The blogosphere is abuzz about a photo-spread in the latest issue of fashion magazine
’s Paris edition, that shows girls as young as six, dressed in couture gowns, black stilettoes and lying in sexy poses on fur and tiger-skin rugs. Guest edited by fashion stalwart Tom Ford, the shoot titled Cadeaux, which translates as ‘gifts’ in English, is being labelled as ‘nothing less than paedophilia.’ “As if exploiting teenaged females wasn’t low enough. Now it’s more lucrative to dress up children in adult clothing. Apparently paedophilia is not a crime in the fashion industry,” says one among thousands of posts on websites that are strongly criticising these pictures.
Closer home too, editors and fashion critics say a line has been crossed. “All our editions strictly refuse to cast models under 18. Kids looking cute is different from portraying them as fashion models. Who are they kidding?” says Neena Haridas, managing editor
India. “We don’t even consider models, boys or girls, below 18,” says Pankhuri Singh of Elite Modelling agency. “To use children as adult models for shock value is just not done,” says fashion critic Umesh Jivnani.
“Fashion brands are now consciously focussing on kids. Big brands like Gucci, Burberry and even some Indian brands are doing designer lines for kids,” says Sujata Assomull Sippy, editor
Harper’s Bazaar India
. “Kid’s clothing is different. This is sheer commercialisation of children, much like what has started in reality shows too, where kids are made to dress up and dance like adults,” retorts Bhuwan Ribhu, national secretary of child right’s NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
There are some who support the shoot. “What’s the big deal?” writes international make-up artist Iggi C, who runs a popular blog Glamour Whore. “These girls simply look like we all did, when we were that age and played dress up.”
refused to comment on the matter.