Gossip frontwoman and former BUST cover girl Beth Ditto has a riot grrrl background and her personal fashion icon is Divine – “a drag queen who ate dog shit” – meaning she's a rebel who doesn't take any guff. In a recent NY Magazine interview, Ditto talks about being a “fat activist” and bringing her down-to-earth sensibilities to the fashion industry.
In the Vulture.com interview, she condemned the lack of ethical, attractive, and affordable clothing for bigger ladies–the body type that the fashion industry tends to ignore. Lamenting how her fashion line with UK retailer Evans didn’t meet her expectations, in regards to ethical production, she envisions her own dream clothing line, which would be the “IKEA of clothing…cheap, affordable, basic – but ethically made.” It sounds totally awesome, as long as it doesn’t come with those brain-meltingly puzzling instructions that accompany most IKEA products.
She also had a few gems to say about Chanel head Karl Lagerfeld, his comments about Adele (“she’s a little too fat”), and his generally terrible attitude towards anyone larger than runway size. She dismissed him, saying,
“First of all, Karl Lagerfeld is not even sane. Second of all, he’s not the end-all, be-all of what he does. He’s really talented, but that doesn’t mean he’s right. Third, Karl Lagerfeld used to be this really fat, eccentric dude. He always had that fat kid fan with him, too. To me, only a person who was fat could get away with saying something like that.”
At the same time, she noted that she and Adele, two of the most notable large ladies in the music industry, treat their bodies and size very differently. “I’m really proud of Adele,” she said, “but I can’t imagine being Adele.” While Adele tends to go with slightly conservative and non-sexual clothing, Ditto loves to flaunt her shape with formfitting fashions. “Sometimes I think about Mama Cass [from the Mamas and the Papas] and what she went through, and it must have been really hard being a big girl in the public eye back then," she says. "It was almost like she didn’t have a body, she was so de-sexualized.”
Ditto's fine with the fact that Gossip hasn't had a mainstream breakthrough in the United States – she likes being able to come home and “be completely anonymous.” Besides, she loves being popular in Germany, Gossip’s biggest market, exclaiming excitedly, “Every time we're over there, I think, This is what people used to say about David Hasselhoff!”
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)