Plus Size Retailer, Taking Shape Goes

‘Skinny Bird Watching’ At London Fashion Week


Today marks the launch of London Fashion Week, the bi-annual celebration of style that will see the world’s media descend on the capital to discover the latest designer collections, adorning the bodies of the models of the moment.


A central focus for the fashion world, the three-day event sets the tone for the season, dictating what it means to look good. However, for many women this image of the size zero, skyscraper tall model is a far cry from their own reflection. In fact, the average woman in the UK is now a size 16*, yet the models that adorn the catwalks rarely venture above a size 6!


This disparity between the designer portrayal of the norm and what women really look like is a debate that continues to get tongues wagging. As LFW kicked off, Taking Shape the Australian born plus size fashion retailer delivered a fun infused stunt to get women chatting and challenging these beauty stereotypes.  


At 8am this morning, the Taking Shape Skinny Bird Watching Society congregated outside Somerset House – the heart and hub of London Fashion Week. Perching inside a cheeky pop-up hide, a group of ‘twitchers’,  binoculars at the ready and notebooks in hand, were eyes open, ready to spot the near extinct ‘skinny birds’ on display that have become the norm in fashion, despite their rarity in real life.


Launched in 2013 with the motto ‘Celebrate Your Curves’, Taking Shape believes that all women, whatever their size, deserve to look and feel amazing. Alla Buinowicz, Managing Director of Taking Shape expands on this mischievous stunt;


“We wanted to create a moment that contributes to the size debate in a fun, lighthearted way. These models are of course stunningly beautiful, and we totally recognise that, but in reality they are also a rarity! An exotic breed that for the majority of women in the UK, seems a million miles away from their own identity.


This super skinny focus is nothing new, and whilst designer uphold the look of endlessly long limbs and a tiny frame as being the norm, the rise of the plus-size fashion industry shows a change. The industry is now worth a massive $17.5 billion** and is continuing to grow. Retailers who embrace the plus-size market as being the true norm are reaping the rewards, yet designers seem to be clinging on to this unusual breed of woman. At Taking Shape, we’re all about fashion being fun, whatever size you are and we hope that this comical stunt will have encouraged designers to re-evaluate and join the party!


We’re not against thin models whatsoever, but with this fun activity, we are saying that we would love to see some fuller figured ladies gracing the catwalk. We want to empower women and make them understand that not being a size 6 doesn’t make them unusual or inferior – in fact, these super slim models are the ‘exotic birds’ of our culture. We hope women of all sizes and shapes, along with the fashion industry, will celebrate this stunt by embracing their beauty on mass! Let’s admire these ‘Skinny Birds’ and have a laugh together, safe in the knowledge that we are ALL beautiful!