If once becoming a mother might have been the end or a prolonged pause in your career, today, motherhood is celebrated as a natural life cycle, even on the catwalks of Paris Couture Week. Could a ‘mummy moment’ become a new norm on the catwalks?
Following the shows of the on-going international Fashion Week calendar, which started with Men’s Fashion Week and continues with Paris Couture Week, the most joyful moment for me was Thursday photos of a Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha and her 2-year-old daughter Ioni Conran modelling together in Paris for Jean Paul Gaultier couture show. A supermodel and an LA modelling agency owner was sharing proud mamma moments with her Twitter followers praising her toddler daughter’s artistic abilities.
From the first sight, it’s a cute fashion moment, children are always adorable and a majority of the grown-ups in the audience must have loved it as well. In real life, it’s an enabling professional environment where a mother can bring her child to work, basically. It might be an exception, not the rule (little Ioni was wearing custom-made Jean Paul Gaultier at the end of the day), but it’s a positive example of change, taking into account current Rocha is also pregnant with her second child at Paris Couture Week.
We have seen models walking down the catwalks with their own or borrowed children before. Dolce & Gabbana dedicated their entire FW 2016 show to motherhood dressing pregnant and recent mothers with their children in head-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana for their artistic show. The change has been seen happening in a recent decade with a very positive element of a model humanization. If models used to be fictitious-like divas, they have become real-life girls, mothers and role models at different stages of life, of all ages and, hopefully, sizes.
Evidently, the #mummodel is not mainstream and it shouldn’t be. In fact, the hashtag as such is almost non-existent in Social Media. But if more designers will celebrate mothers and fathers with their children on the catwalks, the parenting stigma of sacrifice will fade. Karl Lagerfeld, for example, is one of the pioneers when it comes to childhood infusion in his shows. His now 9-year-old godson Hudson Kroenig, a son of a supermodel Brad Kroenig, has been modelling for Lagerfeld’s brands since he was three, together with his dad. Now Hudson is closing most of the fashion shows for Lagerfeld, including his recent couture show in Paris.
The fashion industry is often seen as elitist and sometimes exclusive as opposed to inclusive. It has suffered from sexual harassment scandals, modelling nightmares and sometimes unrealistic images of people. For once, it could lead a positive example and celebrate femininity at all stages of a woman’s life.