Designer Alex Perry has been criticised for his use of skinny models on the runway already once in his career.
He has even said that it was a ‘serious lapse of judgment’ to use the stick-thin, then 21-year-old Cassi Van Den Dungen in 2014, whose frail appearance at his Australian Fashion Week show caused an uproar.
But at the Premium Runway 4 event at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) on Wednesday, presented by Harper’s BAZAAR and supported by Revlon at Priceline Pharmacy, model Holly Moore appeared in one of his designs looking even more frail than Van Den Dungen.
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Not so average: Despite the designer already once being called out for skinny models, model Holly Moore walked at Melbourne Fashion Festival on Wednesday in an Alex Perry design looking worryingly thin
Frail: Moore displayed extremely skinny legs and a protruding ribcage
In model company: The model posed with others from the show later on during the event
Moore sported a black mini dress with billowing sleeves and her outfit was completed with black stiletto heels and her very lean legs and ribs were visible through the cut-out dress.
The towering 5″11 model, who is represented by Debut Management, is described on her bio as being a dress size eight (Australian), with a 25 inch waist.
She has also walked for a number of other shows at VAMFF, including J’Aton Couture and Yeo Jin Bae.
On Thursday evening Perry scrambled to distance himself after Daily Mail Australia broke the story, telling the Adelaide Advertiser ‘I don’t have anything to do with the casting at that event.’
Visible ribs: The model sported a beautiful black dress with billowing sleeves and black stiletto heels
‘In the past I cast a girl who was too thin and I stood up for myself. I knew that I made a mistake. But I had nothing to do with this,’ he claimed.
A spokesperson for VAMFF released a statement on behalf of the event and Moore’s agency defending her, insisting she is healthy.
‘The Festival supports and encourages the use of healthy models on its runways and works with reputable agents that all support the Festival to enable this,’ the spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Already this week the Festival has seen naturally slim, athletic, seniors, fuller figure and petite models from diverse cultural nationalities take to our runways.’
Towering size eight: A spokesperson for VAMFF released a statement on behalf of the event and Moore’s agency defending her, insisting she is healthy
‘The Festival requires that any model participating in the Festival to model adult clothing must be at least 16 years of age or over.’
Perry said ‘whoever the casting director is, or the people who are involved with putting that show together, they need to put their hands up and say “This isn’t right”.’
‘Everybody has a responsibility. It’s up to the designers, the event organisers, the model’s agents. But everyone seems to get off scot-free. Like hang on, “Why are you promoting that girl?”
Public criticism: Perry previously faced criticism from the fashion industry for sending the then 21-year-old Cassi Van Den Dungen down the runway in 2014
‘If the girl never got out of the gates in the first place, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,’ he said.
A number of other designers including Carla Zampatti, Dion Lee and Martin Grant also presented collections at the same runway event.
Perry spoke recently about the Van Den Dungen scandal in the March 2016 issue of Australian Marie Claire: ‘I’d worked 16 hours; I was tired. It went through my mind that we should cancel, but I felt bad for her.
Unhappy model: Van Der Dungen told Perry that he threw her under the bus
Lapse in judgement: Perry said to Marie Claire that when he used Van Der Dungen, he has ‘worked for 16 hours’ and was exhausted
Bad press: Perry has publicly apologised for using Cassi Van Den Dungen in his 2014 show
‘But the pictures were worse than I could have imagined. She was in about 20 other shows, but I was the one that got pulled up for it.
‘She… told people I threw her under the bus.
‘I think she thinks I should have stood by her and said there’s nothing wrong with her. I don’t know if there is or not, but that wasn’t the image I wanted to portray.’
Perry was one of several designers who showed in the show which was presented by Harper’s BAZAAR and supported by Revlon at Priceline Pharmacy at Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Fashion Festival.