The model casting for the FTL MODA show last night wins the award for most bad-ass. The Italian organization that promotes fashion production in Italy worked with London's Models of Diversity to cast physically challenged models for its "Loving You" finale collection. The agency was formed to give opportunities to disabled models all across Europe.
The collective fashion show featured designers from all over the world but were committed to luxury Italian manufacturing. Simply Vermeulen featured gorgeous silk prints. Rozalia Bot featured draped silks and bold floral embroidery. Landi Accessories was a leather bag company, so they sent their collection down the runway using the models as a literal canvas by splashing their bodies with white paint. Antonio Urzi sent out a spectacular metallic, alien-like collection that had hints of Paco Rabanna and Martian uniforms? It's no surprise that Lady Gaga and Rihanna are already clients.
The photographer's pit certainly appreciated the model casting, as amputees and beauties in wheelchairs were sincerely cheered in support. Graceful models who could spin their way around a wheelchair were able to extend shapely legs to show off gorgeous fabric prints. I love that the favorite models were the ones who could really pull off the fierce attitude to match the outfit and wild makeup.
I know that diversity has been a big push this season from the CFDA. So far this season, I can't say that I have seen much improvement as far ethnicity, age or size diversity. I AM happy to see that FTL MODA made a big statement to prove that isn't true for models facing physical challenges. I'm even more gratified to see this isn't the first fashion show where I have seen models of this demographic. The VAWK show in Toronto, blogger Jillian Mercado starring in Diesel ads and AHS star Jamie Brewer making her debut at NYFW are a part of what I hope isn't merely a trend.