See Anything Unusual About This Model? (Part II)

It’s Andrej Pejic! And his phenomenal bone structure! On Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2011 couture runway!

We thought it was cool when Andrej took a feminine turn last week in Gaultier’s menswear show but here he dons the ‘bridal’ finale look on a runway full of girls.

We think Andrej is striking no matter how he’s styled, but he’s nothing if not versatile.

(via Daily Mail)

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    • Lilit Marcus

      Wow. That really is some phenomenal bone structure. I’m jealous.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        We are all jealous.

    • Barbara

      You know, I think this is a fabulous idea. Fashion designers have always had a hard time finding models to make their clothes look good, what with those pesky breasts and hips. Lets just scrap that idea altogether and go with feminized male models. That way the goal of finding walking hangers, with no extraneous protrusions to get in the way of their clothes looking fabulous.

      No way this will create unrealistic body expectations for women. It’s a win win.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Though your sarcasm is recognized, I think this an extremely interesting idea. Are you suggesting women might actually feel *more” inadequate looking at an impossibly thin male model made to look female, as opposed to looking at a regular old impossibly thin female model?

        Like, do you see Andrej up there and feel self-conscious about your body because he has even less hip and breast than his girl counterparts?

    • Barbara

      I think yes, it has the potential to be even worse. I do not look at that picture and see a man. And I believe, because of your headline, 95% of the people looking at that image will not see a man.

      Even among the impossibly thin female models you can find examples of ones with breasts and hips. And while “people in the know” might be able to tell by looking a the above model that it is a man, because they recognize the model, most people will not be able to tell it is a man.

      I showed the above picture to my husband and he was unable to tell it was a man. If men such as this become a standard in the modeling profession, they will still be held up as an ideal of beauty. Unless all fashion ads are required to carry disclaimers that say “The model in this picture is actually a man.” the general population will not be able to tell the difference.

      Which creates yet another, impossible to attain, ideal of beauty. Men are not built like women – yet if designers are allowed to use models such as this, they will be able to do away with even the small gestures they currently make towards femininity.

      I am fairly confident that this move of Gautiler’s has a large number of models shaking in their Manolo blahniks. Being 6 ft tall will no longer put you in the mid to top height end of models – men are consistently and reliably taller than women. Starving to near death and exercising obsessively will not cut the mustard as long as you have thighs and a pelvic girdle that are proportioned like a woman’s.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Thank you for the thoughtful response.

        I’m a bit surprised by what I’m interpreting as a little alarmist: do you really see androgynous men replacing women altogether on the catwalk?

        If anything, top female models get styled as men all the time, and Pejic’s appearance as a woman is gaining attention only because it’s still more taboo for men to dress like women than vice versa.

        Also, there are pretty set industry standards for the ideal height of a female runway model, and they are certainly not over 6′. I can think of a few off the top of my head (Hana Soukupova, Tiiu Kuik), but they’re the extreme minority.

        I think Pejic’s sudden success is atypical. If styling male models as women stops being controversial, people won’t really pay attention. If anything, Pejic should remain successful because he is striking and photographs beautifully, not because people want to put him in a dress.

    • Erin

      I agree with everything Barbara said.

    • Barbara

      I totally hope you are right and yeah, my reaction might be a little over the top. But just about everything in fashion is over the top.

      I, personally, have always been of the opinion that the preferred physical ‘type” of models has been driven by the fact that a large % of fashions designers are gay men. The “type” has been moving closer and closer to a lithe young man’s physique and downplaying most of the distinguishing features of a woman’s body.

      Whether or not other designers jump on the male transvestite bandwagon remains to be seen.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        I was going to bite my tongue on this, but I decided I can’t: I find it more than a little offensive to suggest that gay men are somehow impaired in their judgment of female beauty simply by being gay.

        Yes, model measurements have become more draconian, but it’s barbaric to suggest that 1) all gay men are interested in “young” undeveloped male physiques and 2) that there’s some sort of powerful cabal of gay designers trying to wedge beautiful women out of the modeling industry.

        I can think of countless examples of brilliant gay men–designers, photographers–whose muses are timelessly beautiful, and not some feminine equivalent of a young boy.

      • kat

        people who say that often know nothing about fashion and it’s jealousy speaking. most common measurements i ever see are like 34-23-35 or around there. how is that a boy’s body? i can think of a lot of working runway models (eniko mihalik, edita vilkeviciute, monika jagaciak, natasha poly, maryna linchuk etc) who definitely, have womanly body shapes. most of them do, barely any have super narrow hips, no waist and broad shoulders. there’s also a lot of straight designers who use thin models.

        and FYI none of my gay friends are attracted to women, no matter how stick like, or curvy they are. hello, they’re gay for a reason..

      • jun

        i agree with both ashley and kat and find barbara’s post a bit offensive. your opinion is entirely based on the lack of knowledge of the industry.

    • Barbara

      You know, I just had another thought, a question of sorts. Not knowing the specific instances you are thinking of regarding women being dressed as men I need a clarification.

      Are these women being dressed in styles similar to mens clothing? Most of the photos I have seen are women being “dressed up” as men, but they are still quite identifiably women – such as the series you just featured of women styled as famous designers.

      Or are there instances of women being sent down a runway at a show that is showing mens’ fashion intended to be worn by men? Models who, unless you are very observant, could be mistaken for men. Because that I am not certain I have seen.

      Because this is a Bridal look. I don’t think that there is any question that this is a garment meant to be sold to and worn by a woman. The opposite gender equivalent would be cutting and styling a suit to be worn by a woman but intending to sell the suit to a man.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        That is an interesting question! I can’t think of any female models (wearing menswear) in menswear shows recently, but I can definitely think of lots of editorials where women have been styled as men. …But I’m guessing you’d draw a distinction between catwalk and editorial, yeah?

    • Kelly

      I…I…I don’t know how to feel when I look at this picture.

    • Barbara

      I am sorry I offended – that was not my intent.

      I will keep my uninformed opinions to myself in the future.

    • Jordan

      Simply beautiful!

    • Sus

      Gay men prefer forms that look like men. Women are curvier, naturally, and i think its beautiful. But in fashion it’s not that way. Curvy is ugly. Is this the message we want to be sending to growing girls? Most of whom will have, gasp, curves? We can ask why this skinny body type is “fashionable.” nothing wrong with saying that gay men like, or may be more likely to like, androgenous bodies. Why is there shame in that? That is the argument barbara was making. Barbara, nothing wrong with engaging in conversation. Don’t put yourself down. Peace and love :)

    • Alex

      @Barbara What do you mean, “yet if designers are allowed to use models such as this”? They can use who they like! god save us from a fashion dictatorship that starts policing gender ‘rules’. Personally, I’d like to see gender deconstructed, as it is used to preserve male privelige and keep women as an underclass, but that’s another issue.

      Andrej was plucked out of obscurity (and what must have been a traumatic childhood) and has been given the opportunity to do what he obviously loves doing, and yet there are people who would take his job away from him. Sheesh. Good luck to him whatever he models.

      And as for Andrej setting impossible ‘standards’ for women, perhaps everyone (including males) should learn to love their own bodies and appreciate their own unique qualities – fashion is fine, but not to be taken too seriously!

    • procurve

      boy in a dress in paris big deal.”phenomenal bones” aint really my thing.i wonder if his sycophants will still love him once he finishes his boyish growth spurt and perhaps bulks out.
      Off topic; folks do u n.b david bowie etc was cross dressing in the 70′s?yes.
      Womens fashion has become so ” aryan master race”.Just ask herve leger…..refuses greyhound models.
      Really, these days do designers think greyhounds&models are the same creatures.? From a ex fashion lover who refuses to buy fashion mags on principle till the “angry anorexic look” trend is over. I dont want my daughter admiring skeletons.