Heel to toe
We can't escape the irony surrounding us today. On Drury Lane we have hirsute toed wanna be hobbits lining up to audition for a chance to play in the staging of Middle-earth in the West End. Whilst on the grounds of the National History Museum we have the embodiment of last week's superwaif regulation call coalescing in Blahnik stilettos around the Moet champagne catwalk bar for London Fashion Week.
In both parts of London today, discrimination is being apportioned based on height, weight and disputable definitions of talent. Giselles and pygmies aside, most of us would be rejected on all counts. And such indiscriminate discrimination (word coupling used for heightened ironic effect) is precisely why I find the post Madrid super skinny model banning debate all the more outrageous. At what point was faith in our critical faculties lost to paternalistic sheltering? (Okay, but we got rid of that possessive, smothering boyfriend years ago). When did we stop being trusted to decide for ourselves what is realistic, what is aspirational, and what is just plain farcical?
But what about the teenage girls, some ask? Just look at statistics on eating disorders, claim others. Blame Kate Moss snide most. Hold your hot pant wearing jealousy at bay, for a minute, I plea. As is the case with 'homeland' security efforts, measures of 'protection' are limitless. Intended to prevent an uncertain causality, they can by definition be construed for the unforeseen. What is to say that today's ban on thin won't be tomorrow's ban on brand? Isn't it a logical extension that if supermodels represent the pursuit of unnatural weight, that Chanel represents the pursuit of unattainable wealth? Hardly a detrimental line to take I realise, but where do you stop?
And aren't we gravely forgetting about teenage boys, the oft overlooked half of the impressionable generation. Is the image of David Beckham not dangerous to many an average youth club member's sense of self-worth? Is it that much easier for an aspiring young footballer to accept he never will play for England, than for a 5'1" portly teenager that she will never walk the catwalk ? Such nanny state debate over the size of supermodels, does nothing to dispel the myths at hand. In fact, it only serves to perpetuate the biggest one of all: that life is anything but a series of acceptances. Now don't get me wrong. I am just as gushingly optimistic as the next braying American, but Kate Moss I will never be. This I must accept.
Well, until today when women across London (and shortly New York) are all a step closer, as Kate blessed Topshop last night with her front row presence at its catwalk show. And here we have perhaps the biggest irony of all. The world's greatest supermodel upstaging all that London Fashion Week's air kissing exclusivity represents with (here declared) the greatest fashion statement of her career: from today Kate has shown she is following in our (high street) footsteps. By promoting what is attainable, Kate has gone where no supermodel has gone before. But we should have guessed, Kate is ubiquitous for sniffing out the best snuff, I mean stuff.
And in keeping with today's ironic theme, forget the high street for now and check out London's latest high(er) fashion craze:
Mayle, a unique and beautifully designed label with an underground cult following. Pricier than Topshop, but still doesn't cost the moon. If nothing else, a snoop in stockist's Cross, Mimi and Browns should give us an idea of what copies to look out for on the high street. Now who needs Fashion Week?