"Could you... maybe... look less real? Like, less human-looking?"

Cartoonish Versace honcho Donatella Versace has never been all that in touch with reality (what kind of pumps do you wear to rehab?), but lucky for her fashion designers don’t have to be.

As you know, Versace has collaborated with H&M on a capsule collection of affordably priced fashions, replete with eyeball-searing prints and studded everything. But just because Donatella made Versace’s look more affordable, doesn’t mean you lumpy, normal-bodied freaks out there should wear the designs in public.

So it goes, the New York Daily News was organizing a shoot to feature “real NYC women” in the Versace x H&M designs… which H&M stymied. The NYDN were justifiably confused, considering the ubiquity of “real [      ] wearing comically unrealistic [      ]” features in publications. [tagbox tag=”Donatella-Versace”]

When they pressed for explanation, this happened:

The H&M publicist initially explained by email that the “Model New Yorkers” photo feature could probably not go forward because Versace had to approve “anyone who wears the collection for press” — and, she added, “Donatella will likely not approve shooting the collection on real women.”

She was right. When the Daily News writer organizing the shoot sent the publicist photos of two of the three women he wanted to use — all recent college graduates who work in the city — the answer came back that only one was acceptable.

When the News writer asked for an explanation, he was told the woman who was rejected “doesn’t fit [Versace’s] branding.”

Please do point out the irony in this.

(UPDATE: H&M has responded.)