France Seeks to Ban Super-Skinny Fashion Models

New Bill Could Criminalize The Use of Underweight Models, Pro-Eating Disorder Forums

France Seeks to Ban Super-Skinny Fashion Models

I am applauding France’s health minister, Marisol Touraine, who recently announced she supports plans to criminalize the use of underweight models in high fashion. The French government is likely to back a bill currently being discussed in Paris which would ban excessively thin fashion models, as well as potentially fining the modelling agency or fashion house who hires them, and sending agents to jail.
It would also ban pro-anorexia websites and forums encouraging eating disorders. 
Italy, Spain, and Israel all previously adopted laws against too-thin models on catwalks or in advertising campaigns in early 2013. It’s encouraging to see a company like France, with it’s billion-dollar fashion and luxury industries, following suit. Unsurprisingly, the union representing fashion agencies is against the ban. Their thought? Regulating a model’s size will hurt an agency’s bottom line. To hell with health, I guess?
If the bill passes, any model who wants to work must have a body mass index (a type of height to weight ratio) of at least 18 and would be subject to weight checks. Tormaine says the ban would help protect young women who see models as the ideal female form. (The normal weight BMI range is around 18.5 to 25, and a woman who is 5-foot-7 would have to weigh at least 121 pounds.) 
As models continue to get thinner and thinner and we hear more and more about “reverse photoshopping” and pro-ana websites, I can’t help but cheer a little to see us forcing the industry to take a step in the right direction. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and disordered eating is becoming almost normal in our society. 
I really hope that this bill passes and that the fashion industry hears the message. I hope more governments take notice. I hope that models and regular women can stop obsessing about weight, that we can tear down the ridiculous beauty standards we've fabricated and that health can be more important than a pair of size 000 jeans.
No style, no matter how high fashion, is worth someone’s health. It’s not worth someone’s life.

Suzy Shier Launches Plus Size Collection

New Sizes Available in 66 Stores Across Canada This Spring

Suzy Shier Launches Plus Size Collection

In case you haven’t heard, Canadian retailer Suzy Shier has seen the light and added a plus size line to their collection of stylish, trendy pieces simply dubbed Suzy Shier+. And it's awesome.
Not surprisingly, word traveled to head office that more and more women are looking for larger sizes in stores and so the company decided it was time to launch a collection this spring to see how it’s received.  
 “When we looked at the industry, we saw that there were not a lot of options for curvier women…” said Terry Stewart, Director of Operations for Suzy Shier in an exclusive interview with Dare Magazine
Suzy Shier was one of my favourite places to shop as a teen and while I was in my early 20s. I'm not sure how, or why, I stopped shopping there but I will say they have the best leggings ever. Their sizes previously ranged from XS - XL, though I do find they run a bit small (almost like juniors). I haven't been in a store in a while, but a quick browse of their website (research, obviously) tells me I need to get my butt in there soon. Their spring collection is great!
The plus size collection will be available at 66 stores across Canada, as well as online at, with sizes ranging from 1X - 3X. With cute, trendy designs from casual to formal and price tags that won’t hurt your bank balance - pieces range from $12 - $50! - I think (and hope) that this new line will be a success. Stewart’s not kidding when she says there aren’t many options for curvy women. In fact, it’s been my experience that it’s really hard to find stores that offer a wide variety of sizes, from petites to plus, and those that do offer totally different styles and patterns for each. 
So, while I applaud stores like Reitman’s and Old Navy for carrying plus, regular and petite sizes (though, Old Navy only offers plus size online which is stupid)- and now Suzy Shier - I do hope that that there will be uniformity in styles, colours and patterns – regardless of what the size tag says. (Because they’re bullshit anyway.) I'm really tired of not being able to get the regular styles in petite or plus, and vice versa. Style isn't a number.
Now tell me: What do you think of the line, and will you shop shop Suzy Shier+

WTF Fashion Files: Designer DSQUARED2 presents "Dsquaw"

Line Name More than a Fashion Blunder

WTF Fashion Files: Designer DSQUARED2 presents "Dsquaw"

Canadian clothing designer duo Dan and Dean Caten are the recipients of harsh criticism this week, after having been accused of being culturally insensitive and disrespectful to aboriginal culture. And I’ll admit, I get it.

The twin brothers are the creative geniuses behind Dsquared2, which debuted its latest women’s line at Milan’s Fashion Week. The fall-winter collection features pants, jackets, dresses and coats that combine tribal “decorations” with Victoria-era designs. Artistically, it’s a beautiful collection, but the name? Not so much.

They’ve dubbed the line Dsquaw, which presumably plays on the word squaw – a derogatory term for aboriginal women.

The outfits are receiving both praise and criticism online. While some applaud the duo for showcasing aboriginal and Canadian culture in an artistic way, critics pointed to the racist and ignorant use of “squaw” in the line’s name, and others saying the line has stolen or misappropriated aboriginal designs.

The label’s Facebook page promotes Dsquaw as a “captivating play on contrasts: an ode to America’s native tributes meets the noble spirit of Old Europe.” The Dsquared2 website describes the collection as “The enchantment of Canadian Indian tribes. The confident attitude of the British aristocracy.”

Canadian Designer Makes Fashion More Accessible

DISCLAIMER: I am not an aboriginal woman. I am not an expert on aboriginal designs. In fact, I freely admit that I know very little about them other than to know that the aboriginal culture holds its artwork near and dear. I know that the beautiful, intricate patterns are the product of decades of tradition, handed down from generation to generation. And I know that many communities – aboriginal and otherwise – are struggling to preserve their cultural practices and history. (Gaelic, anyone?)

I also know that Dsquared2 represents Canada extremely well in the world of international design, and I’m confident that the #Dsquaw collection – name and all – was an (enormously) unfortunate misstep in what has been an impressive record of promoting Canadian Culture across the globe.

Recreating amazing designs as a way of paying tribute to and celebrating different cultures, in my opinion, is an extraordinary way to promote our country. But it’s not the first time a brand has come under fire for using aboriginal designs (or being inspired by them). Anyone else remember the H&M headdress fiasco? Yikes. At what point does a brand cross the line?

(For the record, I totally think H&M crossed the line with the headdress… for some reason, I’m feeling a little blurry on Dsqared2.)

At the end of the day, creative minds (musicians, writers, designers) are inspired by the world around them. I really believe that Dsquared2 set out to celebrate Canadian heritage when they created their line and I admire their effort. I just wish they’d used the same care and consideration when they chose the name. Instagram commentors felt similarly:

eronrae83: How can you not realize #Dsquaw is incredibly racist and misogynistic? Maybe donate some of the money to make to help the 1000s of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Would you call your line #dfag or #dnword?? Open your mind. Unfollowed.

steffi_crash:  SQUAW IS A RACIAL SLUR. I REPEAT. SQUAW IS A RACIAL SLUR. But you don't care about the women who have suffered, just that you are making money. If you had any decency you would pull this line and donate to an organization that supports missing and murdered indigenous women. But you won't because we are nothing to you except squaws that you can take fashion inspiration from without having to deal with the gritty daily reality many indigenous women face with rape, murder, and abuse. 1 in 3 indigenous women will be raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime. But who cares because our heritage is so gosh darn edgy.

What do you think: Is it wrong to use aboriginal designs in non-traditional ways? 

Image Source: Instagram