Instead of casting size 0-2 runway models this fall, Calvin Klein's using comparatively obese size 2-4's. Is this like the time they shifted sizes down so vain average people would feel skinny, and skinny girls would be nothing at all?
Is size zero finally falling out of vogue? And if it is, are we talking about the actual size, in inches (30-22-32 and 33-25-35 inches, Wikipedia tells me) or just the designation of "zero," which is a relatively new concept, anyway (fashion adjudicator of all things mainstream, the Gap, introduced its 0 in the '90s) and coincides with an upward creep in the numbers on the tags of women's clothes in general. (One fashion industry organization estimates that today's size 10 would have worn a 16 in her grandmother's day.)
Calvin Klein was, of course, at the heart of the invention of size zero, which happened some time after their heroin-chic Kate Moss campaigns taught us that the words "lovely" and "bones" go together. If the company's sizing up this week catches on, Calvin Klein will confirm that it's America's most talented inventor of female body trends. If it doesn't, it will just add to the general anxiety over body size. On an individual level, women worry they are too fat. And lately, on a social and industry-wide level, fashion has been worried that its women are too thin. And we all know the easiest way to soothe the anxieties of others: lying.
Besides, maybe size zeros don't want to be zeros. Maybe size zero ladies will stage a revolution of their own? Points out my colleague Brian Moylan, "I always thought 'size 0' was degrading... like these girls are so skinny, they don't even count." Heidi Klum has a similar stance: "A size zero? I've never heard of that. That didn't exist when I was growing up. When did that start? What does it mean? It means a person is not there, no? It makes no sense." [Fashionologie]