complaint repurposed to take advantage of Hendricks’ growing newsworthiness.

Because at size 14, Hendricks is actually not a freak at all — she is healthy, curvy, voluptuous, and every bit as glamorous as the slender starlets prized by stylists and designers everywhere.

Ask a designer why he doesn’t loan out size 14 dresses and he’ll tell you that it’s for the same reason he does’t hire size 14 models. Making zeros and twos is a lot cheaper than making 12s and 14s because the smaller sizes require a lot less fabric. To keep costs down, designers try to make the preliminary versions of their designs as small as possible, then make bigger sizes once they know a garment is going to work. Of course the aftermath of this money-saving technique is an industry and a society obsessed with size and thinness, but we digress.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to the world that Hendricks is a style star, and there are a few designers — L’Wren Scott and Christian Siriano among them — who have been thrilled to dress her on the red carpet. At this point, getting clothes doesn’t seem like too much of a problem for her. After all, dressing a star for free is all about publicity, and who better to promote your product than someone as gorgeous and well-loved as Christina Hendricks?

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