Plus size supermodel sensation; Ashley Graham became the first model beyond a size 12 to walk a Michael Kors runway yesterday, marking a monumental shift for a designer who has presented runway shows for more than three decades. Ahead of his show last fall, Kors cited logistical reasons for not casting women of a greater variety of sizes.
“The only reason we don’t have plus size on the runway, for me to have the range of sizes I would have to have a football stadium filled with clothes before I was able to put on a fashion show,” he told USA TODAY, explaining his casting choices. “I’d have to have everything from a size 2 to a size 18,” he says. “But in real life, all of these clothes are available in this wider range in sizes. We’re one of the few people who send designer clothes down the runway where we make a size 16.”
The theme of Kors’ Fall/Winter 2017 was “sensual strength,” according to the show’s press notes. To the designer, that meant little-to-no makeup, paired with lamé, flashy animal prints, sequins, sexy slits and other trappings of ’70s glam. Ashley Graham looked sensational in a grey knitted dress, slit to the thigh and cinched at the waist with a pow-wow belt. It is mightily rare to see curves that voluptuous – and she’s only a UK size 14 – in a show by a designer of Kors’ global fame and might.
Diversity definitely had a place on the runway as it featured the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner and also featured 43-year-old supermodel Amber Valletta. Meanwhile, the show was a redeeming moment for Bella Hadid, who famously fell on last year’s Michael Kors runway. In the front row, Blake Lively was still feeling the Valentine’s Day spirit with a springy dress covered in floral appliqués, watching the show with Vogue‘s Anna Wintour and sister Robyn Lively among many other fashion forcese.