August 7, 2013

{IN THE NEWS} What Does Diversity Look Like in Fashion?

A few months ago, I was on the phone with my friend and plus-size model Candice Huffine, when she revealed the super exciting news that she had just shot a story with Karl Lagerfeld. I was sworn to secrecy (and upheld all my promises to keep my lips sealed), but it felt like a huge coup that Uncle Karl was working with a model closer to my end of the size spectrum. Lagerfeld has flirted with full-figured women like Gossip's Beth Ditto and Burlesque Icon Dirty Martini in the past, but his reputation among the more zaftig of us is precarious at best. Continue...
Then, on Monday, my friend Corbin (Times journalist and brother-from-another-mother) texted me. "Girl. Discuss. Is this how HB translates diversity?" Finally, after months of anticipation for what exactly Candice was hinting at, it was revealed. I excitedly clicked through the link Corbin sent me


CARINE ROITFELD'S SINGULAR BEAUTIES
An homage to the diversity of women.

By Carine Roitfeld. Photographs by Karl Lagerfeld.


The first image I landed upon was breathtaking. Scarlett Johannson, golden, windswept, confident. I continued through the list; the women were short and tall, slim and wide, adolescent and middle aged and distinguished and greyed, dark and light and yellow and brown, they were artists and academy award nominated actors and musicians and models, from petite to plus. And, almost all of 19 images presented beautiful, aspirational, inspiring fashion - befitting of Harper's Bazaar, and the September Issue, and a team anchored by Carine Roitfeld and Karl Lagerfeld.


CAST Scarlett Johansson, Liya Kebede, Linn Arvidsson, Dakota Fanning, Lily Collins, Carmen Dell'Orefice, Ondria Hardin, China Machado, Soo Joo Park, Candice Huffine, Ashleigh Good, Xiao Wen, Erika Ervin, Grimes, Zoe Kravitz, Karen Elson, Lily Donaldson, Liberty Ross, Kenya Kinski, Gabourey Sidibe, Chiharu Okunugi, Tilda Lindstam, Lisa Verberght, Angel Haze & Chrishell Stubbs
On closer inspection, there are a lot of things I could gripe about in this story: the lack of trans*women, the fact that all the women featured are able-bodied, that there aren't many "real women" (and by that I mean not models and not celebrities). Overwhelmingly, the cast is white and thin. It's true that when you throw in the word "diversity," there's always more that can be done to represent the full spectrum of our humanity, (also, I wouldn't be one to applaud tokenism, anyways). But, the thing that irks me the most, is that while this story attempts to be diverse in relation to body and size and race, the team seemingly gave up on styling when they got to Gabourey Sidibe. I know that for most stylists (though there are a handful that really, really get plus-size styling), styling a woman who is not your typical sample size is a challenge. Keyword: challenge. It's a challenge, but it's not impossible - and the faded leggings, uninspired shoes, and ill-fitting Loewe jacket presented in contrast to the Rick Owens and Louis Vuitton looks on the other women throughout the spread was the sartorial equivalent of waving a white flag. (By the way - is that a sari thrown over Gabourey's head? Um...)



The look isn't avant garde. It's not couture. It's not inspired. Could they really not find a decent pair of shoes for her to wear? (Note to future stylists, Net-a-Porter carries nearly all their amazing heels up to a size 12; at this very moment, there are 229 styles to choose from, should fit be an issue). For even more big feet and wide with options, there's also BarefootTess. Seriously, what the hell are these shoes doing in this spread? What it feels like, is an afterthought. Take the clothes off and Gabby looks striking. She's strong, confident - even this truly sad outfit can't overpower that. But the clothes are just.... so, so bad when looked at alongside the rest of the feature. Harper's Bazaar didn't enlist some no-name, amateur stylist to take a hand at this. This is the September Issue, and this is Carine Roitfeld. Carine Roitfeld of French Vogue. Carine Roitfeld of Barney's New York. Carine Roitfeld of CR Fashion Book. Carine Roitfeld of every best dressed list and street style photographer's holy grail. She's an icon, a fashion tour de force, and apparently, not interested in even trying to put a great look together for an inspiring, talented, and rubenesque woman like Gabourey Sidibe. Why not use her bevvy of resources to source inspiring looks from an emerging, independent plus size designer? Why not tap into a designer like Christian Siriano for a custom garment, when Gabby has been seated front row at his shows in the past? If they intended to keep it all high end, why not go with a runway look from Marina Rinaldi, Max Mara's super luxe plus division? Or a red-carpet worthy piece from Tadashi Shoji? Or Lafayette 148? I wonder if it would have been better to leave off Gabourey entirely, rather than include a half-assed attempt at styling when the other looks are so solid. In a story like this, the looks should be consistently thought out, manicured, inspired, and even aspirational... Would it have been better if Carine and Harper's Bazaar didn't broach the "challenge" of a full-figured woman at all? Would we then be screaming at the lack of body diversity? Or is it better that they tried (well, sort of) but did nothing impressive with their immense opportunity to wow their audience? I'm a first generation American of Iranian descent. I'm a lesbian. I'm Jewish. I hover solidly around a size 16. I know that diversity comes in many flavors, and colors, and aesthetics. Working in the fashion industry, I also see how I am handled and treated by my peers, (it's not always sunshine and rainbows - or more aptly, sequins and tulle). I know what it feels like to look at the media and feel like there's no one who looks like you, or whom you can relate to. I know how much I appreciate it when, in fact, there's someone out there who does look like me, but for the love of god - don't use that starvation as an opportunity to treat a woman, her body, her identity, as a novelty. All images copyright of Harper's Bazaar. To take a closer look at the feature, click here.

76 comments:

  1. Nicolette! Yes, yes, and yes. When I looked at the images, I was a bit underwhelmed. Then I saw Gabourey, and thought, "YES." (She is here in New Orleans filming American Horror Story, so I'm a bit obsessed right now. Both with the show and the fact she's in it.)

    But then I looked closely at what she was wearing in comparison.... and really, I have nothing to add that you haven't said.

    "Take the clothes off and Gabby looks striking. She's strong, confident - even this truly sad outfit can't overpower that." When I read that, I assumed the black shirt, pants, and pumps.... and thought, now THERE would be a daring outfit. Ms. Sidibhe almost nude, in her underwear, wearing power red and that striking pose... that would have been worth a whole other new and exciting conversation.

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  2. I'm really looking forward to seeing Gabby's performance in AHS! The styling they have her in, in the show, now that is WITCHY FLAWLESSNESS!

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  3. I thought the same as I was grazing through the pics and came upon Gaby's. I immediately thought WTF??? She's gorgeous and they made her bland??? Why? But the again I thought yeah, It's Carine Roitfeld, and she does not have any imagination at all when it comes to someone beyond a size 0. Plus, she has no taste.

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  4. You are absolutely right. In fact, I am surprised that Gabourey allowed them to use this photo in the first place, but I guess she was obliged by a contract. The cheap looking cloths and shoes she is wearing and that sari thrown over her head are insulting to both her and to me, as a fat woman. They should have made her a remarkably fabulous dress or leave her out of the shoot altogether.

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  5. The Lingerie LesbianAugust 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Yes, yes, yes. I hate how 'diversity' in fashion is treated like a novelty (and often lazily), as if it's harder for fashion to exist when not on a tall, cis, skinny, feminine, white girl. What makes fashion interesting or cool is the way it lives on actual people, who bring so much more to the table than merely being a generic mold.

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  6. Werk it girl. Love your mind!

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  7. You are right, Nicolette, Gabourey's styling sticks out like a sore thumb. And that is sad. So sad. I can just see the scene; they must have bought choices for her, probably shoes too... and were left with the fact that nothing fit... And the poor girl had to wear what she wore coming in, that is my guess. Poor fitting jacket to "cover" her the best they could and that ridiculous ill conceived effort at "fun and design" - throwing the sari on her head.
    Damn.
    Je suis découragée.
    Do your homework people!! And get the GOOD size fashion and accessory. It's POSSIBLE, and ... more professional.

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  8. I love the conversation you've started here, Nicolette! I don't think Gabourey is styled well, but I can't help but wonder if she liked it. What if she is thrilled with this photo? What if she loves the red jacket and the sari or those shoes? What if she thinks she looks great and feels great? Everyone has an opinion, and while I don't think we'll ever know what hers is about this photo, shouldn't we try to take that into consideration? What if she loves her look here and logs on and sees it being criticized on many media outlets, which it is, and is affected by that? Our opinions as stylish, "fashion people" aren't the be all and end all. Just a thought. I'd love to hear other opinions.

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  9. I thought about including that in my essay. The outfit is perfectly fine for every day life. It's something I might wear while out on the weekend, or hanging out with friends. But what matters here is the context. This outfit does not belong in the September Issue of Harper's Bazaar, alongside couture looks. I think if they had put more effort into sourcing plus-size brands and designers in, they could have achieved a similar aesthetic.

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  10. SO underwhelmed by the plus size 'fashion'. Those shoes, and that look?!?! they just pulled something over beautiful Gabourey Sibide! It's appauling! Plus size fashion doesn't have to hide the girl and be as drab as can be! I would of expected more, especially from Bazaar (I LOVE Harper's Bazaar!). But this isn't diversity being celebrated, it's the fat girl hiding behind a piece of fabric with her unstylish aunt's shoes.

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  11. We are certainly in agreement that they should have done a better job sourcing plus-size looks. I sadly would not expect Carine or her minions to know the first thing about plus-size fashion or the market. It is a failure, but I hope Gabourey can take some positives, just as you and the rest of us have, from her inclusion.

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  12. I am admittedly not someone with the most knowledge of high fashion, so even as just a fashion lover and consumer of these publications, I see this photo and give it a big 'ol WTF. As someone whose body is closer to Gabby's than anyone else in this shoot, I look at it and am not inspired by her beauty or strength. I'm saddened that the creme de la creme of the fashion world couldn't do any better. It's a poor representation of the boutique plus size designers and available larger items (like you mentioned the shoes from Net-a-Porter) who would DIE for this kind of exposure and opportunity to get Gabby's looks on-par with these other ones.


    Maybe an idea for a new photo essay? Alternative Gabby looks "as should have been" seen in Harper's Bazaar.

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  13. Well said and I hope that they -- the "powers that be" take your words to heart and to the next edition of "diversity." Plus size has indeed come a mighty long way but there are snafu's and poor judgment from people who could either careless or not have a clue of how to approach and style anyone not of a straight size. But, I do not totally blame them, Gabi herself has to take some personal responsibility and axe the spread once she saw the finished product. How could she sign off of the buffoonery? How could she accept being cast in this light of "no words" to even describe -- grandma shoes, sari over her head, jacket and leggings that have neither to do with the other; there was no concept to where any of this was going. All parties are to blame and I say shame on the both of them.

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  14. You fucking rocked this post... this was burning in my soul yesterday and wanted to give it a few days to sink in, but BRAVA darling... BRAVA. SHOOT... I mean... did you know that the pants and tee were Marina Rinaldi???? After all the items Marina Carries, they chose THAT???? GTFOH. I am sad.

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  15. That is what the image credits said... yes... girllllll... :( SAD face. I think because I was just at their store and saw all their new arrivals, this pisses me off even more... There were SOOOO MANY damned choices for some frigging leggings and a tee.

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  16. it is like you have said 'they didn't know how to handle her', they knew how to handle the other women! to me there is not a lot of diversity in it! not talking about red heads or colored girls! plus size, your friend and gabourey and that's it, and one petite and one stunning Carmen who is a model (and she is the only 'older lady') ! that is not diversity! you are right, they simply did not know how to handle her and put in an effort!

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  17. yes, Marina Rinaldi's pieces are so, so strong. Why not add texture? Color? Play with volumes and proportions? Ahhh, this makes me sad.

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  18. I KNOWWWWWWWWWW :( MEGA sad face.

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  19. I am so thankful someone else questioned this photo. "Is this fashion or is this their way of telling us how they view plus-sized people?" As in, are they telling us "you should be as invisible as possible?" I was a little shocked when I saw this photo. I didn't know if they were slapping plus-sized women across the face or if this was the latest style for plus-size fashion. When I took a step back and really thought of what that photo represented to me, I felt bad for Gabourey. I thought they were making fun of her. Then, as a whole, I realized they were humiliating all women that are not thin.

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  20. Your wit, humour and insight shine through in this piece, Nicolette. These kinds of spreads/"special issues" tend to irk me, because, as others point out, it reduces people who don't fit into a very very limited idea of what is beautiful into a novelty at best and a token of "look! we're inclusive" at worst. Your analysis is insightful, reasoned, without resorting to name-calling or shit-talking... just truth telling. Scrolling through the images, I hardly would have even guessed that Carine Roitfeld's tribute to "diversity," aside from thoughts and critiques of some of the styling and photography choices.

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  21. I'm trying to avoid reading into the subtext too much (although, I'm sure you're hitting the nail on the head) and giving the benefit of the doubt on that front. In the "Behind the Scenes" video (it's the last slide on the Bazaar site), both Karl and Carine seem to be very chummy with Gabby. There's even an (adorable, and surprising) shot of Karla and Gabby nuzzling. Nevertheless, the styling is so, so lazy. They can't pretend that they put the same thought, effort, and attention to detail to Gabourey's look as they did for Scarlett's, or Dakota's, or to Lily Collins or Lily Donaldson's... What a missed opportunity to do something amazing.

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  22. THIS!!! The end result is insulting, and KL is probably using it to justify his belief that "no one wants to see curvy women," in fashion or otherwise. I am disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised.

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  23. wow. :( awesome post.

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  24. I something on this yesterday via Instagram and kept hoping for someone from HB to explain what the hell they were trying to portray (maybe some deeper meaning we plebeians won't get on 1st or 30th glance). There's not much they COULD say to make this better but a little insight would be helpful. That being said, your post is BEAUTIFUL Nicolette. I agree with you; why not just leave her off rather than portray her in this insane manner (and that's exactly what I said when I saw the picture--they're trying to make this girl look crazy). So much can be done but little effort is made yet again. It's almost just another form of rejection; this time through forced inclusion.

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  25. YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Looking through the pictures I felt very uninspired - this is diversity? half the people look the same!!!! It's also obvious how fashion STILL segregates plus size women. It went from NEVER accepting a size 14 or so (which looks like what Candice is) to now embracing that size 14 to semi-accepting/rejecting a size let's say - 20 or 22 (which looks like Gab, I may be off though). It's obvious that styling Gab was a controversial thing. I'm really glad she's a strong woman and accepting of it all. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it would have been to be handled those ugly ass shoes and a sari on your head - WTF?? But it shows through her posing and doing this that despite the OBVIOUS lack of giving a shit, she owned it.

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  26. I love how they found 15 thin white women and 1 slightly plus size white woman to cast into a group of 25 people and call it diversity.

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  27. I know! I'm beginning to dislike the word 'diversity' as much as I do 'exotic.' I'm not able to really articulate this completely, but it really bugs me when the dominant culture doesn't just see itself as a majority (and sometimes, it's not even that) but as the center, the correct, the normal and the true. And everything else is 'diverse' or 'exotic,' you know?

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  28. I think you articulated this perfectly.

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  29. I'm blushing :). You are a master of articulation, as evidenced by this smart and sharp post!

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  30. I agree with the debate you present re: the styling and the missed opportunity. I keep looking at her shoes as compared to everyone else. Why those specific shoes and not something glamorous? Why not do what most women do who can't couture up b/c they don't fit into couture sizing and accessorize her up to the max with super fab jewelry, a purse, etc.? I think of your convo above w/ Marie & think...that's what they chose from Marina Rinaldi? That is really sad. That's what you wear to a weekend brunch to meet friends (sans table runner with tassles over your head), not for the September issue of Harper's Bazaar.

    Then again, maybe this photo is making a statement that as compared to the other couture designers featured in this spread, those designers are missing out on an opportunity to create fabulous fashion for fabulous people like Gabby.

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  31. Well, to be fair the styling throughout most of this story is a mess...

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  32. This is such a wonderfully written and critically insightful article. As much as I am a fan of KL's and CR's work (definitely more inspired by the latter, but that's neither here nor there), if I never click the link to this story, I know exactly what to expect from this editorial.




    And it's unfortunate because it's a known fact that plus sized women can work a lot of the same pieces that a 10 or a 6 or a 0 can (you being a prime example of this), but I couldn't agree more that they truly gave up on Gabourey and overall could have been better represented.




    And not to play devil's advocate but maybe this is a classic example of the both of them being too far removed from "the real world"?

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  33. Horrible .. I mean are they serious? How could they style her like that? There are so many options for us plus size women in clothing and shoes that are chic - and 'this' is what they style her in. Shame on them, Plus size women are not a joke which is what I feel they made her in these pictures.

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  34. Clarissa | Five12 StudioAugust 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I feel so blessed by this post. But seriously, I can't stand the lack of diversity on all levels this article lacks. Funny though, when I saw "photographs by Karl Lagerfeld" I knew it wasn't going to be good.

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  35. Aimee Lindquist CheshireAugust 7, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    So wise.

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  36. damn, should just shot Gabby naked. That would have been a better statement than this rigmarole

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  37. Amen. On all points.

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  38. Pippa/runwayrevolutionAugust 7, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    That photo just screams: Stop. There is No Fashion For You Here. And it made me wonder if Loewe was considering buying ad pages as they pretty much never get editorial coverage ever, anywhere.


    Nicole, net-a-porter may have size 42s, but they are not true 12s as US women would know. I think the shoe industry has brought shoe sizing in line with dress sizing 40=10, 41=11, etc); however designer brands at 42 are more like a 10.5. MiuMiu, Prada, D&G, Chloe, yada yada are all one size too small for my 42s. In France I always have to ask for 43s. None of which excuses the lack of shoe options for Gabourney. There's always Stuart Weitzman for wide fits.


    Of all the reasons for the shawl being worn over her head, the ONLY one I can see is that the coat is not worn fully on the body so they had to cover that up. Judging from the buttons on the front, she has both arms in, but it's likely well off the shoulder. And the black T and leggings....well folks, let's just fade all that 'pure stage presence and Oscar-nominated talent' into the darkness. No star really needs to shine that much. WTF

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  39. Well said. Before I even read your reaction, I checked out the pictures and Gabourey's stuck out so clearly and awkwardly. It made me sad, more than anything, to see her, the "curviest" (another word I hate along with "diverse" and "ethnic"!) in all black spandex (wtf??). To answer your question, I honestly think it may have been better to leave her out, because as is it is just....so sad and frustrating what HB did here. However, when you just look at her and ignore the "fashion" aspect, her face is beautiful.

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  40. That's exactly what I was thinking! Diversity...I don't think so!

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  41. "Diversity" has become a buzz word for people pandering and pretending that they believe in an inclusive world when they clearly don't. Very tiring.....

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  42. I think what irks me most is that this supposedly celebrating diversity. Like, "look at us, we think black people and overweight people and old people are beautiful! Go us!" - Yet these are people who are already celebrated for their beauty (models) and their talent (actresses). I agree with you, why not use some normal people? Or people who have accomplished things but aren't always celebrated for their beauty - like politicians, female scientists, doctors, etc.? Seeing Xia Wen or Liya Kebede doesn't make me think of diversity. It makes me think of skinny, rich, beautiful models. And so what? We see those all the time!

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  43. Testify Nicolette! Quite honestly Ms. Roitfeld should and could have done a better job! To add to the list of designers you mentioned, Ms. Roitfeld could certainly have turned to super to the super luxe line by Elena Miro, Anna Scholz as well as upcoming designers like Youthery Khlmer and Ashley Nell Tipton. She didn't even try to try.... a simple Google search (which any 5 year old can do now a days) would have uncovered a treasure trove of plus size designers and clothing lines to choose from. Ms Roitfeld your "effort" = LAZY!!!!

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  44. Given how expensive Marina Rinaldi is I'm wondering why they even bother to produce a plain black tee and leggings. Most of us can buy unimaginative basics anywhere.

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  45. serve it up nicolette!

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  46. The more I think about this, and the more I think about that photo of Gabourey Sidibe, the more sad I get. She's so beautiful. At least per the lady in some un-faded leggings if you must put her in them. And definitely non granny shoes- she's got too much personality for those shoes!

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  47. Dina Paola RodriguezAugust 8, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I haven't been able to read your blog in two weeks, so I obviously just binge read your last four post ( which i loved). This one specifically reminded why when I discovered your blog a year in half ago it was KISMET! I struggle to believe that they couldn't style Gabourey in a more inspired way, like you stated it may be a challenge(not an impossibility), but this is for a September issue ( I mean SERIOUSLY!!!!) Furthermore, for a feature that is suppose to showcase The Diversity of Women perhaps 12 out of the 20 photos should be something other than caucasian, predominately thin women. I am peruvian,plus size, super queer, where is the women the represents or at least is a version of this.

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  48. You're the best. Couldn't have said it better!They've styled Gabby like a high school photography project. What a crock of shit.

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  49. Nicolette, as someone so well placed within the fashion- and fashion magazine- industry, you have spoken so candidly here, and that deserves congratulations. I respect that your ethics and opinions are shared so openly and with such integrity.


    I wonder sometimes whether the fashion industry continues to worship a thin, white, able-bodied vision because well-placed people are too frightened to challenge other well-placed people about it.


    But not you.


    One of the fifty reasons you really are an inspiration.

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  50. this is plain BS. I knew with Karl Lagerfeld involved it couldn't truly be good news for women who are bigger. And as you pointed out it is not that hard to find the right size shoes and clothes not at this day and age.

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  51. Those shoes and that jacket make me very very sad! I'm not sure what they were trying to pull off.

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  52. Brava Nicole! It happens in front of the camera and behind the camera as well. People, who are talented, are excluded from working for the Vogues of the world. People who lack economic resources, a lot of time are minorities, can't afford to take a job working for little or no money, 40+ hours a week, in the one of the most expensive U.S. cities. On top of that, they want you to dress like you work at, for instance, a Vogue. It excludes so many people, people who could have probably dressed Gabourey. I've seen stylists running about every city in the plus size sections (size 0s) looking confused and asking me questions on what how would I style a particular person. It happens just spend a little time in Nordstrom or Neimans while looking stylish.


    On another note, I saw this scroll past my Pinterest. I thought it was a joke, not a Harper's Bazaar photos. LIes!?! The magic carpet and the shoes!!! Why?!?!

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  53. Defaulting: what happens when your average existence is warped into something greater than it actually is at the expense of other average people.

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  54. The 'attacked by closet' look. Very popular amongst hacks.

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  55. Wow!


    They got a fat woman and, like, three brown ones! Way to spice up the status quo, guys. Add a trans* woman and you'll have the background characters for the Girls' version of New York City.

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  56. Just a question for an Amateur fashion fan, what is couture about the black lady standing on the black and yellow coat?

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  57. Americans
    have long had an ideal body type when it comes to women, but the shape
    itself has gone back to the drawing board every few years altering
    dramatically. Go figure. "Don't you want a body you won't be ashamed of?" was a question asked in a 1950s ad is one every woman can understand, but that headline was for an ad to gain weight, not lose it. To read more of vintage ads on How to Gain More Weight

    http://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2012/07/16/how-to-gain-more-weight/

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  58. I work at a daycare and when we want to show diversity we don't simply show people of different heights, we have pictures everywhere of people and children of different genders, races, heights, capabilities and (in my opinion one of the most important things) the clothes from different cultures. You can't have a spread about diversity and only show a sari, I want to see what they wear in Japan, in Africa, in Spain at the North freaking Pole! I could pick out any of these girls from New York City.
    Anyone else feel like mason is picking on Gabourey?

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  59. Based on this comment I'm not sure you read everything I wrote. There is absolutely nothing in this piece that criticized Gabourey.

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  60. SO well said...

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  61. I have noooo words for how bad this... I mean nooo words... I mean those shoes, that Old school 1984 Wilson's jacket... I'm confused as how I'm supposed to celebrate this. And the fall plus size collections are pretty great, I mean hello Talbots... Your post was very well written!!!!

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  62. Like I said before 'Uncle Karl' needs a bitch slap! They need to wake up, there is a movement going on in the fashion world and that movement is PLUS SIZE!!!!!! they need to accept it. But Ladies I cant help but think, Gabourey needed to speak up. If anyone, even Carine Rotfield where to put me in that ensemble I would go all Hollywood diva on their asses!
    @Marie Denee - Love work you and the other ladies did at Marina Rinaldi. Love it!
    Love the essay Nicolette! Well done!

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  63. This post makes me so happy! It just such a disappointment, not that I'm particularly suprised given the stylist and photographer involved.

    Do you think the fashion industry will eventually change and become more - genuinely - diverse once the old guard (of which I assume CR and KL are a part of) eventually stop working? Basically, every time I read about them I'm just like, how many more years do I have to see them do the same old shit with the same old people?! haha.

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  64. I totally agree with you, a curtain wrapped around her body would have fit Gabourey better then the outfit choosen by Carine. Too much efforts needed to let this wonderful and skilfully woman 'à la page' like the others. It's always the same problem: to change the way of thinking about plus size women!!!
    It will be a strong work but it has to be done��
    I beg you for my english which is not my mother tongue.
    Smack
    Demetra

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  65. Are you kidding me, why is Gabourey even in the spread. There's nothing stylish about her. Not because she's plus size, but she's not stylish, period. I am African-American and it's annoying for the word diversity to be used, then they use rail thin or a rather large African-American woman such as her. Nothing in between. The majority of black women are somewhere in between. Who is she supposed to be representing the Aunt Kizzie black woman? Or Larger women? if so why not have a few larger women of different cultures, right?

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  66. Agree all the way! Shocked at how they "styled" Gabourey. At that point, why bother?

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  67. I would suspect she never saw the photo to like it or not. She may have actually looked good in person -- clothes look different on screen. Maybe she saw it on the screen during the shoot, but as a magazine fashion editor and editorial stylist, I would suggest that she had zero input into which photo was chosen. I am surprised Karl's retouch people didn't retouch the leggings to match the black hues in the sweater and leggings. I wonder what other looks they put her in - surely they didn't have just one look? If this was the best they could do, why there were not other options for her ... was she a last-minute get? Was there no one who could fetch showroom samples? Was the shoot done so early that no one had fall/winter samples available? Usually, it's only high-end couture that's ready early because it shows in the spring. That could have been the case. Monif C has a NYC showroom, why didn't anyone just place a call to her people? Someone surely would have run over to the studio and MADE or ALTERED something right there in exchange for the opportunity.

    This is a gorgeous photo with a gorgeous woman, it's a shame the styling fell down. It's easy to style models, especially with every showroom at the ready and digital wizardry at your fingertips.

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  68. Ebony Grigsby-LeBlancSeptember 9, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I love what you wrote but a part of this post just disturbs me. In 2013 are we not aware of the definition of diversity? In all possible areas of the meanining of the word; race, color, creed, style, size, proportion, fit! Carine Roitfeld and, all holy of fashion holies, Karl Lagerfeld should know better! As a longtime subscriber of Bazaar and a some what fashion knowledgeable addict, I'm horrified their FASHION EDITORS would let that picture be published! It is a disservice to Gabourey Sidibe and full-figured women everywhere.
    It is NOT better that they tried. Experts of this caliber get NO pass. Black faded leggings? An ill fitting winter coat? A black T-SHIRT? A SARI ON HER HEAD? REALLY? Ugh! This spread could have been really great but is ruined by Gabby's picture. This was an opportunity to show diversity in all its fabulousness, Gabby in all her fabulousness! Queen Latifah, Monique, Octavia Spencer, Melissa McCarthy, OPRAH...larger than life women who are always fab in fashion. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. There is no excuse. None. Do it right or not at all.

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  69. This editorial is really upsetting to me. Mostly because I could see anyone in my neighborhood-- including myself, that could look more fashion forward then this. This reminds me of plus size fashion fifteen years ago. It's not forward thinking at all. It makes me wonder if she was just put into these clothes to discourage fat acceptance.

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  70. amazing ! http://www.gownforplussize.com/

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  71. That's what I thought too - Sidebe's look in the shoot doesn't stand out to me as being worse than anything any of the other models is wearing.

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