Style & Then Some

Kids on the catwalk | Anais Gallagher

The fashion industry’s obsession with all things young and beautiful shows no sign of abating. Earlier this week The Daily Telegraph reported Anais Gallagher (daughter of Oasis front man Noel and ex-wife Meg Matthews) is set to launch her modelling career, having signed a contract with prestigious model agency Select.

In many senses, she is perfect for the profession: icy blonde, lithe-limbed and with previous modelling credits including a campaign for Paul Smith. Great. The only issue with it all is that she’s 11 years old and already being pitted as ‘the next Kate Moss’.

No doubt her celebrity credentials will stand young Anais in good stead – mum Meg has already tweeted a pic from her first test shoot with none other than Mario Testino and, age aside, it is stunning.  But isn’t there something quite curious about the fact that a girl can’t walk down a catwalk if she is under 16 and yet some of the biggest (and most controversial) campaigns of the past year have featured child stars – namely Hailee Steinfeld for Miu Miu and Elle Fanning for Marc Jacobs?

Granted, both the above landed their campaigns after some brilliant acting work and personify the youthful brands. And they aren’t the first. The long history of child stars moving into the world of modelling stretches as far back as Jodie Foster, after her turn in Bugsy Malone, or Brooke Shields in the 70’s following her role in Pretty Baby.

And yet it continues to niggle away at me that they are, legally at least, still children. Comparing an 11 year-old to one of the most iconic models of the 20th century seems daft (the fact that I can’t even publish a picture of her with this and yet her face could easily be plastered across a billboard in a year, even more so). But the nub of the issue isn’t prospective legal woes or fashion journalism’s institutionalised hyperbole – it’s the fact that the news sets a dangerous, if not impossible, precedent in the modelling industry.

What do you think – is the modelling industry straying into dangerous territory with child models? Tweet us @Style_ThenSome to let us know your thoughts

Picture credit: Ontario Fashion Week / REX features

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2012 by in And Then Some, Style and tagged , , , , , .
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