daphnep: (lipstick)
( Sep. 14th, 2011 12:43 pm)
Missoni made a line of clothing and home goods for Target, which launched yesterday, flooding the stores and crashing their website. Within hours, the goods were on Ebay, for much more than Target was offering them for, and some of the items for sale on Ebay at elevated prices aren't even sold out on Target.com, yet. Most things are, though...so I guess the few remainders will be, soon.

I'm sort of disappointed, but a little more amused. I had seen the preview for items and wasn't that impressed. I thought maybe I'd get a scarf or two, but for the most part, as a long-time Missoni fan, I thought it was obviously a "downmarket" line of products. The whole beauty of the fashion house, to me, is that they're really attentive to their fibers and textiles and dyeing processes, so they come up with very subtle and amazing color combinations. The items I saw on the Target preview (and indeed, as they appeared) seemed visibly "cheaper". Instead of carefully gradated dye colors in the knits that create zig-zags, they just decided to do "a Missoni-esque zig-zag." As if the zig-zag alone is enough. To me, that seems to reduce the whole artistry of the line.

Take this photo, for example, from yesterday's brand launch:





The woman on the left is wearing Missoni. The woman on the right is wearing Missoni for Target.

To me, the difference is obvious. The Target line seems to be created for someone who wants the name brand, more than the actual style or fashion. The stripe pattern becomes just a name emblazoned over the item. I know there are a lot of customers out there who buy into this (the people who want the Tiffany blue box as much as any jewelry that comes inside of it, for example, or the ones who prefer a tee-shirt that clearly says "Chanel" on front to a nicely tailored Chanel suit, etc.) so it's inevitable that many of these more cheaply-made items will sell on Ebay for more than their upscale counterparts. The Target designs, among a certain demographic, will be more recognizable than the more elusive pieces, because they've been more heavily advertised, and then memorized.

Which I guess is actually good for me, because maybe now it'll be easier to score on something better, if I keep an eye out...

(Because SOMEBODY'S got to keep track of this stuff!)

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Every couple of years I read a story in a magazine or on a fashion website. The story goes like this:

So-and-so was a fashion model, and her career was going great, and then she started to put on weight, and her agency said "Oh, NO, So-and-so! You have to lose weight, or we can't send you on shoots anymore!" And So-and-so either a) tries to lose the weight and cannot, or b) is possessed of a rebellious streak and decides she doesn't want to lose the weight, and so she finds another Kinder, Gentler Modeling Agency where they are happy with her body just the way it is, and they name her a "Plus Sized Model" and send her on shoots for clothing for Big, Beautiful Women, and then she lives happily ever after, the end.

The only problem is that I swear I have read that same story about every two years all of my adult life, and every single time So-and-so is given a new name, and every single time, the author of the article writes it as if this is radical, new turf that has never been traveled before.

Last winter I read the book Hungry, the memoir of Crystal Renn, the latest So-and-so, and the whole time I was reading it, I was wracking my brain going "Where was the first time I read this? Who was the model the first time around?"

The first time, you see, is the one that makes the impression. The first time, I was younger, and I went "Oh, Plus Sized Models, you say?" and paid attention. And now, ever after, I read it and go "yeah, right: radical as ever, every single time it happens, over and over again." It happened most often during the Mode Magazine years, with Emme/Kate Dillon and all those other model defectors.

It bothered me that I couldn't find the original version, although I know she, too, surely isn't the "original", she was just her year's So-and-so, and the story's been retold ever since "Plus Sized" modeling began.

But at last, I have found my original:

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20112608,00.html


From People Magazine archives, 1992.



Her name is Laina Pecora. Google shows me only modeling comp cards from 1982 and 1983. After that, she drifted back into obscurity--I can't even find a photo shoot of her, modeling fashion. Just this--this one article, filed in the endless databank of my brain, the one that set the standard for the plus-sized princess story.

Now, I want two more things: 1) pictures of Laina Pecora actually being a plus-sized model, and 2) So-and-so plus-sized hero stories from before Laina Pecora, going all the way back, to when it was called the "Chubby" division, etc.
daphnep: (big butt)
( Sep. 14th, 2011 11:10 pm)
Because the internet is my friend this evening, I present to you the earliest "Plus Sized" advertising in women's fashion, courtesy of Lane Bryant, the company that first brought us clothing to fit in larger sizes.

If you are not slender...

not slender

...or if you're downright stout...

stout


Read more )
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