Don’aska Donatella about real women
Real women, in appears, do not wear Versace.
Or at least they don’t model Versace.
Or so the The New York Daily News found out when they lined up a trio of hip young New Yorkers to model the new Versace line that’s being introduced for H&M, the high-fashion/low-cost chain that specializes in the democratization of design fashion. Haute couture for the 1% becomes bas couture for the 99.
But while Donatella Versace, who replaced her slain brother as head designer for the house that Gianni built, may want the ka-ching associated with peddling her wares through H&M – why else head down-market? - she didn’t quite go for the the idea of real women – even if they wore size 0 through size 6 (the reputed range of the three non-pro models; that size 6 is probably a real porker) modeling her clothing. Even if – or perhaps because – the fashion spread was appearing in the low-brow Daily News.
When The News sent over pics of two of the three women they’d lined up, one was rejected because she “doesn’t fit [Versace’s] branding.”
If Donatella herself is the epitome of Versace branding, then I’m guessing there aren’t too many real women who would fit the brand. I suspect that those twenty somethings hadn’t yet invested in the botox, cheek implants, and boob jobs that seemed to have turned Donatella into something of a living, breathing (but perhaps not eating) 56-year-old Bratz doll.
And I don’t want to be a looks-ist here, but doesn’t Donatella lbear some resemblance to rocker Steven Tyler, yet another one of those celebs – male and female alike – who think they can defy nature with the aid of a plastic surgeon and a couple of rounds of limp plumping. Call me crazy, but I think that Meryl Streep looks a whole hell of a lot better than Joan Rivers, and that Paul McCartney might be better off if he let himself go Paul Newman gray.
The fatwa issued on use of real live girls, as opposed to Versace approved models, The Daily News observed,
…might make sense if the clothes involved were from Versace’s full-priced designer collections, where a metallic brushed-leather biker jacket goes for $5,825 and a wool crepe cut-out dress fetches $2,425.
But one reason designers work with H&M is to make their designs accessible — and affordable — to a less-exclusive crowd...
“The H&M customer is anyone interested in fashion,” the company’s U.S. public relations manager, Jennifer Ward, told the retail-shopping website Westfield.com this fall. “There is something for every age and personality.”
Just not on the Verscae runway.
When Donatella debuted her H&M line earlier this month, the models used didn’t quite look like the shoppers who flock into H&M (which in Boston is located in the building that once housed Woolworth’s – say no more). Instead, the parade-o’-models was the usual bevvy of fat-free, vacant-eyed anorexics we’ve come to associate with the world of fashion.
As far as Donatella Versace is concerned, it’s apparently a case of having an eye on the plump wallet of the average H&M consumer, but not wanting to let them eat cake. At least not if they want to model her wares in the pages of The New York Daily News.