China Machado: A Fashion Legend Speaks Her Mind.
Mar 11 2013
I suppose that when, like model China Machado, you reach the age of 82 and achieve the status of fashion legend (shot by Avedon for U.S. Harper's Bazaar, Machado became the first non-white model to grace the cover of a major Western fashion magazine back in 1959), you can afford to have an honest-to-goodness opinion and speak your mind.
In a fairly lengthy piece on The Telegraph's website, Machado recounts her tumultuous childhood and her fateful encounter with photographer Richard Avedon. She also offers a few opinions on a variety of subjects including ageism and modeling:
"When you look at the runway now, the girls are 15 and 16 years old, with no knowledge of clothes, no idea how to project themselves. I was trained how to show off the dress, how to move to make the clothes look better." (China Machado)
I see her point. I often cringe when I see very young models either on runways or in the pages of fashion magazines. Some look like deers caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. While some seem confortable in their skin despite their age (Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn come to mind), too many others strike me as being out of their depth. This effects in turn how I see the clothing. If I have a hard time projecting myself in the clothes, I'm less likely to consider making the purchase. Am I the only woman to feel this way?
In any event, Machado is a fascinating figure. She is a throwback to a time when models were a little older, a little wiser and ultimately better ambassadors for the fashions they wore. I recommend you read the article in full.
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