No matter how much we have come forward in our pursuit for knowledge and wisdom, some people will always stick to their opinions. The problem is not related to having an opinion; we have a personal right to develop our opinions depending on what we have learnt and discovered. The problem arises when people try to impose their opinions on others. This negative attitude has led to a lot of stress and chaos in the society.
Sometimes, certain opinions are directly related to a class of people within the society. We become so involved in what we believe and trying to force it on others, that often, we intentionally or unintentionally become the reason for a negative trend and hurting others.
This entire conversation seems totally unrelated to the topic of dress forms. So, let’s come to the point. Dress forms are similar to mannequins but completely different in function. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, these two terms are not similar. Mannequins are used in the retail and garment industry to display clothing items and accessories. On the other hand, dress forms are used for stitching or sewing purposes. And, no, this is not the opinion I am talking about.
The most commonly used dress forms come in a standard size. How many of you have ever noticed a dress form not looking like a sleek model? The concept of size zero in the fashion industry is still carrying on and not many product lines serve to plus size clientele. That is the point; the belief in our society that being fat is unacceptable. This opinion has been ingrained in the minds of the previous and current generation so deep that it is quite difficult to convince people that being fat sometime has got nothing to do with being unhealthy.
It is not a common sight to see a plus size model on the runway. Most brands only cater to a certain size which hardly comes close to the plus size range. The magazine covers are always glossed over by size zero models.
While designing and sewing, thin looking dress forms are used. One can’t deny the fact that there are adjustable dress forms available in the market. These are quite usable. However, we need to begin the trend of using plus size dress forms because it is time we spread awareness among people to promote acceptance in the society.
A common question arises that why there is an absolute need to create plus size dress forms when we have the adjustable dress forms. A well-established fashion designer, stylist or stitching expert will easily tell you that most of the adjustable dress forms don’t extend to the true plus size. Moreover, the point is to make people accept the concept of body diversity.
Dress forms should be able to represent all kinds of body sizes. We have given rise to the concept that the garment and fashion industry should be promoting the ideal rather the real. In reality, the number of women who can adorn the clothes worn by waif models on the runway is too small. To be honest, the models we see have put in very hard efforts to achieve that unrealistic and unhealthy figure.
The effort to come up with real plus size dress forms can boost the confidence in many women around the world who are suffering from body image issues. Even though, the fashion and garment industry is openly promoting unrealistic standards of body sizes, many women and young girls look up to them as inspiration. It is more like a psychological phenomenon that a person unintentionally starts gravitating towards the things they are more exposed to.
Therefore, if the relevant industries try to support the realistic standards and include plus sizes as well, it can go a long way to change the dynamics of body image issues among women.
In the past few years, many fashion designers have realised the need to come up with realistic fits for plus sized women. however, finding a plus size mannequin and dress form for stitching is a difficult task.
Following the same dilemma, a couple of students from the Cornell University came up with a reliable solution some three years back. The students studied the 3D scans and prepared a mannequin to come up with the required shape and contours.
Usually the so called plus sizes are just scaled up versions of standard dress forms. This does not serve the right purpose as the scaling up of a smaller size does not produce the true plus size. Realistic plus size has its own shape and contours that can’t be achieved by twisting or just adjusting a completely different size.
Over the years, a few people have taken up the responsibility to represent plus size women in the fashion industry as well. Some of the rigid trends associated with size zero fashion are breaking but there is still a long distance to cover. The major change that is needed is to promote body diversity and to accept that the standards being used in the garment and style industry are far from realistic.
The sad thing is that most people can’t deny deep down that the standards represented by the industry are not realistic but they are so inspired by the idealistic version that they keep pushing themselves. This behaviour and attitude; sometimes from plus size women themselves, is quite unhealthy.
On the other hand, there is a faction of the group of plus sized women that are boldly standing against the society and the illogical rules and standards set by the fashion industry. Changing something as minute as the dress form (minute in sense what it means to a lay man) seems pointless but these minor changes pave the way for bigger changes in the society. dress forms have been a tool for designers for years and right tools can help come up with the right fit.