Sunday, November 18, 2012

Marks and Spencer: Real Women in Ads?

On one of my previous posts, I applauded M&S for its decision to give up the glossy "celeb" ( Lisa Snowden, Danni Minogue...) TV and online adverts for its women lines (apart from Autograph with Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely).   However, I think that they are far from the claim of using real women for their advertisements as if you look at the website, all the models are skinny and leggy and still impossibly pretty even if there is a definite variety of models (ethnicity).  They have mixed it up lately albeit on a superficial level but with regards to model shapes....they did not really have any "real" woman modelling.  Yes I understand models make the clothes look better but for me a curvy, around 5ft 5inch Chinese lady, I cannot really see how I would relate to a lot of what I see now.  Marks and Spencer for me has always been a bastion of fashionable clothes which  fitted my curvy shape but also looked stylish enough to get compliments without breaking the bank account.

My suggestion would be to get some ladies using the shape wear which they are promoting and see how these outfits can help women wear the clothes.  And I don't mean models but actual flesh and blood women who feel they need a little support from garments here and there to make them feel deservedly gorgeous in the dresses they want to wear.  Marks and Spencer does not and should not necessarily target the teen,  late teens/early 20s leggy fashionistas who want very trend and runway led fashion.  Their core markets as seen by the Autograph and Per Una ranges target the professional woman who do not all have leggy, sylph like figures. Their secret support range should not really be modeled by a model who for sure does not need such "secret support".  Please see below for a couple of examples:

1) Secret Support Colour Block Sateen Dress

Beautiful looking dress but I am not sure if any normal size 12 plus woman might have the same smooth lines especially with a sateen finish material that could be unforgiving on curves?

2)  Drop a Dress Size Bead Embellished Dress with Secret Support

Not sure where the secret support is needed and I am a bit unsure whether this model needs to "drop a dress size".

Please don't get me wrong....I love the idea of these dresses which are intended to give me and other ladies the confidence to wear beautiful dresses or skirts which we might originally be afraid to wear.  However, I am not sure that the current presentation is a real representation of what the garments are trying to be.  I don't feel that the models need any help and so I cannot see how effective such "secret support" would be.  There are so many pieces that I would love to try but am just a bit uninspired by the current presentation on the M&S website. (Ok, I am a bit shy of my lumps and bumps and so intimidated by the models wearing what I would like to wear!  I 'fess up and hold my hands up in the air!!)

Good start M&S but I do feel you need to try harder.  (Plus for having an Asian looking model in the shots.)  Don't get me wrong, I am already compiling a wishlist for a future post.....

Note:  Pictures come from the M&S website.

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