The Return of Curves: Lara Stone

The new face of fashion
The new face of fashion

Known for larger breasts, bleached eyebrows, a sizeable gap between her two front teeth, and hips that round out between a U.S. size 4 and size 6, Lara Stone is different from what we’ve become accustomed to seeing on the runway and in fashion magazines.
(While a size 4 is still extremely thin, size 4 models are almost unheard of in the modeling business. Today, most models average between a size 0 and a size 2.)

Stone’s commanding presence and comparatively curvy physique are a throwback to the times of “supermodels” like Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell, women known for their beautiful curves and Amazonian stature.

Most interesting is the fact that designers are falling head over heels in love with Stone’s body. Just this year, Stone walked in all of the major fashion shows, renewed her contracts with Givenchy and Hugo Boss, and became the new face of Jean Paul Gaultier. In February, Vogue Paris dedicated an entire issue to Stone.

Of course, it is frustrating that it took almost 20 years for the enthusiasm for rail-thin bodies to wane. During the early 1990s, Kate Moss burst onto the scene in a highly publicized campaign for Calvin Klein. In the fashion world, one girl can change everything. No one is a better example than Moss. With her protruding bones and childlike frailty, Moss became synonymous with the terms “waif” and “heroin chic,” and the fashion industry embraced her physique as the new sought-after look for models on the runways and in advertisements.

Stone’s growing success, and the fact that designers have not pressured her to slim down, are promising signs that designers are embracing a healthier, more inclusive shape for women’s bodies. With the foundation set for fashion’s return to curvaceous, tall figures, now is the perfect time for a new “it” girl, a symbolic body that signifies the changing times. Lara Stone’s increasing success suggests it may be time for Kate Moss, and her waif-like predecessors, to pass the torch.


9 thoughts on “The Return of Curves: Lara Stone

  1. I find this difficult to get excited about. So, models are now tall and slim with a chest and hips instead of tall and slim without them? I have no more chance of looking like Lara Stone than Kate Moss.

  2. While I think it’s good we’re now seeing some additional curves, wouldn’t it be lovely to see what an outfit would look like if a real body wore it? Wouldn’t it be great to see the same concept adapted for tall, short and middle sized women? Wouldn’t it take more skill to do that than to constantly design for the same coathanger shape? After all, it all very well to say “Oh it’s so well cut” or “It hangs/moves beautifully”, when it may very well not, when filled up by a real body.

  3. Lame. The girl’s still an unattainable ideal. So she’s posing on Vogue instead of Maxim. Same ish, different day.

  4. At least it is a step in the right direction. We can’t expect the fashion world to completely change overnight. Hopefully with a healthy size, even if still unattainable for many women, becoming acceptable in the modeling world then models will start eating again.

  5. I think that the fact that this is news says a lot about the state of the fashion industry and pressures women feel. I agree with Simona and Sibyl. So maybe the emaciated look is going out, and that is good, but while Lara Stone definitely looks healthier, like the typical women who pose in magazines like Maxim as opposed to on the runway, she still has the kind of body type very few women can have.

  6. i could be wrong, but i thought tall was always a standard for models, or at least medium height and above. it would be really nice if short people were appreciated, too… *sigh*

  7. One of the reasons I was inspired to write this article is because I honestly believe things ARE getting better in the fashion industry. Designers are acknowledging the seriousness of eating disorders, and the message emaciated models send to our culture. Top-level fashion shows have been requiring mandatory height-to-weight ratios, and banning underweight models from their runways since 2006.

    Sure, Stone is thin, but she’s healthy. She’s also a model, and it’s her job to fit into the clothing she’s given to wear. If designers are creating larger sample sizes (which they have), and if Stone can fit into those sizes (which her job requires her to do) in a healthy way, what’s the problem?

    Unlike a few years ago, designers want their models to be healthy. I think this is a good thing.

  8. I have to disagree with you here. I go to NY Fashion Week twice a year, and the models continue to get thinner each season. The vast majority of designers don’t care if their models are healthy or not; they care about making their clothes look good. If you work in the fashion industry, you know that all of the “we don’t want our models to be too thin” talk is nonsense. It makes for good PR, but thin remains in.

    Additionally, how is Lara Stone a “bigger” model? She has a 24-inch waist. (Keep in mind, she is 5’10” with a 24″ waist.) Also, I’m a size four; I’ve been next to Lara Stone and I am considerably larger. Can we just be honest and say that, like Gisele, Lara’s “curviness” is shorthand for “large boobs”?

    I think Glossed Over’s take on this issue is much more forward-thinking. I feel like you’re falling for the self-congratulatory tone of W’s story, Lara’s bookers, and the fashion world in general.

  9. Annie hit the nail on the head with curviness being shorthand for ‘large boobs’ – and to be wholly honest, that’s even less attainable for the most part. I know several girls who are naturally tall and thin, but none that are naturally tall and thin AND busty.

    If I wanted to have a Kate Moss-ish physique, I’d have to lose maybe 20 lbs. If I wanted to have a Lara Stone-ish physique, I’d have to lose maybe 15 lbs. and then get breast implants. It’s hard to feel like we’ve improved.

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