New York based, Canadian-born Christopher Lee Sauvé is known for his envelope-pushing designs. After all, he was the man responsible for the “Save Anna” shirts in the midst of Anna Wintour’s rumoured 2008 retirement, the current “I was touched by Terry” line as well as a print mimicking Rachel Zoe’s “I Die. Bananas.” (He was served with a cease and desist letter for that last one.) But all in all, his tongue-in-cheek slogans serve to do exactly what the fashion industry needs — to be poked fun at for the oh-so-serious handle it has on itself. No target is too big, but with his spin on Kate Moss’ infamous “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” quote, has he taken things too far?
The controversial T-shirt in question was stocked at The Bay, where it featured the supermodel's 2009 comment shown inside a mockup of a nutrition label with the calorie count listed as zero. But it seems the tee was too much for Canadian shoppers to handle and, after igniting some criticism online, the company tweeted from its official account that the T-shirt was being removed from stores and online immediately.
Obviously, The Bay has done the right thing in addressing its customers' concerns, but should this mocking shirt be taken so…seriously? Isn’t the message being twisted into an accusation that it's promoting eating disorders when, in fact, its intention is the very opposite? Sabrina Maddeaux at Now Toronto has an interesting take on how The Bay pulling this shirt is yet another example of its failure to support Canadian fashion. While I’m somewhat unable to see the correlation in this case, I can see how Sauvé's work is misconstrued.
In the wake of the news, the designer released his own statement, claiming the fashion industry is one that, "begs to be mocked."
"Fashion is created to be either celebrated, adored, or hated and deplored. Quite like the industry itself," said Sauvé. "The particular T-shirt in question showcases an infamous quote by supermodel Kate Moss as a nutrition label. Like all of my designs, it's a glorified warning, an ode to the farcicality of the fashion industry and the obsessives that surround it."
"Most if not all of my designs showcase some type of statement pointing out the absurdity of fashion, and this one item is no exception," he added. "I fully understand and comprehend the severity of an eating disorder and I do not condone celebrating such pain. My sincerest apologies to anyone that I have offended with my designs. I believe wholeheartedly in my work, however, and I can't apologize for that."
So, the jury is still out. Do you find this particular shirt to be an offensive glorification of modern day thinspiration or do you, like the designer himself, believe it to be a protest against the general absurdities that are commonplace in fashion?
Image via Christopher Lee Sauvé