History was made at New York Fashion Week when American fashion label OneStopPlus.com, which caters for women a UK size 16 and up, used "plus-sized" models on the catwalks.
Typically, New York Fashion Week only features size 6 models with their waif-like figures strutting their stuff but this year, there was a welcomed addition of women with real curves. Dozens of models, all between a UK size 12 to 14, strode down the catwalks and although a size 12 to 14 is hardly a plus-size when compared to the average woman, it is a refreshing break from the US size 0 that is unattainable for most of us.
Larger models have been gradually appearing in some of the biggest catwalk shows around the world and it seems that it is a welcomed change. The audience, which included which included Hairspray star Nikki Blonsky and Precious actress Gabourey Sidibe rose to its feet to applaud the models at the end of the OneStopPlus.come show.
Some critics have commented that if the fashion industry was really embracing plus-size models, then why are models like Lara Stone and Crystal Renn still the exception to the rule? Coupled with the fact that there was a separate catwalk show for a plus-size clothing brand, this may go to show that the fashion industry still sees curvier women as a distinct category from the other size-zero models.
The average dress size for a woman in the UK is a 16, however, very few of the top designers cater for women above a size 14. Some designers, including Marc Jacobs and Prada, included fuller-figured women in their shows for autumn this year and Mark Fast used size 12 and 14 models. Again, this is a step in the right direction.
There is still resistance to using larger models on the catwalk. Karl Lagerfeld and Julien Macdonald have said that it is "absurd" and "a joke" for the fashion industry to head in this direction. Organiser Nancy Le Winter said: 'It's simply about time that fashion speaks to all women. It is the first time that women can look around and say "I can wear that!"
Models Lizzie Miller and Toccara Jones were among the most prominent names on the catwalk.
Successful plus-size model Emme hosted the event, while America's Next Top Model winner Whitney Thompson was there to show her support.
What do you think? Is it good news or does the OneStopPlus.com show just reinforce negative messages about size?