Models have always been a moot point in the fashion industry, they are either too fat, too skinny, too old or too young. When you think about it, these poor guys and gals have it hard in an extremely judgemental industry. The flack comes from both sides too, one being the designers and casting agents who’ll want them younger, taller and thinner while the other side (media, consumers, etc) will accuse them of being too young, too tall and too thin. The subject is a well discussed and debated one with some countries banning models from runways if their BMI’s are too low.
The latest model to blow the minds of designers, magazines and photographers is Andrej Pejic, an Australian model born in Serbia. This model is not just acquiring the spotlight because of her perfectly symmetrical face, sculpted cheekbones and chiselled body but also because Andrej Pejic happens to be a man. Designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galiano have been using Andrej on the runway for both their female and male collections. Andrej has recently featured in and on numerous fashion magazines such as New York Magazine, Dossier, Dazed & Confused and Vogue Australia as well as landing the #98 spot on FHM’s 100 sexiest women.
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The fashion world has spent years pushing boundaries with boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as boys and everything in between. Andrej is a new boundary to be explored and the fashion industry is loving it.
Personally, I think Andrej is doing a brilliant job of living. He’s using the industry to his advantage with double the amount of work available to him. Andrej is also doing a great deed for other men and women who aren’t sure, happy or content with the sex they were born as. Many could look at Andrej as a pioneer for androgynous men and women who desire to be just as easily accepted.
My only problem with this gorgeous human being has nothing to do with Andrej, my problem is with the designers. Women have had problems with the ‘ideal’ body type being typecast as tall, skinny hangers for years. Although some women are naturally like that, many have problems with that specific body type being labelled the only truly beautiful one and I can relate to that. I don’t know if I praise designers like Galiano (one of my favourites) and Gaultier when their show pieces (Gaultier’s wedding dress for example) are best worn by a man - Andrej. What does it say about a designer’s ability to dress a woman when the body type he’s displaying it on is that of a breastless, hipless man?
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I completely get the appeal of Andrej, he is strikingly beautiful both as a man and a woman and I definitely wouldn’t say no to an opportunity to photograph his amazing features. But when exactly did designers stop designing for the female figure? I’d love to see some of the top female couture designers thrown into a Project Runway challenge where they have to design for women with real figures. I wonder if they still remember how.