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Designers are finally starting to keep it real

According to some of our top designers who choose to use mere mortals as models, “real women” are in.

No, you don’t have to be an unnatural size six to eight any more, you can actually be a 12, 14 or even size 16 (as if we didn’t know). But maybe fashion designers have finally realised that customers come in all shapes and sizes, and if you ignore them you do so at your peril.

It is interesting to me to note this adjustment of mentality. Only up until recently designers were sending their models down the catwalk like clones of the ones that went before, signifying that individuality was defiantly not in, and if you were above size zero, forget it.

As the economy continues to slide, designers are now realising that they too have to include all women in their remit in order to appeal to a wider audience. On the one hand it’s great that, at last, designers are beginning to recognise that the real stars are the women who pay full price for their clothes, not just the celebrities who parade them down the red carpet. While designers should be acknowledged for all their creativity and hard work, it is the customer who has the final say.

Real women are not ignorant when it comes to buying clothes. We are bombarded with “what’s in” and “what’s out”, which celebrity has lost/gained weight, and who looked the best/worst. For me and my customers fashion is not about the superficial cloning of a trend, it’s about being who you are and letting your clothes reflect that.

May I suggest to some of our top-ranking designers that they spend a bit more time on the shop floor. Not only can it be fun, but they also will see exactly who buys their clothes. Then it will open the door to some truly individual and wearable clothes.

  • Pamela Shiffer is owner of the eponymous womenswear indie in Primrose Hill, north London

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