image: Vogue

image: Vogue

What happens when you get ousted as editor from one of the world’s most prestigious fashion magazines? Well, you write about it, of course. Longtime Vogue Australia Editor Kirstie Clements was fired in May after 25 years of service at the magazine. Now, she has released a tell-all book called “The Vogue Factor.” In her new book, Clements claims models still regularly starve themselves to stay super skinny and some resort to eating tissues to help them feel full. Clements quotes an unnamed Russian model who told her over lunch that her roommate was a fit model (the body used by designers and around which the clothes are designed), “so she is in hospital on a drip a lot of the time.” 

Clements, who was Vogue Australia’s top editor for 13 years, recounts on one occasion she didn’t once see a top model eat a single meal on a three-day gig. Even worse, Clements recounted that on the last day of the job, the model could hardly hold herself up or keep her eyes open. She also claimed that “When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast in the overseas shows … the Vogue fashion office would say she’d become ‘Paris thin.’” Some critics believe “The Vogue Factor” is Clements way of exacting revenge after she was let go and replaced with former Harper’s Bazaar Australia editor Edwina McCann.

If that’s true, Clements isn’t alone. Imogen Edwards-Jones, who wrote “Fashion Babylon,” ruffled a few feathers in 2006 when that book unveiled some insights into the not-so glamorous world of runway models. For her book, Edwards-Jones used anonymous sources — three high-profile figures in the fashion world – to reveal that some models use “pile” cream to tighten the skin around their eyes, while others regularly take laxatives and diet pills to maintain a size 0 figure. The reporter-turned-author said, “You might be starving, drunk and high, with dried-up kidneys and the liver of a 55-year-old alcoholic, but just as long as you can make it down the catwalk looking fabulous, who cares?”