Models Direct Reviews Sacked Vogue Editor’s Revelations About Skinny Models

Models Direct reviews sacked Vogue editor Kirstie Clement’s new book ‘The Vogue Factor’…

Kirstie Clements reveals the scary truth behind size zero at Vogue
Kirstie Clements reveals the scary truth behind size zero at Vogue

Models Direct reviews sacked Vogue editor Kirstie Clements’ new book ‘The Vogue Factor’…

Models Direct were shocked when Kirstie Clements was sacked from her 13 year role as editor of Australian Vogue last year, but apparently not as shocked as she was. She says she had no idea that she would be out of a job in minutes when she walked into a meeting with bosses at the fashion giant one morning last May. But she held her head up and maintained her dignity.

After a total of 27 years in the industry Clements may be best remembered for banning the use of under-age models and speaking out about the issue of body image in relation to “the messages [Vogue] are sending”. Now she is the author of a book that is bound to ruffle a few feathers at one of the fashion industry’s most famous and successful publishing brands.

Graeme Lewsey from the Fashion Journal recently spoke to Clements on her move from Vogue Editor to exposé writer.

Graeme Lewsey (GL): “What was the process of putting the book together? What did you do? Did it come naturally?”

Kirstie Clements (KC): “Well, as everybody knows I was spectacularly fired! And the next day I was at my friend’s [house] and we were having a glass of champagne because that was the best thing to do and the phone call came from Melbourne University Press to say, “Would you like to write a book about your 27 years in the fashion industry?” And I said, because I was a bit shell-shocked and I was like, “Do you know I just got fired, did you know that?” And they said, “This is actually the perfect moment for you to write this book.” So, we stitched it up pretty quickly… We had that idea that if you left it too long it would be Kirstie who? Quite frankly, things move that fast.”

GL: “Did you find it was some sort of an emotional release?”

KC: “I did, yeah. For me I found it quite easy… until about two thirds of the way through – and I think this is true of all authors – you go, “This is the stupidest book that has ever been written. No one is going to read it, I’m bored, I’m boring myself.” It’s emotional at the end because my team was sort of swept out when I was… it was the end of an era of a beautiful collaborative team that I loved very much and who were very talented. So, it was kind of emotional at the end, yeah.”

GL: “If it was a tweet, how would you describe the book?”

KC: “In 140 characters? ‘It is a memoir. It is a tribute. It’s a slice of social history and it’s honest.’”
Part of that honesty consists of Clements exposing facts about the desperation of some models to remain dangerously thin. She writes: “When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast in the overseas shows… the Vogue fashion office would say she’d become “Paris thin”.”

She also reveals that models will go as far as eating tissues to make themselves feel full and mentions a fit model (one who provides the body for designers to work with) who was described as being “in hospital on a drip a lot of the time” in a way that suggested this is the norm.

The book is certainly an eye opener, but is it just the bitter ramblings of a woman with an axe to grind? Book review blog ‘Sam Still Reading’ says not and gives it 7.5 out of 10:

“I think the main theme I found reading this memoir is tact. Clements is tactful and discreet, even in situations that would have been hurtful (such as being sacked). She doesn’t share names or spell out who in the industry is horrible. As she states many times, there is an element to Vogue which is to uphold increasingly forgotten values (such as good manners). Nor is this memoir gushing or boastful (although a trip overseas with Giorgio Armani is again something the average person will never experience).

“Clements details many fashion shows, PR events, press trips, conferences and lavish functions. They are stated simply – no overload of detail or gushing of the expense, even though some of these events must have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars! She doesn’t go overboard either – not every season of every location’s fashion week is mentioned. There’s just enough to keep you interested and reading.”

Hear from the lady herself below