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Heroin chic

Related: heroin - chic - fashion - women

A fashion for pale, skinny models with dark sunken eyes and fine, blow-away hair gave rise to the term Heroin Chic. Much was made of the fact that the models looked ill because they really were taking lots of drugs and it was thought that they might encourage kids to do the same. But anyone who took a quick look at the genuine junkies begging on London's streets could see that this was clearly not the way to get the look. Models in 1994 were no more bulimic, nicotine-soaked or coked-up than before. Designers simply had a new look - and needed a catchphrase for it. --http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ilove/years/1994/fashion3.shtml [Jul 2004]

Key work of art: VB 35 (1998) - Vanessa Beecroft [Google gallery]

Twiggy, photo unidentified


In the mid 1990's a waif -looking, emaciated, and drug-addicted look became popularized in the fashion world. Pale skin, dark circles underneath eyes, and jutting bones were seen on runway models a part of the "heroin chic" look. Many people felt the models look ill and unhygenic. The 1997 advertising campaign of Calvin Klein showcased this look. The heroin chic look in fashion grew much controversy. Designers, Model Kate Moss, movies such as Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction were all blamed for glamourizing the heroin-chic look and lifestyle. Anti-drug groups protested. The overdose of fashion photographer Davide Sorrenti made the fashion world take notice. President Clinton made a speech in 1997 following Sorrenti's death, condemning the heroin chic look. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin_chic [Jul 2005]


Waif is used to described a very thin (almost unhealthy thin) looking person, usually a woman. The waif look was first introduced though in the 1960's with model Twiggy. She had big round eyes and a super thin body. The term "waif" seemed to be everywhere in the mid-nineties with Heroin chic fashion and models like Kate Moss and Jamie King on the runways and advertisements. Actresses like Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder and singer Celine Dion have all been pinned with the term.

Although many people have said the heroin chic look is out and so is the super-waif look, it is still apparent the waif look is popular in Hollywood. Wonderbra model Eva Herzigova has dealt with negative critism over her new waif-like figure. "Had Eva Herzigova climbed out of a coffin at a New York fashion show this week her appearance could hardly have been more shocking. The supermodel, looking like a throwback to the "heroin chic" era of waif-like undernourished models, was an X-ray of her old self, skeletally thin with greasy hair, blue lips, a cold sore and sunken eyes. Even a Wonderbra couldn't rescue the legendary "Hello Boys" boobs, shrunk now to oblivion." wrote Sue Carroll.

In 2005, stunned fans saw Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie become increasingly smaller and fire up a media storm over whether or not they have eating disorders.

Singer Dido recently slammed the waifs of Hollywood. "If these celebrities want to starve themselves, then that's their choice. But it's not for me and it's not a good example to set for easily influenced girls." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waif [Jul 2005]

see also: heroin - fashion - women

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