Fashion, Designers, and Bears: Oh My!

If you step into the studio of any major fashion designer, you'll probably find yourself distracted from the clothes because you'll be checking out t
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If you step into the studio of any major fashion designer, you'll probably find yourself distracted from the clothes because you'll be checking out t
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If you step into the studio of any major fashion designer, you'll probably find yourself distracted from the clothes because you'll be checking out the design assistants. While it's certainly not required that employees should be attractive, hiply-coiffed, skinny, and obsessively stylish, it's not hard to pick out someone who "works in fashion" from the crowd. But today's New York Observer points out a growing trend - the "design bears." Increasingly, bearded, beefy, plaid-loving gay men are joining the ranks of the slim and effete in the world of fashion design. The article identifies Rob Seroka at RSRV, Robert Tagliapietra of Costello Tagliapietra, and stylist/designer Patrik Rzepski (who works with Sienna Miller and Maggie Gyllenhaal) as fashion "design bears," pointing out that their lumberjack-inspired personal style and appearance doesn't stand in the way of creating delicate and dainty womenswear designs. We think this is great, but we also wonder if the fashion world is as accepting of women who don't conform to the typical tall/thin/impeccably chic mold. At least now we know why everyone wears plaid this season! --ALISON COOL