The former editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia, Kirstie Clements, has penned a scathing book about her time fashion industry, in which she claims the pressure on models to stay thin is so intense that some women eat tissues to stave off hunger pangs.
Ms Clements, who was sacked last May after 25 years with the magazine, 13 of them as editor, makes the claim in her book The Vogue Factor.
Among the stories she recounts is that of a three-day Vogue shoot in Marrakesh during which the top model did not eat a single meal. By the final day, writes Ms Clements, the woman could barely stand up or keep her eyes open.
According to a report on the book in the International Business Times, a Russian model told the author that her flatmate was a “fit model” – a size used by design houses to test samples. As a result of avoiding solid food, she was “in hospital on a drip a lot of the time”.
If dieting did not sufficiently reduce their size, some fashion models would undergo breast reduction surgery in order to appear thinner, Ms Clements claims.
She also reveals that there are different measures of thinness in the fashion world. “When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast in the overseas shows… the Vogue fashion office would say she’d become ‘Paris thin’.”
The revelations by Ms Clements –who was unceremoniously dismissed and replaced with Edwina McCann, a former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Australia – follow similar claims by fashion industry insiders.
Amy Lemons, a former Vogue cover girl, said in 2010 that she saw models attempt to mask their hunger by eating cotton balls dipped in juice.