Sophie Dahl: Fashion world forces models into child-sized clothes
Sophie Dahl, the voluptuous former catwalk queen turned writer, has criticised the fashion industry for forcing models to fit into "children" sized clothes.
The granddaughter of Roald Dahl said that one of the reasons fashion models had to be so skinny was because the clothes they were made to wear on fashion shoots and the catwalk were so tiny.
She said that the models had no choice but to be thin because otherwise they would not fit into the "samples" supplied by the fashion labels.
The 34-year-old mother-of-one was speaking at the Words in the Park literary festival in London where she was discussing her new cookery book From Season to Season.
In a talk with Mary McCartney, the photographer and daughter of the former Beatle Sir Paul, they were asked about the uneasy relationship between the fashion industry and food.
Miss McCartney, who has her own cookery book out called Food, said that one of the reasons models had to stay so slim was because the clothes sent by fashion houses, called samples, were so small.
Miss Dahl, who was credited with breaking the stick thin mould of fashion modelling, added: "The small sample thing is ridiculous. They are too small.
"They are like children's clothes."
She said that on fashion shoots she would rarely have time to eat because she was either posing for the camera or being fitted into clothes.
McCartney said the relationship with food varied from country to country.
In France she said they would stop a shoot for a long lunch but in New York and London they would work through the day without stopping.
Dahl was discovered by Isabella Blow, the Vogue stylist, sitting on a doorstep.
Dahl appeared in campaigns for Versace, Alexander McQueen, Patrick Cox, Pringle, Godiva, Banana Republic, and Gap, amongst others.
Her curves endeared her to the size 14 women of the world and despite Blow's blunt advice - "No more chips and puddings for you'' - she became fatter, not thinner, during the early stages of her modelling career.
Instead of cooking, she ate in restaurants. When she was at home, she ordered enough takeaway for two.
But during her twenties she slimmed down to a conventional model shape, losing her puppy fat.
In 2000, Dahl achieved a degree of notoriety when she was cast her in an advertisement for the Yves Saint-Laurent perfume brand Opium.
The ad featured a photograph of her posing nude on black satin.
It was removed from UK billboards after complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Dahl, who was the inspiration for the character Sophie in her grandfather's story The BFG, has since written a number of books and has recently branched out into cookery writing and presenting.
In 2010, her six-part cookery series entitled The Delicious Miss Dahl, which Dahl wrote and presented, was broadcast on BBC 2.
She also wrote and presented a television programme about the Victorian cook, Isabella Beeton which was transmitted on BBC2 last year.
She is patron of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, which preserves her grandfather's legacy.
The charity has recently been criticised for appealing to the public for money to renovate the author's writing shed in the garden of the family home.
She is married to the musician Jamie Cullum and they have a daughter named Lyra.