Not fussed about fashion

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
September 22, 2011, 12:25 AM GMT+0

Most of the British public who say they are 'interested in fashion' may be less enamoured with the high-fashion world than they think, our poll has found, as news from the last days of London Fashion Week continues to populate many a newspaper page and online blog in a frenzy of excitement over the latest designer showcase.

Significant proportions of Britons 'interested in fashion' say that they do not find ‘size zero’ models attractive, do not read the fashion pages of a magazine, newspaper or blog regularly, never buy designer clothing, and admire the style of music stars and even friends much more than that of fashion models and designers.

  • 85% think models who are said to be ‘size zero’ are unattractive (8% think that they are)
  • 71% say that they never read a ‘fashion’ blog (such as written by a model, designer, fashion writer etc)
  • 80% say that they never follow anyone like a model, designer or fashion writer on popular micro-blogging site Twitter
  • While one in five (20%) say that they most admire the style of an actor or actress, and 18% the style of someone they know, compared to the style of a model or designer (7%)
  • 43% say they never buy designer label clothing, while 37% say they own a few items
  • Just 2% say that ‘most of the clothing I buy is designer label’ – rising to 7% among men, and dropping to negligible levels (0%) among women
  • 63% say that they read the fashion pages of a magazine or a newspaper at least once a month, with 17% doing so once a week
  • However, 36% read fashion pages less than once a month, and 12% say they never do

London Fashion Week has been in full swing in the nation’s capital this week as numerous famous faces and fashion editors have flocked to the front rows for days of seeing and being seen, at shows featuring collections from well-known brands such as Burberry (93% of our respondents have heard of the name), to lesser-known stars like Temperley (only 17% have heard of it) to up –and-coming young designers hoping for a break.

Last night saw numerous designers and other revered fashion figures descend on Downing Street for an end-of-Fashion-Week reception. Samantha Cameron, herself lauded as a woman with style and dressed in a floor-length Jonathan Saunders gown (in case you were interested), welcomed such figures as designers Anya Hindmarch (of ‘I’m Not a Plastic Bag’ fame) and Tom Ford, model Erin O’Connor, iconic US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and Chairman of the British Fashion Council, Harold Tillman, among others.

London Fashion Week 2011 has so far passed without much debate on the ‘size zero’ models that so divide the public and fashion world (and which most of our respondents find unattractive), but in 2006, Madrid Fashion Week made headlines by banning models with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18. While fashion capital Milan followed suit, the Fashion Council in this country simply states that no ban is necessary, preferring to rule that as long as the models are over 16 years of age and healthy, they can appear on the catwalks.

London Fashion Week forms part of a yearly calendar of major weeks spanning the globe, featuring key shows in US fashion centre New York, Italian style hub Milan and finishing, of course, in the French capital of Paris.