Iskra Lawrence (Anastasia Garcia for Straight/Curve/Globe and Mail Update)
Caitlin Agnew reports on Straight/Curve, a new film that looks beyond straight sized women, mostly caucasian
Making its debut June 21 on the U.S. cable network Epix, the film Straight/Curve tackles negative body image from inside the fashion world. “I started to notice a conversation shift within the industry and we really wanted to use the film as a bridge to bring this conversation to the general public and show them why it’s relevant to them,” says producer Jessica Lewis. The film features conversations with industry insiders who are promoting change in the fashion industry, from former advertising executive Seth Matlands, who proposed the American “Truth in Advertising Act,” to designers Christian Siriano and Chromat’s Becca McCharen, whose runway shows are known for their inclusivity.
Hailing from Toronto, Lewis began modelling at 15, making the catwalk rounds before shifting to curve modelling. Today, she is a writer and board-certified health coach. “It was incredible to see such diversity and such representation on a runway after walking so many runways globally that are just straight sized women, mostly caucasian. It gave me such hope,” she says.
In addition to exploring a lack of race, size and age diversity in fashion, director Jenny McQuaile takes on retouching and the excessive use of Photoshop to create unrealistic body imagery. “I think that my generation and the generation before that was so brainwashed as to how the human body looks when it’s moving,” says Lewis.
“People need to realize that’s not what a default body looks like fresh off of the camera,” adds associate producer Madison Schill.
Schill, who retired from her own modelling career at 19 due to health concerns brought on by the job, wants to spread the message that even the models seen in photographs are unhappy with the status quo. “None of us really felt comfortable having to maintain this kind of image of always being what we saw ourselves looking like in retouched images all the time,” she says. “We all realized that we’re in it together. Young girls can watch this film and realize that they don’t have to waste their time trying to achieve this ideal that really none of us feel comfortable with keeping up. We just want to be honest and beautiful.”
- Long time Toronto accessories purveyor Zane Aburaneh is launching Public, his debut handbag collection. Available June 16 at Zane, Aburaneh’s Queen West boutique, Public consists of colourful and functional totes, clutches and backpacks made locally using leather sourced in Spain. For more information, visit www.visitzane.com.
- IKEA and Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, a Toronto-based social enterprise that fosters new works by Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles and crafts, have partnered to co-create a handmade, limited-edition collection called Återställa. Now available exclusively in-store at Ikea’s Etobicoke location, the collection is made entirely from salvaged Ikea textiles. For more information, visit www.ikea.com/ca.