It would be fair to say that Sophie Dahl has done a good job of remodelling the catwalk model, and to some extent the entire British fashion world.
Her current association with British Vogue magazine as a contributing editor will undoubtedly expand her influence, but she’s already been credited with changing the perceptions of both designers and fashion-conscious consumers.
Speaking last weekend at the London literary festival Words in the Park, Sophie made a few ‘cutting’ statements about the restrictions that designers tend to put on runway models. She commented that the samples offered for display on the catwalk are often so tiny that only a child (or an anorexic teenager) could fit into them; thus the preponderance of ultra-skinny models.
Sophie Dahl Cullum is now 34, married to musician Jamie Cullum and mother of a one-year-old daughter named Lyra. She is the granddaughter of acclaimed author Roald Dahl and incidentally was the inspiration for the heroine of his book ‘Big Friendly Giant’. Now she is launched on her own writing career, with two novels and her latest cookery contribution, ‘Season to Season’.
Sophie had her own modelling career during which she became a heroine for a lot of not-so-skinny women. She began as a ‘voluptuous’ figure who looked beautiful as a size 14, though she has slimmed down since her teens. Designer names such as Alexander McQueen, Versace, Godiva and Banana Republic, amongst others, have included her in their ad campaigns. Not surprisingly, research indicates that women are twice as likely to buy an item of clothing seen on a model in their own size range.