"Diversity has fluctuated over the years. The '70s was actually a time when a significant number of girls on the runway were women of color, and that was a big trend, if you will, during the '70s and early '80s," Doonan said. "I think that is coming back, but it's coming back because of people like Bethann Hardison [and] Iman, who have been saying, 'Hey, what's happened to diversity on the runway?'"
Part of the reason for the cookie-cutter look that's currently in vogue at Fashion Week is an "emphasis on efficiency" that wasn't present until recently, Doonan added.
"I was looking at a Gaultier show from the early '90s, and it was 40 minutes long, just because girls kept dropping things, waving at people they knew, and it was a very kind of louche, eccentric affair, whereas now it's highly regimented," he said of the relaxed tone of earlier shows.
Another factor in the lack of individuality on the runway is the way makeup has changed, according to style icon and author Alice Carey.
"What I find today is there's an exaggeration of a slickness. You don't see the woman. That's what bothers me," Carey said. "I think it's fun. But you did see Iman, and you did see Beverly Johnson, and God knows back then you saw Suzy Parker. Today they kind of strut out, and they're just ... clotheshorses. I don't see an individual. I don't see a soul."
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