By ROSIE WATERLAND
There are sacred rules in fashion. One can find them handwritten on an expensive piece of crisp white paper, locked in a glass case surrounded by candles in Anna Wintour’s office.
Some of the many, many rules include ‘Thou shalt mould one’s body to fit the clothes’ and ‘Thou shalt always wear sunglasses inside’, ‘Thou shalt not actually put ones’ arms in the arms of the jacket’ and ‘Thou shalt never smile when talking about anything, ever’.
You get the idea.
But the most important rule, the one underlined several times in fancy Calligraphy pens, is this: ‘At no time shall any influential designer ever create any fashion for plus-size women that isn’t laughably hideous.’
Designers, intent on only selling their clothes to one kind of woman, have embraced this rule with about as much gusto as someone who isn’t allowed to smile can manage.
Nobody in fashion is interested in going against these rules unless it’s for some kind of condescending ‘diffusion’ line, usually made with the same fabric old-timey drifters put all their stuff in and tied to the end of a stick they carried over their shoulder.
Which is why we should be jumping for freaking joy that somebody in fashion – and a very respected person in fashion at that – has spoken out against the assault on the eyes that is plus-size clothing.
Tim Gunn, most well-known as the design mentor on the US version of Project Runway, was chair of fashion design at the respected Parsons School of design for 25 years and is now chief creative officer at fashion brand Liz Claiborne. So, you know, he has some serious clout. Fashion people listen to what he has to say.