Velvet D’Amour, Visionary Beauty

You know I am a fan of Velvet D’amour, so I was thrilled to read an interview with her at 5 Resolutions.

Here are some of my favorite parts. From part one:

What do you think of the term “plus-size”?
Good question. I doubt it was easy coming up with a term to encompass clothes designated for people who are purportedly larger then the current norm, in an era when being so is hardly considered popular.

I recall as a fat child having my Mom take me to the HUSKY store, and that seemed rather humiliating at the time. I had initially pictured some Alaskan dogsled hideaway, but soon found myself amidst frighteningly outdated décor, with racks of polyester knit bellbottoms in puke green, or ‘KICK ME HARD’ red, guaranteed to ensure a wedgie or two, in a era where you were nothing if you didn’t wear straight cut Levi’s.

And this on reaction from the other models:

As to backstage, it’s funny because often people seem to perceive that behind the scenes was some sort of Showgirls atmosphere, with skinny teen models spiking my Evian, or bashing on the fatty, when in fact, everyone was quite sublime. As I am both a photographer and a model, I am accustomed to being around models and thus I don’t find it an intimidating atmosphere in the least.

Whilst models are esteemed by the general public to have it all, merely by the luck of the gene-pool, (and likewise, professed to have an attitude to accompany that), they more often than not grew up equally outcast by virtue of extreme height and thinness. Thus I find models tend to be quite sympathetic and kind/curious for the most part and this certainly held true backstage at the runway shows. Its an eclectic, buzzing atmosphere.

From part two:

The biggest obstacle to the promotion of healthy beauty within the fashion industry is the dependence fashion has on advertising. Since magazines are dependent on the advertisers to exist, this beholds them to adhering to what has become the yawningly boring average–thin, white, tall and young. The reason being is that ads are so costly that they fear taking risks and as such, the vision of beauty is preserved as not only unattainable (to promote the use of the materials being sold) but also staid, since they are afraid to rock the boat and want only what sells.

Clearly we can’t just blame the models for the status of societal beauty. And Velvet’s words provide food for thought for those industry folks who clearly are undernourished in the areas of real beauty and health.

For more on Velvet, check out her MySpace page — and this earlier interview, from which we get this grand quote from Velvet: “I love corsets. I love the sculptural quality I can get with my body through using them.”

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