Clothing inspired by bondage and worn by Beyoncé might seem to sit at the apex of all things intimidating. But two of New York Fashion Week’s most exciting young labels are proving it can really be quite the opposite. Showing collections of structural garments made to accentuate the body rather than simply cover it, Chromat and Zana Bayne also bought two of the most size-diverse model show card packs we’ve seen all week (okay, in two days, but we’re off to a good start.)
I really wanted to use a dumb Obie Trice/Eminem pun and call this article “Real Women, No Gimmicks,” but “real women” is such a meaningless term. Of course all women are “real women” — and, ergo, both shows included models from all points on the size spectrum. There were bones and there were definitely boobs. Zana Bayne’s show benefited from the input of Wilhelmina Models’ Wilhelmina Curve division, from which came the stunning Gia Genevieve et al. Later Denise Bidot, who identifies as a plus-size model, opened the Chromat show, which also happened to be her first NYFW show ever.
Of course models who aren’t model-thin have been used on the runway countless times before, but the thing we loved about these shows is that it didn’t seem schticky. It only showed to the customer that being fierce doesn’t mean being unfriendly, and that being part of this fan base is less about the physical and more about attitude. (Though accessorizing with a sci-fi chic topknot doesn’t hurt either.)
— Carly Cardellino (@CarlyCardellino) September 4, 2014
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