26 June 2006


girls who run from fittings to shows and back in new york's, paris's and milan's respective fashion weeks. girls whose pristine faces are applied with layers of makeup almost everyday. girls who wear clothes marketed for women ten years their senior.

fashion has an obsession with these girls. it preys on the young! now i won't go to the thirteen-, fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds. we'll concentrate on the sixteen and above, the barely legals.

the majority of today's high fashion models hail from eastern europe. current trends have also called for major scouting from the west. the main requisite: sylphlike, towering girls with arcanely beautiful faces. take note: girls, not women. fashion has few seats for those who are, in its terms, "old." it is through aesthetics and exquisite clothing that these girls are deceptively transformed into women. youth is paramount. rare is the agency who will sign you if your earth years equal twenty-five. and the burden this places on the girls? insurmountable. let's take a look at a handful of la mode's current juvenile style-slaves.

in the DNA camp, there's sixteen-year-old bette franke and seventeen-year-old sophie vlaming, both dutch. in one's current board are brazilian drielle valeretto and estonian claudia merikula, both sixteen. in supreme's very impressive roster is seventeen-year-old namibian behati prinsloo. elite proudly boasts seventeen-year-old canadian coco rocha. IMG stands out for its remarkable newcomers, including sixteen-year-old swede elin skoghagen.

girls scouted at early ages and meticulously groomed to perfection. girls whose bodies should fit size four couture gowns. girls who withstand every uncomfortable pose, too-small heel, and restrictive outfit in the best interests of, yes, fashion.

in an industry where health is second only to appearance, these girls are exposed to (if not already a part of) smoking, drug use, partying, and eating disorders. it's somewhat like high school, but instead of watchful faculty and staff, you're in the midst of critical agents, casting directors, photographers, and designers, adding a lot more gasoline to the once extinguishable bonfire.

marilyn's caroline trentini and IMG's gemma ward, both eighteen, are daughters of this leather-upholstered, rhinestone-encrusted, silk-crepe-georgette-swathed mill. they started out as very young girls, did their share of runway and print work, and made their way to the top. but like all others before their time, the mill could spit you out any day.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 12:56 AM