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Celebrity Spot-Lite: Donatella Versace vs. The World

November 18, 2011

Looook into my, not at my lips! My EYES, I said! Oh forget it.

The purely natural radiant beauty that is Donatella Versace has created an ESCANDALO!!! this week that has the internets abuzzing and any “real women” up in arms.

Basically, DV has created a design line for H&M that has been previewed but not hit stores yet. And, while H&M prides itself on creating “affordable” and “accessible” clothing (“fashion and quality at the best price!“) that has “something for every age and personality,” Ms. Versace apparently does not agree. First of all, her clothing is fairly pricey–with a leather biker jacket for $5,825 and a wool dress for $2,425, I wouldn’t exactly call this “affordable” wear. But, most importantly, when a request by the NY Daily News went out to H&M to conduct a photoshoot with a few recent college grad New Yorkers as models of the new line, they were informed that Versace would have to approve of the women and that β€œDonatella will likely not approve shooting the collection on real women.” Hah! At first, you may think that this means that the women modeling the clothes have to be as plasticized as Donatella herself, but if you glance at the ad campaign that has dropped for Versace’s H&M line, you realize that maybe she just means that waifish aliens need only apply.

We Are Invading Your Planet...And Your Clothing Stores

Which is fine (give Aliens a chance!), but why not just say that? Why go into that the selected NYDN women “don’t fit [Versace’s] branding”? Why alienate (har har) “real women” that are the ones who are going to be shopping in your stores, buying your clothing, and deserve to have some damned respect paid to them, instead of degradation? It’s also tragically ironic how anti-“real women” Versace is given how profoundly her daughter Allegra has suffered with anorexia. Maybe helping to publicly promote healthy body ideals could save someone else from this torment.

Now, I would call for a nationwide boycott of the H&M Versace line, but two things are stopping me from doing so: 1) Let’s be real, how many people read this blog? I’m not sure my one-woman crusade would really lead anywhere; and 2) I’m pretty sure the people who were going to buy those clothes are still going to buy them, and the people who never were still aren’t. It’s important to make ourselves aware and to form our own individual decisions based on knowledge and facts. I know that I won’t be buying Versace’s clothing (in or out of H&M) because her styles and prices generally don’t fit with someone like myself, and that’s my own personal decision. I also believe that DV should really rethink her priorities (especially now that she’s dealing with the mainstream public and her clothing creations), and hopefully this ESCANDALO!!! willl force her to.

And now for my favorite Postsecret of the week, which completely counters Versace’s entire mission (Torrid is a trendy plus-size fashion store):


Amen. Happy weekend, y’all!


(Images courtesy of the ever-favorite Dlisted and Postsecret)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2011 12:55 pm

    So many thoughts…okay, yesterday, I discovered a website though cheezburger called that is devoted to plastic surgery fails. Needless to say, Ms. Versace is prominently featured in several photos. She’s what, in her mid-50’s? And looks like a corpse. Second, I don’t shop at H&M…not for my kids, not for myself. The clothing is the cheapest quality and is so poorly made, the fit is never right and everything looks worn out after being washed two or three times. So count me in on your boycott. πŸ™‚ Didn’t Sarah Jessica Parker sell a shitty collection there a few years ago? And three…I’m not familiar with Torrid (except for having seen it mentioned on some blogs) but…come on…this whole media-kowtowing-to-the-obese just gets more ridiculous at every turn. The model is, probably, a size 10. She’s probably 5’11” and maybe 175 lbs…and, as I have most likely commented on posts on that topic in the past, there is a big difference between plus-sized models and the real world plus sized shopper…the models are just as photoshopped as any “regular” fashion models, for starters. This model in the ad has visible collarbones, a defined hourglass figure, apparently (again, you know some computer magic and strategic lighting and positioning is at work as it is in any professional photo shoot), and in no way resembles the 5’3″, 200+ lb, size 16 everyday women who are buying into the “curvy” euphemism and telling themselves that their body type is in the same category as Beyonce or Marilyn Monroe. Carefully constructed unrealistic ads like this do plus sized consumers just as much a disservice as ads featuring impossibly tall/underweight (again, apparently…I’m sure photoshop wizards shave the silhouettes down even more) do to the general psyche.

  2. November 19, 2011 9:35 pm

    And sadly I think that DV’s idiocy is only going to drive more women to H&M to try on her stuff just to prove that they too are model-aliens and worthy of the DV insignia.

  3. Trying-to-break-her-own-complicity-in-reinforcing-gender-norms Curmudgeon permalink
    November 20, 2011 5:34 am

    My understanding was that Hangry Hippo was actually PRAISING the postcard message about Torrid (which I’m guessing may have came from, one of the most addictive and non-arty-person-friendly performance art pieces I’ve ever encountered). I think the plus-sized clothing chain, however, does provide a really interesting example of whether or not attempts at beauty campaigns focused around models with “real” body types and figures (Like the “Healthy is the new skinny” featured by Hangry Hippo a bit ago) are moving in the right direction. I’d again have to demur and agree somewhat with Norma in saying that a store like Torrid is taking BABY steps in the right direction. By continuing to highlight women for their (un-realistic, as Norma has correctly pointed out) physical attributes, these ad campaigns may be providing a slightly more attainable paradigm for girls to look up to, but it is still one which teaches them to value themselves based on the artificially constructed level of “quality” of their physical looks alone.

  4. November 21, 2011 10:10 pm

    I also took it as Hangry Hippo praising Torrid for the ad (which, as you are pointing out, may not be the corporation’s doing but that of a fan/customer)…in any case, as I’ve said, I’m not familiar with the store/brand. My point was that the model featured in that ad, and, I presume, Torrid’s advertising in general, probably resembles their real-life shoppers as much as I resemble the 5’11”, 115 lb. high fashion models that Versace and other couture designers employ…which is to say, not at all. πŸ˜‰

  5. Fedora permalink
    December 2, 2011 4:56 am

    1.) I liked Normas first comment.
    2.) I saw that Postcard on Postsecret last week and assumed Torrid was some kind of fetish sight- the internet has ruined me.
    3.) Its sadder bc doesnt DV daughter have terrible anorexia?
    4.) Are you telling me that DV is not in fact the crypt keeper? someone DID that to her face!?

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