ann-sofie back’s plastic fantastic show
Eye-rolling was pretty much the de rigueur fashion response to the pack of young women dressed in skimpy garb, feather boas, and devil horns—accessorized with signs proclaiming “Ban size zero” and “BIG girls are sexy”—who paced back and forth outside London fashion week’s main tent on Sunday. But more subtle subversion was to be found at the Ann-Sofie Back show. Back, who regularly folds cultural criticism into her shows, styled her collection as a playful attack on surgically sculpted celebrities. The models sported bandages on their noses and surgical sutures under their brows, while the clothes had patterns that mimicked the markings plastic surgeons ink onto skin before operating and clasps inspired by the staples that hold incisions together during recovery. But while the audience was appreciative, the models did not get as rousing a response as the pro-zaftig activists, who were met with cheers of “I love big girls!” from passing blokes. R. Crumb would have applauded.