Thursday, June 2, 2011

Robyn Lawley covers Vogue Italia

steven meisel for vogue italia via bella model management

When Australian Robyn Lawley recently landed the cover of ELLE France's 'curvy' issue, frockwriter mentioned that she had just been shot for the June edition of another, even more prestigious European title by one of the biggest names in fashion photography. They don't come much bigger than Vogue Italia and Steven Meisel. Congratulations to Lawley, who appears on the June 2011 cover of Vogue Italia (above, far right) with two other plus-sized models, Tara Lynn and Candice Huffine. Lawley, an Australian size 14, is also prominently featured inside the issue, in the remainder of the Meisel-lensed cover story (see another shot, below), but also in an only-girl editorial shot by Pierpaulo Ferrari (see further down for three behind-the-scenes images from that shoot, taken by Lawley). Lawley has more high fashion gigs on the horizon, having just shot with Max Doyle back home in Australia.  

steven meisel for vogue italia via bella model management

“It [the Vogue cover] just makes the last nine years of my life all worth it" says Lawley's mother agent Chelsea Bonner, the director of plus-size specialist agency Bella Model Management. "I could drop dead right now and I’d be so happy. I don’t know how I'm ever going to top it. It’s just a complete validation of what I've been trying to say for the last nine years: that curves and high fashion do work. And given the same opportunities as any other model gets, the result is just as beautiful, just as amazing, just as glamorous. To be given that sort of opportunity and for Robyn to blow it out of the water like she has, it’s proof that it can be done and it should on on a regular basis". 

Regarding Lawley's legs akimbo pose on the Vogue cover, according to Bonner, Meisel asked Lawley to sit (words to the effect), "How you would sit if you were a really powerful person".  

As for the flak prompted by Bonner's comments on our last Lawley post in April - when Bonner said she has yet to meet a size 22 woman who is healthy -  she notes, "I thought it was interesting that I’m not allowed to have an opinion when Bella is completely my opinion. The whole business is my opinion of beauty and what works and doesn’t work and what the market wants. So if anyone should be allowed to have an opinion, it should be me. We did have a lot of controversy over that and even on our Facebook page. But we had doctors, nutritionists and psychologists writing in and every single one agreed with my statement". 

all three images: pierpaulo ferrari for vogue italia, BTS shot by robyn lawley

But the body image issue appears to be gathering momentum at the high fashion title. 
In February last year, Vogue Italia launched a plus-size-dedicated microsite called Vogue Curvy.

Then in March this year, editor Franza Sozzani launched a petition to combat pro-anorexia websites. 

In a letter to readers on the Vogue Italia website, Sozzani noted [her bold type emphasis]: 
"I did some research and found that there are countless pro-anorexia websites and blogs that not only support the disorder, but also urge young people to be competitive about their “body shape”.

Vogue Italia, the magazine par excellence that deals with and promotes aesthetics and beauty, has decided to make use of its authority and its readers on the web (over one million of contacts per month), to battle against anorexia and collect signatures with the final goal of shutting such sites down.

Fashion has been always blamed as one of the culprits of anorexia, and our commitment is the proof that fashion is ready to get on the frontline and struggle against the disorder."
Underneath Sozzani's letter, Associazione Bulimia Anoressia founder Fabiola de Clerq added:
"It is of paramount importance to explain teenage girls that being skinny does not equal being perfect and to promote beauty standards which start from and are all about being healthy".

Frockwriter couldn't help chuckling after reading these mission statements. 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, of course, Vogue Italia's models are whippet-thin, many struggling to keep their weight down to satisfy the draconian requirements of the industry's top casting directors, photographers, designers, stylists and magazine editors.

And any model who dares put on a few pounds can expect to be shown the door. 


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