Not your everyday kind of question, I guess. But, after watching the much hyped and talked about BBC documentary on Vogue, Absolutely Fashion, it raised the question for me. For those who follow my blog, you will be aware that one of my daughters is starting her journey into this world. But this post isn't about her journey, t's about her experience, our experience of this highly exposed, talked about, criticised even, industry.
There has been lots of speculation about the rivalry between Anna Wintour and Alexandra Shulman, the editor-in-chiefs of U.S Vogue and British Vogue, respectively. Though that's not what this post will focus on, it's been discussed at length by the media. I admit it would be refreshing to watch a programme about how these two amazing women got along but that wouldn't be fashion dahling mwah mwah! There's heaps of media reporting on how the whole world of fashion is competitive, bitchy, exhausting, backstabbing, unhealthy ... the list goes on. It shouldn't come as a surprise to people really, the surprise, surely, would be that they are in fact fabulous friends, maybe they are.
So, what's my angle on this? Well, in an industry that is rife with criticism, shunned even, there are still thousands of girls out there dreaming of being models, of being scouted if they mooch nonchalantly around TopShop in Oxford Circus for long enough, looking wistfully at Kate and Cara's faces plastered all over the walls and the windows. Will they be the next Gigi, the next Kendall? Despite the negativity of this world that is reported time and time again, what is it that lures these girls? Confirmation that they are officially beautiful?
I should ask my daughter I suppose but I'm not sure she would feel comfortable with the question. Of course she enjoys it but it is hard work. Casting after casting. Queue after queue of beautiful girls all trying to get noticed, to be the 'next big thing' ... well not big, definitely not big. It's a full-time job, if you want to be taken seriously, if you want to succeed. The need to look polished every single day, no down days, no shattered days, no can't be bothered to get out of bed days. Well not when you're trying to break into the world of fashion. Maybe the supermodels can be more relaxed, but the pressure on these younger girls, the new faces, as they are called, can be huge. But the pressure is from within and definitely not a pressure from the agencies, and this leads me beautifully on to the point that I guess I started this post about.
For all of the press coverage and media hoo-ha about the fashion industry, with the very negative slant that taints the world of fashion over and over again, I can honestly say that we haven't seen a hint of this. We have been greeted with nothing other than positivity. Such positivity that it's almost infectious. You know the kind. The kind where you just want to be part of it, in the thick of it, crying out for more, more, more. The buzz from a photoshoot, the team, the process, the striving for an end result that everyone will love, the high fives and whoops when it's a wrap, the feeling of something done well as a team, that feeling of cohesive hard work (you can read about the Moschino show we attended on my blog). There's also an overwhelming feeling that everyone counts. Not just the model, not just the photographer, everyone. Even the model's mum who sits patiently in the corner. So, would I want my daughter to be a model? Easy. Yes, if that's what she wants to be, of course. She does. She loves this world.
Now, I accept that this may not be the case in every job, every fashion house, every agency, but we've been doing this a while. We've had a fair bit of experience, even as a nobody really in the big picture of fashion, but I, wholeheartedly, wish for my children to end up working in an industry, whatever that industry is, with such a buzz, with such uplifted people, with positivity literally oozing in the atmosphere because isn't it, in the end, a more beautiful place when we cast a positive light? Would it not be far more beneficial for the media to report on this element of the world of fashion or would that just not be media dahling? Just saying ...
Helen writes a blog about parenting three teens at https://www.justsayingmum.com