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The fashion industry is already fed up with the body positivity

A month of shows to remind us that nothing has changed

The fashion industry is already fed up with the body positivity A month of shows to remind us that nothing has changed
LaQuan Smith SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Chanel SS22 - Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com
Chloé SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Chloé SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Marco Rambaldi SS22
Marco Rambaldi SS22
Marco Rambaldi SS22
Versace by Fendi Pre-Fall 2022 - Daniele Schiavello / Gorunway.com
Coperni SS22 - Courtesy of Coperni
Versace SS22 - Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com
Miu Miu SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Miu Miu SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
LaQuan Smith SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Coperni SS22 - Courtesy of Coperni
Coperni SS22 - Courtesy of Coperni
Miu Miu SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

While in Milan Marco Rambaldi brought to the catwalk a free and unconventional casting, on the banks of the Seine Chloé chose to cast only two curvy models out of 31 looks, after having spent the last few months posting images of Paloma Elsesser on Instagram, the model chosen as the new aesthetic of the maison, at least online.
Despite a few exceptions and a few happy casting choices, this month of Fashion Week leaves a strong feeling of being back to square one on the topic of body positivity in the fashion industry, perhaps even a little deluded, like when the most popular classmate invites you to their birthday party, only to give you the wrong date and address. Everything changes and everything remains the same: if Chanel still hardly includes a midsize model in its shows, the usual Jill Kortleve, (a fact that shouldn't come as a surprise given the decades it took Chanel to bring a non-white model to the runway), at Versace and Fendi for several seasons now there is room for models over size 40, first and foremost Precious Lee. At Prada and Saint Laurent it seems that the memo on the issue has never arrived, while with its latest collection, a full return to the early 2000s aesthetic, Miu Miu lets mini-skirts, prohibitive for anyone with a curve, combined with flat and toned bellies to give us an idea of the type of woman these garments are designed for. On the contrary, very encouraging signals are coming from Coperni, Michael Kors and Marni, as well as from LaQuan Smith, one of the many emerging brands that are working in an unparalleled way on a representation of the female body that is as varied and inclusive as possible. 

Marco Rambaldi SS22
Marco Rambaldi SS22
Marco Rambaldi SS22
Chloé SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Chloé SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Chanel SS22 - Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com
Versace SS22 - Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com
Miu Miu SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Miu Miu SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Miu Miu SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
Coperni SS22 - Courtesy of Coperni
Coperni SS22 - Courtesy of Coperni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
Marni SS22 - Courtesy of Marni
LaQuan Smith SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
LaQuan Smith SS22 - Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

In a welter of social and political issues to follow - sustainability, the vaccination campaign, diversity, fluidity, even elections when necessary - the body positivity movement couldn't help but lose traction and interest, too niche, too many criticisms to bear (better to communicate this to Paloma Elsesser, who must be tired of always being the exception to an age-old rule). Nothing new then, the eternal struggle between what happens on the catwalk and what happens in real life, in an ever-widening gap that rests on the contradiction of a fashion that claims to be inclusive, the act par excellence of a merely performative activism, which refuses to expand its size range

During Milan FW, Gigi Hadid's return to the catwalk after her pregnancy was greeted with not-so-gentle online comments on the new mother's physique - inexplicable comments given Hadid's abs -, proving how the industry remains a schizophrenic environment, satisfied and pleased with the dictates that prevail in its ivory tower, quite happy to proclaim its solidarity with women around the world and of all bodies without bothering to give a practical follow-up to their statements. Similarly, the "gesture" of Lila Grace Moss to parade for Fendace, leaving in plain sight, glued to her thigh, the medical device for diabetes was greeted with the classic enthusiastic speech about empowerment and self-acceptance, proving how confused fashion is, how everything is allowed to say to be on the side of the right

Coperni SS22 - Courtesy of Coperni
Versace by Fendi Pre-Fall 2022 - Daniele Schiavello / Gorunway.com

As Giuliana Matarrese pointed out on Instagram, body positivity must move in both directions, and therefore accepting all body types doesn't mean demonizing those deemed too skinny or sick, as it can't and shouldn't become a war between fat and skinny and everything in between (especially since the movement is not based on judgments), but recognizing that in the industry there is still a big problem of fatphobia would be a good starting point. After the months of the pandemic, perfect for thinking and conversations often an end in themselves, we are back where we left off, and if in the previous episode took place the decline of Victoria's Secret, don't worry, in the next episode the Kardashian clan wants to emphasize how their bodies are the result of hard work in the gym and how they are sure they didn't imposed and unreachable aesthetic standards for the common woman. 

It can't just be Rihanna's job to truly give space to every type of physique, the Savage x Fenty show can't become the one time a year when the average viewer can recognize themselves in the body types walking down the runway. At the moment, however, there doesn't seem to be any better alternatives.