Covers & Content: May 2014

How did Canadian fashion magazines fare this month in terms of diversity? Read on for further details.


The Cover Star: Lorde

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: 2 editorials, both starring white models, making this issue a Whiteout Issue.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No. However, one editorial features 60-something model Linda Rodin! There was lots of other stuff we liked about this issue here.

Rose Byrne Elle Canada cover

The Cover Star: Rose Byrne

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No. There were three editorials this month, and none of them featured models of colour. This month was a Whiteout Issue.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No.


The Cover Star: Eva Mendes 

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: Latina/mixed race

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No.





Gloss over This: Rose Byrne


Actually, one of the few things that seem to faze Byrne is the persistent masculine slant in the entertainment industry. “I am always drawn to a female protagonist and delighted when I find something to watch like Girls, which is so great.” But despite Byrne’s success, she’s constantly being told that “they’re waiting to cast a guy” before she can be considered for a part. It’s a frustrating thing to hear. “But, you know, the world is round!” she shouts with a laugh, quoting fellow Aussie Cate Blanchett’s recent Oscar speech, which called for the industry to recognize the power of female leads. “It’s not just people complaining; it’s literally true,” says Byrne, explaining that she was on the committee for the Screen Actors Guild Actors Guild Awards a few years ago and had to consider every eligible performance. “There were, like, four to five pages for the lead actors, and only half a paper for the lead actresses. It was a stark reality right in front of me on paper. That was a really big reality check for me–it was quire depressing, to be honest.”

-Rose Byrne in “Wild Rose” by Kathryn Hudson in Elle Canada May 2014.

5 ‘Plus’ Floral Frocks

Here in Vancouver we are more than familiar with the old saying “April showers bring forth May flowers,” living in a rain forest on the West Coast….here are a few beautiful floral dresses perfect for those of you who wear ‘plus’ sizes to look sunny and bright even when it’s pouring outside.


Above: Kimmy Floral Illusion Midi Dress, found here.

This dress is SO perfect as the long sleeves will keep you wearing it into cooler seasons, and for now is perfect for warmer days and cooler nights–you can go out and not have to worry about quite so many layers. The dress is great with a nude heel as shown, and the many different colours give you so many options of which colour to bring out when you wear it.


Above: Joe Browns ‘Days Gone By’ Dress. Found here

Love the painterly quality of this floral print. It looks like a watercolour masterpiece that should be on display in a museum!

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 1.07.30 PM

One thing about florals is that more often than not they err on the side of sweet, dainty, and slightly more on the youthful side. The Shania Painterly Print Dress above dashes all those common floral pitfalls–you’re ready for a night out of fun with this bright, curve-hugging number.


Above: Joe Browns “Vintage Flower” dress, found here

The muted colours on the black background is so polished, and so versatile! With a wicker hand bag and flats it’s good enough for a weekend brunch, with patent pumps and bright accessories you could be ready for a wedding. We also  love the nod to vintage with this neckline-very Sophia Loren.


Above: Floral scuba knit dress by Forever 21, found here.

For those of you who loathe vintage, this pick is for you. The scuba fabric, the subtle overlay of the geometric shapes, and zipper keep this flowery dress in modern territory.

Gloss over This: Meghan Markle


Unlike many shows that typecast non-white characters, Markle–who is African-American, English and Irish–is not the token ethnic girl. “In the past, the dream girl would be blonde-haired and blue-eyed. It wouldn’t be me, who’s biracial and freckled,” she says.

– Meghan Markle in “Holding Court” by Mishal Cazmi in Fashion May 2014

Surprisingly REALLY Good: Fashion’s May 2014 Issue

It’s no secret that Fashion, “Canada’s No.1 Fashion and Beauty Magazine,” is a bit of a slacker in terms of diversity–they did an explicitly yellow-face spread in the April 2013 issue, yet only had two cover stars of colour. They also tied for last place with Elle Canada for having the fewest models of colour in their editorials during the 2013 publishing year.

However, the May issue of Fashion is actually (relatively) super-impressive. When it’s all said and done, this issue is still a Whiteout Issue–that is, it has a white person on the cover, and the two editorials star white models; persons of colour do not figure into the creative aspects of this issue at all in the sense of visual representation. That being said, there are interesting aspects of this issue that deserve some special notice. Here they are:

1. It stars Lorde on the cover, who is identifies as a feminist.

Above: Lupita Nyong’o’s speech on ‘dark beauty’ at the annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon is discussed in Francis’ column.

2. Article, “Beyond the Pale,” (p.106) by Jacquelyn Francis is focused on colourism.

3. Section “Teen Titans” (starts on p.125) focuses on young female activists and artists who are changing things up and making a difference. We’re especially excited about the brief piece on ballerina Michaela DePrince, which was quoted earlier this morning in Gloss over This.

4. Brief interview with actress Meghan Markle focuses on race and representations of women in television (p.136)

5. “Revolutionary Style” by Rea McNamara focuses on style for women who use wheelchairs.


6. Their first editorial (pictured above), “White Collar Time” stars Linda Rodin, who is in her sixties.

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