To say that the classic Hervé Léger bandage dress is form-fitting is to say that summer is warmer than winter: it’s beneath even Captain Obvious to mention. (If you’ve forgotten what they look like, it’s something like this.) That said, it’s still possible to shoot off one’s mouth about such things:
Some people just aren’t very nice. They try — oh God, they try — but sooner or later, the mask always slips. I’m not saying people who work at the luxury end of the fashion industry are any meaner than those who work in other professions, but I am saying they’re more blinkered. Over-paid, over-indulged and over-protected, some lost touch with reality a very long time ago.
Pity poor Patrick Couderc, brought back to reality with a jolt via that classic, tried-and-tested means of a P45. The former UK managing director of MJH Fashion, the London-based licensee of the Hervé Léger brand, was dismissed after telling a Sunday newspaper that “voluptuous” women and women with “very prominent hips and a very flat chest” should avoid the bandage-style dresses for which Hervé Léger is most famous. Then, after complaining that the style had become popular with reality TV stars (admitting he “refuses to give free dresses to celebrities if they are judged to lack sufficient class”), he topped off his body-shaming snobbery with a final dig at lesbians. “If you’re a committed lesbian and you are wearing trousers all your life, you won’t want to buy a Léger dress. Lesbians would want to be rather butch and leisurely.”
This latter, of course, runs afoul of the First Rule of Holes: “Stop digging.”
The corner office, of course, disavowed the entire exchange:
Parent company BCBGMAXAZRIA Group says it is “shocked and appalled” by Couderc’s comments: “The brand celebrates sensuality, glamour and femininity without discrimination.”
But that doesn’t mean they’re making a dress for you:
I don’t know which is sadder: that the people in charge of these companies feel this way, or that we, the customers, are so completely unsurprised. “A fashion designer who’s openly misogynistic and has no regard for any woman not built like a 2×4? What a shock,” was one typical comment on the internet, in response to Couderc’s comments. But then, as anyone who’s a size 18 or big-breasted or big-bottomed will attest, high-end designers have been practising body discrimination for aeons. It’s why they don’t stock clothing in your size.
And this outburst by Couderc is not likely to make them start, either.