Letters From London
Humorous Views on London Culture, Royals, Gossip and Politics
Walk This Way - 22 September 2009

Walk This Way: Normal women can’t walk. Normal women’s thighs are too fleshy to walk.
Normal women are too heavy for 8” stilettos. Normal women need not apply. ‘Normal women’
being that euphemism for fashion reject. Oh it must be London Fashion Week and the ever mind-
numbing subject of skinny 14 year olds vs ‘normal women’ simply must be thrashed out in the
papers, on news programmes, on any and every radio and TV programme willing to bore us
comatose. But it is ‘the walk’ that has the botoxed anorexics talking.

Walk Away: Known for his signature body-con knits, Canadian designer Mark Fast has been
involved with the All Walks Beyond the Catwalk exhibition featuring models 18 to 65, sizes to 8 to
16. For his London fashion show, his use of ‘larger’ women sizes 12 and 14, whom the pubic at
large consider ‘normal’, caused his stylist to weigh in with “The walk is very important!” and then
walked out after Fast showed her the door. Then his managing director walked off after citing
“creative differences with regards to the casting of those girls”. Mon Dieu!

Walking in the Air: The catwalk-walk on the catwalk has transmuted into some sort of praying
mantis acrobatic mating dance. No longer left-toe-meets-right-heel, right-toe-meets-left-heel, left-
toe-meets-right-heel-whoops…until the model falls flat. It has been said that Naomi is ‘the best
walker’ and clearly the best ‘faller’ – in Vivienne Westwood ‘93.

Walking on a Dream: The three of Fast’s plus-sized models revealed ample thighs that met
together in the middle; ah touching thighs. Gosh. It’s no wonder they couldn’t do the verrrrrry
important walk. Chaffing surely is an unpleasant consequence of the compulsory robotic reaction
to lights, cameras, action. Ouch.

Walk of Life: ‘Stare straight ahead, ignore Anna’s newly coiffed silly helmet hair, purse lips a la
Victoria Beckham, repeat the mantra: “I am an empty vessel, I am an empty vessel…I am
merely a clothes hanger, I am merely a clothes hanger...I am a walker, I am a walker...I am a
damned lucky to be here, I am damned lucky to be here….” Fast has denied his use of plus
sized models were politically motivated or a publicity stunt. Hmmm.

Walk on By: Fat is the new black and black makes the fat look less fat. Oh it is all so
complicated. Puffed shoulders, shorts, bandeau tops, loose loud trousers, biker jackets, glitter
and sparkle, sequins and silver…and gold and bronze, leather, aprons, structure, fringe, pleats,
grunge…what is a fat, I mean normal woman to do? Not a pretty picture to come spring 2010.

Walking in Sunshine: But not to worry. If those with curves fail to master ‘the walk’ they can go
straight to university where they will be appreciated standing, sitting, walking. A senior academic
vice-chancellor of Buckingham University, Terence Kealey contributing to an item on ‘lust’
considered one of the ‘seven deadly sins of academia’ in
Times Higher Education, admitted:  
"Normal girls... will abjure their lecturers for the company of their peers, but most male lecturers
know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for
advice on her essays. What to do? Enjoy her! She's a perk... she will flaunt you her curves.
Which you should admire daily to spice up your sex, nightly, with the wife…as in Stringfellows,
you should look but not touch". Creepy. Run…don’t walk in your on trend trench coat over a
bustle – or perhaps a better choice – a fuchsia satin bustier and slouchy bootleg trousers… back
to the catwalk. It’s a safer fantasy.