AFWskinnymodel.jpgAnother fashion week and what have we learned? Sadly going by the picture to the right it seems not very much. The skinny model debate has reared its ugly head again this time at Australian Fashion Week (AFW). Organisers and designers have come under fire for sending extremely thin models down the catwalks despite promises to "self-regulate".

Top designer Wayne Cooper has also come under scrutiny for defending Aussie models by labelling them as "porky" in comparison to European models. "All I know is that when you go to Europe and New York and see the castings, generally the girls are skinny as," he said. "I wouldn't say that's the representation of girls in Australia. I think, in a way, they've got more meat on their bones here." He obviously hasn't been paying attention to what's been traipsing down the catwalks then.

Despite asking modelling agencies not to use any models who they suspect are unnaturally thin or have an eating disorder, AFW organisers chose not to enforce the body mass index testing now being used in several fashion capitals. "If any designer has gone out to put unusually or unhealthy skinny models on the catwalk purposely to generate publicity, I will make sure that they never show at Australian Fashion Week again," said AFW boss Simon Lock. That's all very good and well Mr Lock but models who aren't healthy-looking are appearing on your catwalks and are sending mixed messages about what it is acceptable and what isn't.

As an Australian myself this appalls me. While AFW is often known for its sun-loving swimwear there should be an even greater responsibility to monitor what is being represented. The designers behind Azzollini, one of the shows most criticised for using "frighteningly thin" models at AFW, claim they make swimwear for all manner of sizes. So then what's their excuse for only using the smallest of sizes on their runway?

It makes my blood boil. When will designers and their counterparts sit up and take notice of what is really happening. Fashion may be fickle but its consequences can have long-lasting affects. [source]

Read more AFW coverage right here thanks to our Aussie blogger Helen Lee.

Related: Madrid bans skinny models | Australia bans "fat" models