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Fashion: Is "Underweight" In The Eye Of The Beholder Too?

Mar 18 2013

Prada's Spring:Summer 2009 1 Prada's Spring:Summer 2009 2

I was reading earlier today an interview on the Telegraph's website of Russell Marsh, a long-time casting director for Prada credited with the launch of models Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy and Gemma Ward. After fifteen years spent casting runway shows alongside Miuccia, he is now freelancing for the likes of Céline, Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders amongst others.

At the end of the interview, Marsh broaches the subject of eating disorders amongst models:

"If I see someone who looks like they're not looking after themselves, I flag that up with the agencies. I wouldn't work with a girl who I feel looks underweight, because I'm responsible for those girls; you can't do this job without caring about the people you work with."

My first reaction to this statement was to consider the sentiment admirable. But then, I remembered being disturbed by the state of one particularly skinny girl who walked Prada's Spring/Summer 2009 show (which according to the dates stated in the Telegraph's article would have been during Marsh's tenure as the brand's casting director). The girl in question was so thin that her ribs poked out from her cropped twinset.

Could it be that to "look underweight" means something different to me than to Marsh? Maybe like beauty, being underweight is also in the eye of the beholder? Who knows but I find Marsh's statement perplexing in light of the above images.


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helene you're not crazy. you have a point. i mean, the camera makes you look slightly heavier, which is why hollywood actresses and actors have always been asked to be "a little less." but this is crazy. if she - the model - looks this thin in the photo, i can only imagine what she must have looked like for all those people in the live audience, as well as to mr. marsh. surely he saw her in the flesh, and bones, before he hired her. oy!

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The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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