Mizrahi was characteristically flamboyant, recounting the time he (unsucessfully) employed a stripper on the runway as a "real" woman, and the panel ultimately concurred the industry is still held to the impossible image of the ideal woman. On the other hand, Olsen was characteristically shy and mostly left the commentary up to Mizrahi and Givhan.
And we must say, we love Robin Givhan. Her sharp take on all things fashion had us tempted to raise an AMEN from our seats several times: that fashion is considered frivolous because it's largely a woman's field - no one questions thousand-dollar stadium tickets, yet a dress of the same price is considered ridiculous. Yes! Why is that?!
Much of the focus of the panel rested on the ubiquitously stylish first lady, Michelle Obama. Givhan's realistic take on her influence cited validation for the real woman over 30, but the persistence of the high fashion ideal that, aesthetically and financially, recession or not, "real" women or not, still holds strong.