Wednesday, 11 November 2009

To the lighthouse

I've been waiting for a while to showcase one of my new family treasures. This skirt was given to me by my mum's 2nd cousin (have no idea what relation that is to me), Susan. She bought it in 1965 when she was in her late teens. So imagine how happy I was when she asked if I might like to have it.
Lets start with the actual construction. Being incredibly interested in fashion design and the making of clothes, I find this particular article fascinating. Each panel of fabric has been cut in a flaring curve, on the bias, before being separately sewn together, to create the volume of the skirt. It also has a 24" waist- I could only just squeeze in!
The first photos were taken on a structure right by the sea, and I can tell you that scrambling over slippery rocks in high heels isn't the safest thing I've ever done! I know that the metal structure isn't strictly a light house, but I just really liked the title.
The red jacket is a Betty Jackson one found in a charity shop, brand new.  I love her designs. And sorry to use that cliched phrase but they're very "quintessentially British" in style. This jacket is perfect as it not only looks great with anything, but also keeps me warm- something rather unusual as my dad would be happy to point out when I insist on freezing rather than wearing a raincoat.
The boots in the first shoot were my mum's. They are one of a few pairs that I turned my nose up at a couple of years ago and then rediscovered eargerly recently!
The last two photos were taken by the very fabulous flo. These photos were also inspired by 'The Kosh', a physical theatre show that we saw in Edinburgh over the summer holidays- very theatrical!
Worn with a black strap top and lace-up heels.

Now I promised a debate- And here it is. I recently read an article in The Guardian Weekend (which I love) about bigger models. It annoyed me so much that I drafted a response to send to them, which unfortunately I never did. So I thought I'd post it here instead...

It was with interest that I started to read the article entitled 'Why big models are big fashion news.' But unfortunately that interest turned to disappointment as I got to the line "For anyone sick of seeing dangerously underweight adolescents dominate the style landscape (and who isn't?)"

I was hoping that the guardian might take an open minded stance in this 'size debate', but the writer simply proved the common misconception about slender people. I am 5"8 and 7.5 stone, and only 14. I've been naturally slender all my life, for the simple reason that I have a fast metabolism.
But I am sick of people informing me that I'm underweight, without even bothering to find out anything about me. I read this particular article over breakfast, while eating a bacon sandwich and fried egg. Does that sound anorexic to you?
It seems that it's fine to criticise and belittle naturally slender people, but imagine what would happen if it was someone of a size 16 was called that dreaded word- 'fat'? Of course that would be an unfair horrible comment to make, so why does the writer of this article think it's fine to accuse people such as me of having an eating disorder? Or maybe that isn't judged as insulting to some?
I understand that there are many people who do have serious problems with weight and food, but they need help- not just thoughtless criticism. By putting everyone under the same umbrella, steroetypical views are just reinforced.
I thought that it was truly great that models of all sizes were being used, but why does the fashion industry have to have this one 'perfect body shape'? I personally think that if everyone was just happy with their own healthy size, and stopped trying to make everyone fit in with one ideal then this whole situation would be resolved.
The plus size models at the Mark Fast show was an inspired idea, but my problem was that that the clothes chosen didn't actually flatter them. You should dress for your own body shape, whatever it is. I know that I'm never going to be curvy, but I accept it and get on with life because there are much more important things to think about.
I'm only ever reminded of my body shape when I read something like that. I feel judged by it.
I think it;s tme to start celebrating and flattering all sizes!

Whats your opinion in this ongoing debate? I'd love to hear your views.

Edit: I realise that some of the photos haven't shown up properly here, I'll deal with them tomorrow.


Natalie said...

these photos are beautiful! i love all the red colors and ur boots are fantastic! :)


Anonymous said...

well said, Roz! we are all varying shapes, heights, builds, sizes naturally. it's called being human. :)

i can relate: as an adolescent and young adult, i was actually criticized for being "tiny". was always told i needed to put some weight on. i knew i wasn't skinny, just little. even at my age now...waaaay, way, into my adult years...i am a petite 5'2" and right at 100 lbs- same adult size i've always been (which at my age, is something i'm rather proud of!)

you are fabulous like you are, and do not look too skinny in your photos at all, but instead, probably just right for your height, age, and that wonderfully fast metabolism!

and now to comment on that amazing ensemble- which looks straight out of Vogue or Elle! and i'd say that jacket is 'quintessentially' British, too!

Jacqueline said...

I love it. It is gorgeous and so are your photographs! xoxo

3-georgiia said...

wow, this is definitely one of your best shoots! the red is gorgeous on you & the set is gorgeous! xxx

Coconuts and Coppertone said...

these photos are fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed with the size issue. people need to stop discussing other people's size, it's really no one's business.
And the photos are great, love the red. it really pops against the landscape.

taf said...

Amazing debate! An i also felt that those clothes did not suit those models at the Mark Fast show, where as i look at other shows and think that they needed a fuller figure to show their true potential. It shouldn't be about what size is wearing the clothes but how they wear them!

I always love your style! Its always so inspiring, keep up the great work!
P.s Your so lucky to have family that have so many amazing clothes!

Tati said...

this is so cute!
gosh i wish you were my neighbor so we could do shoots haha actually i wish i was yours because you have better land scapes =]
anyway to the article
i think the way you thought of it was interesting
i mean i completely agree with matter what size people are the is ALWAYS criticism
i mean if your skinny your teased like you have an eating disorder and when your fat people talk about how large you are. its so annoying!! i mean i love the fashion industry and all for the clothes and the art behind it, but being a certain size to show off the clothing is such (when you really think about it) a minor thing in life! People have better things to worry about than what people look like but they choose to talk about it. I mean I'm not saying that I have never talked about someones looks, we all have, but the ultimate question I think is why do we do it? and my answer towards that is because we are all caring about our own looks and thinking about how we portray ourselves and criticizing other people so that it ones self feel better. wow that was a mouthful
anyway why do you feel people do that?
i love this shoot
keep posting
great as always

Tati said...

oh and one more thing make sure to check out my second blog i am sharing with my neighbor called material evidence at:

Zhcsyra hp said...

adorable blazer and fabulous shoes.
amazing pictures <3333

Valencia Lia said...

Stunning photos and I really love love your dress!

Its just so so perfect :D And I'm sorry for lacking behind on posts here. Adding you to my blogroll right now <3

Laura Gerencser said...


June Paski said...

I love ur photos, I want the ur red jacket,great outfits!


Ellevictoire said...

how gorgeous are you? :O these pictures are brilliant.

BattyNora said...

Omg, i totally agree with your views! That Mark Fast thing really annoyed me- he was dressing the models' figures as though they had skinny frames, which is completely stupid as the clothes fell in a different way across their bodies...

Anyway, gorgeous shoot- i love the contrast between the rubbery helterskelter skirt and the harsh rustiness of the pier thing: it just works so well!! The drama of the skirt has, like, entranced me lol...

The whole effect is quite circus-y (in a good way) especially with the witchy shoes :)

Fashion4Life said...

the pictures are so capturing! and yes, the size issue bothers me as well. we need more strong young girls like you speaking out! (:

Annie said...

You look absolutely stunning.

Mila said...

Amazing photos,wow!!!

English Rose said...

Firstly - the pictures are beautiful - they look like they could easily be an editorial in a high end fashion magazine

and secondly as a fellow naturally skinny, healthy teen who frequently gets comments i completely agree with everything you said - nice to know i'm not alone in my thoughts

lovelovelove the blog btw - great job =]

polka dot (Jill Carin Adams) said...


(the above was the sound of two hands clapping: hence no one typing).

As always, I agree with everything you wrote, and, as always, feel I couldn't put it better than Stephanie of Style Odyssey has done. At 5'4", I think my height is smack in the middle of average, but all my life I've been dealing with envy from women for my body shape, which has always been slim (and again, not thru dieting, but a naturally fast metabolism, and an active life).

I did, tho, aged 15 go thru a stage of deliberately dieting and going thru a scary period of anorexia - or the early stages. I had been ill, and in order to finally get well, the drs prescribed cortisone, without warning me that the side effects were weight gain, which would take 6 months to shed naturally. Not understanding this, and going thru humiliation of an ex-boyfriend ribbing me good naturedly at a concert, I started dieting to over -compensate and get back to my normal (slim) state.

Having been both places in my head, I know the difference with how one can look a certain way (slim) and yet there can be many different reasons for that.

I think the truth is, for a lot of women, young, or otherwise, there is way too much envy aimed towards our fellow women who are lucky enough thru chance of birth to be naturally pretty, or shaped like models, or, heaven forbid, both. As Stephanie has said, we need to be encouraged to be happy in our own skin, whatever state that is in (including, and especially, wrinkled).

I saw a post yesterday from a prominent, FEMALE blogger that was encouraging that spirit of (thinly veiled) mean spirited, bullying ENVY, which is such an ugly emotion for female role models to embrace. Life is way too short to spread around that kinda stuff.

And I agree: while the Mark Fast show was a great start - and certainly, great for his profile - it's a shame that he chose the dresses he did, because frankly they did little to encourage the 'big girl' catwalk movement. I thought it was just me that thought they looked better on the slim girls!

Okay: it's official. This post is about 3x the size of your whole debate. I will go away now ; ) Oh and even tho I'm not normally a red & black girl, (I'm not even a girl!) I do love the story, love the work that went into the dress, love the 3rd from bottom shot (between the chairs) & love this debate you have started!

Have a lovely weekend. I wish there was a way I could shorten my sign-off, this post is well long enough! xox

Sofi said...

Your pics are beautiful! in all your shots, the clothing always matches so seamlessly with the scenery :)
I do agree that it is very inconsiderate to call someone anorexic just because they are skinny. I too am naturally slender and this happened to me once. I was really shocked because it had never occurred to me that the "fat insult" could go the other way. I do think that it is inappropriate for someone to write an article about this, because no mater what people say thin is what people want and it's not fair to group all thin people into a category of "anorexic". I think what I'm trying (and failing) to say is this:
Q: Would you call someone FAT?
A: OMG! No, that would be so mean and make that person feel awful!
Q:Would you call someone ANOREXIC?
A:I don't think so...
The 2 questions seem completely different, but in reality, they are just the two extremes of the same battle being fought everyday by millions of young people (mostly girls), size 00 or size 20.
SOO. I think that for someone to write a terrible article about anorexic people, is just as terrible as writing one about larger people.
Also I think eating disorders are viewed differently because of their newness in society, but that's a whole other debate.
So thats my rant :)
And let me just say again that the latest shoot was AMAZING!
byee for now!

Antonia said...

Thanks hun!

What awesome pics! This outfit is amazing - major statement pieces. You look fabulous!

x Antonia


Ruxandra said...

Hello Roz:)
Firstly, the photos are mind blowing.
Secondly, i totally agree with you on the "you're anorexic" thing.I know what you feel.It is so sad that people create clothes that will be worn by thin models; now, that doesn't mean all the models asr anorexic.No way.And people misunderstand this.It's like, everytime you tell them something about a model, they go on saying "oh, she's anorexic".It is unfair.It is also unfair that people do not create clothes to make women look beautiful, to put be in their bodies advantage.

Leah said...

Lovely images... and we use the same camera.

I agree that some people have this preconceived notion that when a person is slender, he/she has an eating disorder. You are young and it's natural to have a lean frame for young ladies.

I'm glad I chanced upon your blog... it is a good read and the pictures are awesome.

Alita Claudia said...

your shoes are to die for haha , lovely photos!

Jord. said...

Beautiful Photos.

The dress really reminds me of something that Meg White (From 'The White Stripes') would wear. Looks very well made & great condition for a dress which is 44 years old.

You should send that letter into the Guardian too, you make valid points.

I'm new to this whole blogging about fashion thing! Only started today! Seems like such an amazing place to discuss my opinions/ideas on fashion and culture. Could you or anyone who sees this point me in the direction of men fashion bloggers? want to get some inspiration for mine. Thankyou! :D

WildFlower said...

The skirt is such a cool gift! It must feel amazing to wear. Yeh I dont get how people seem to feel free to say to people...'oh your so skinny/tiny' .....and its like..well this is just me, im healthy and this is what i look would be great to send the letter in to get this point out there.

Kat said...

your shoots are always so great!

(no, it's not miss elson :)

Aire said...

your photos are amazing!
i love the place where u shot them and
the dress + boots are really coooooool!

what you think is so true.. i think nowadays people are so influenced by the media that they think the people are all heavier and people who are not automatically have an eating disorder.

Vicki said...

I do agree with you that you shouldnt paint everyone with the same brush and clearly this writer had a chip on her shoulder. it would be silly to say anyone aged 14 or around it is too thin when they're still growing, maturing. But when alot of 20 something girls have the bodies of 13 yr old girls something needs to be said..i worked in a modelling agency and was a healthy size 8/10 i nearly left with an eating disorder as so many of the girls did not eat.its very hard not be influenced when in the business..but i do agree this article was badly put across. ps love the coat ur wearing!! xx

FashionJazz said...

Luv ur pics!!! I agree with what u said : )

padded-shoulders said...

I wouldn't have thought to put that red jacket with the skirt but seeing it together it looks insanely perfect...


Ashley Louise said...

Beautiful dress! I love the colours.

I completely agree with you about this whole "size debate." Frankly it's stupid. I am a bigger girl. Always have been. My heritge is Germanic, Celtic, and Norwegian, all of those people tended to be bigger. So what? I like who I am, and if I don't like something about me, I'm the only one who is going to change that. I have a very dear friend who is battling anorexia. She was always tall and thin and healthy and it used to annoy her when people would comment on her being thin. Then she went to college and happens to be a theater major and fell under thethin preasure and nearly killed herself. She lost 30 pounds from september to february. She only weight maybe 130 to begin with.

I think it's really sad to see both ends of this stupid debate. It is unhealthy to be obese and unhealthy to be under weight. If you are neither then great! People should be happy in their own skin. We're all different and that is what makes us beautiful. Fat girls, thin girls, middle girls, girls with boobs, girls without, girls with hips, girls with big feet, girls with small eyes, gils with big hand, we're all beautiful and until we decide to focus on that, people are just going to feed the fire to the "size debate." It's just a number, not who you are.

the iron chic said...

I have a skirt almost exactly like that in my shop right now!
Only it is not a shiny material, more matte but exact.
Nobody appreciates is super small but I fit into it.
My boyfriend was like, "that skirt is weird."
He doesn't understand its magic.

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