I think it’s so cool that fresh plus size boutiques are popping up online more and more often at the moment. Gabi of YFF unearthed the utterly awesome Kanak from Spain recently, and now Marie of The Curvy Fashionista has launched her own retail site, Marie Denee! Here are a few of my favourite offerings from her most recent lookbook:

Marie’s misson statement is to source the most fashionable and well constructed plus size clothes on offer. I think it’s fair to say she knows what she’s on about, having done her masters on the subject along with years of fashion retail and stylist experience.

The site launched today, I believe, so it is early days but absolutely one to watch. Congrats and best of luck, Marie D!

Hello! I’ve been super busy of late, unfortunately nothing to do with fashion. I’ve finally finished my album reviews for my friend Tiffany’s zine, Drunken Werewolf, so I am back to poring longingly over fashion week photos and adding plus size retailers’ awesome new looks to my winter wishlists! In the meantime, here’s a quickie outfit from Friday, featuring a new dress teamed with some old favourites:

Dress: Evans
Cardigan: Peacocks
Shoes: New Look
Bag: Primark

I finally caved and bought this dress after a whole summer of dithering, haha. Apparently I’m not the only one: check out the lovely Bloomie for her incredible take on it! I do love it, especially the length – though I can imagine a lot of taller women would have had to pass it up for the same reason, which is a shame. You know, I’m getting a bit sick of wearing that cropped cardigan, I admit it! It’s just that I’m not as far along on my body acceptance journey as I’d like, and the idea of going out in public with bare arms terrifies me. Ah well. My friend later tied the cardigan up at the back so it fitted as a shrug, though we didn’t have a camera by then!

Then we have the bag…

Oh dear. Seeing as the biker look is only fleeting (it looks like it’ll almost be gone by spring 2010) I didn’t feel like splashing out on expensive studded garments, so instead bought some pyramid studs for cheap on eBay and thought I’d do it DIY style. This bag had been languishing at the bottom of my drawer for years, so I thought it would be a decent practice run. Alas, my attempt at a heart shape didn’t exactly go to plan despite my methodical approach – it looks more like an arrowhead! But it’ll do for the time being. I just hope my sewing skills will fare better!

The whole LFW debate is starting to get tedious now, so I figure I’ll shoot a quick update. Alas, I’m still dreadfully poor – but that doesn’t stop a girl from spending ages trying on every dress in her favourite stores, right? The only difference being me leaving them all on the rack as I leave!

Dorothy Perkins:

Oh Dotty P, you’re like my best friend!

Monsoon are also pretty damn exquisite:

I love Monsoon, they’re truly timeless. I’d like to point out the sizes of those garments are UK14, UK20 and UK18 respectively – the first top is too small although could still work with a bit more confidence! The other dresses were actually on the larger side. As other fatsion bloggers such as Miss J have pointed out, it’s all about how it fits, not the number on the label. You’d be surprised at what can work on your body!

Alas, a follow up NYFW post is unlikely – unfortunately I seemed to acquire a life in the past couple of weeks! Fashion weeks wait for no one, however, so now we’re on to LFW: London Fashion Week.

And you know if there’s one thing us Brits adore, it’s a gimmick.

I’ve not been able to properly browse the pretty pictures thus far, but Amy of Wolf Whistle (who is covering LFW for fashion156) alerted me to Mark Fast‘s collection which featured three plus sized models. Not only that, but plus models dressed in his signature revealing, tight, knitted dresses:

Pretty neat, huh? Of course it can be argued that the models aren’t truly plus size, that it was a gimmick on MF’s behalf – and you would be right. But it’s definitely pleasant to see a wider variety of shapes on the runway, and all dressed equally to boot.

(According to style.com, the show’s original stylist actually quit out of disgust at using models from plus sized agencies on the runway. Loser! EDIT: Apparently the casting director walked out too. Here are some reports: GuardianJezebelBBC)

You know what else was completely awesome, perhaps even more awesome? PPQ using only models of colour in their collection:

Now I dislike the Geldof sisters as much as the next person, but I do generally give PPQ the benefit of the doubt, as they have a capsule range with Oli that goes up to a UK20 which is almost unheard of among hipster designers. With this collection, because the racism present in fashion is even more worrying to me than its refusal to endorse different body types, it’s refreshing to see women of colour represented in themselves as opposed to an ethnic token as they are in most other runway shows.

Like Mark Fast’s perusal of plus sized models, however, it’s quite likely a gimmick. And not only that, the models for PPQ seem to be almost hyper-ethniticed, with “big Nefertiti buns” and “tribal” prints. I’m coming from an position of privilege it’s not my call to make, but it does feel like the step forwards and the step backwards cancelled out what could have been something truly progressive. And that’s a real shame.

What is it with me, black belts and the colour purple recently? But yes, this dress. I had no intentions of buying this dress – in the photos and even on the hanger, I thought it looked odd and unworkable. I, like every other fatshionista on planet earth, was waiting with fervour for the Infamous Domino Dress instead. The day of the BD launch I took an extra half hour of my lunch break to run down to Marble Arch and try everything on (and I mean everything!) starting with That One. As it turned out, It fitted extremely awkwardly – too long in the body and sleeves and I, being a member of the IBTC, had nothing to fill the chest out with. The silhouette was all wrong as a result.

I hadn’t given any regard to the look of the swirl dress from the promo shots. On the hanger it did intrigue me, and once I’d slipped it on I just felt really good, like I’d been introduced to a future best friend. It’s loose, but because the fabric is so heavy it’s like it’s giving you a lovely, warm hug. It skims the body but doesn’t drown it, which is so rare in plus size clothing, I’m sure you’ll agree. And I had been hankering after a similar hood style for ages, but to no avail. And pockets! I love pockets. These are just the right length to keep my hands out of trouble.

Of course, I snapped it up. Along with another dress which I’ll leave for another post. Do I regret not persevering with That Dress? Not really. If anything I kind of got sick of looking at it after a while! I do regret not buying the cropped biker jacket, which has now sold out, so I’ll have to live vicariously through Val and Xtina!

Hooded dress: Beth Ditto for Evans
Black top: Peacocks
Belt: New Look
Boots: Schuh

Just a quick outfit update. If you were wondering (I doubt you were), this outfit is a good example of what my daily style is like: polka dots? Check! Cardigan? Check! Pencil skirt? Check! Opaque black tights? Check!

However, the belt and large brooch? That’s fairly new territory, my friends! I’m only recently learning to accessorise. Honestly. I was always, always steered away from accessorising growing up because of my body – I was short and round, and accessories would – gasp! – make me look even shorter and fatter. Oh noes! It’s only in the past couple of years I’ve realised that actually, my fat is what makes me look fat, so it really doesn’t matter what I pile on on top, does it? I’m still fairly conservative when it comes to bracelets, though.

Polka dot cardigan: TU at Sainsbury’s
Purple skirt: Evans
Fluffly deco brooch: Mikey
Belt and heels: New Look

Sometimes I wonder why I started blogging about fashion. Don’t get me wrong – I adore clothes, dressing up, pretty dresses, etc… but the fashion industry itself? Zero interest. I don’t think it’s possible to be less interested in who’s sitting in the front row, who’s modelling the clothes or what’s going on backstage than I am. All I care about is the pretty. And one thing I do know about fashion is that fashion weeks feature pretty on a very, very large scale.

So now I feel a duty to report on New York Fashion Week – which, if I’m not mistaken, is the first of the big Spring/Summer ’10 Ready To Wear events – I’m wondering how to condense all that pretty into something digestible. My answer is to use simple logic, and go in blindly: read no reviews or anecdotes about the designers. Go through every collection, save picture of the outfits I like best/want to copy most, count them up and put them in order. Bam! Instant chart countdown! Here we go, then. All photos courtesy of WWD:

Joint Number 5: BCBG Max Azria, Ruffian

BCBG Max Azria:

I’ve always liked Max Azria’s BCBG range more than Herve Leger. My favourite aspect of this collection was the disjointed dresses made of contrasting fabrics – something that’s been featured in almost every SS’10 collection so far. I wonder what name the fashionistas have termed it. “Fabric blocking?” Either way, it’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, I can’t believe it’s actually happening!

View full collection: here.


I’d not previously heard of Ruffian. I enjoyed their candy coloured military and punk details, but especially their victoriana collars and sleeves!

View full collection: here.

Number 4: Vivienne Tam

I’m an absolute sucker for butterflies, and they were all over Vivienne Tam’s show – from embroidered and sequinned ones fluttering on vests and dresses, butterfly printed lace, through to huge close up photo prints of butterfly wings. I think this is probably my favourite collection so far.

View full collection: here.

Joint Number 3: Mara Hoffman, Jason Wu, Andy & Debb

Andy & Debb:

Just a little Mad Men, no? I loved the simple, ladylike glamour of it all. And I’d never think to put maroon and duck egg blue together, but that middle outfit is utterly perfect to me.

View full collection: here.

Jason Wu:

Jason Wu, meanwhile, sat on the other end of the glamour scale. This was full on luxe, as showcased in the opulent settings (I do hope those models wore knickers) and in the maribou feathers adorning skirts and dresses alike. But I suppose he can relax in luxury, now he’s in with the with First Lady!

View full collection: here.

Mara Hoffman:

I think if I had gone by what I liked most, this would probably have been second to Vivienne Tam. It’s the colours. Look at them! Such utterly delicious hues – bright or pastel, and even thrown together they just work, like a visual feast. Nothing exemplary construction wise, but so gorgeous all the same.

View full collection: here.

Number 2: Whitney Eve

Yeah, I know. I’m sorry. I realise now it was one of the girls from The Hills, not that I’ve ever watched it, who everyone hates. Actually on second inspection Whitney Port’s set is much, much more ordinary than the other collections I favoured, but I’m still impressed with the colouring – more subtle than Mara Hoffman, it’s nonetheless incredibly pleasing to the eye. I want to hug the peplum dress, the colours on it are so pretty.

View full collection: here.

Aaaand… at number one…! *drumroll*

Number 1: Christian Siriano

Another US reality TV star – whoops! What can I say, I don’t know these peoples’ names! Should maybe have guessed the blue background had Project Runway connotations, though. But I genuinely enjoyed the drama, construction and colouring of this collection. The teal palette he used was completely sumptuous, and I loved the small details – chiffon peplum, overblown bubble hems… Liked the hats, too!

View full collection: here.

Well… That’s my view so far! I am very biased though, as I enjoy feminine looks. The abundance of chiffon, satin, draping and retro tailoring makes my heart leap!

What are your thoughts on this fashion week so far?

Like this.

I am currently in the middle of compiling my top 7 (it was meant to be top 5, but my HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC METHOD ended up with 7) NYFW SS10 RTW collections – holy acronyms, Batman! Can you wait? Er, yes you can.

Gah! Sorry for only posting intermittently, my lovelies. My life has been somewhat dull of late.

This weekend however was Offset Festival, one of the hundreds of independent music fests that pop up over the British summer. I have a soft spot for Offset though, not only for its line up but for the fact that it’s held in a forest ten minutes away from my house. Unfortunately though, unlike most festivals’ ‘practicality first, fashion second‘ motto Offset has the dubious honour of being made up of 98% hipsters and fashion hangers on. There was no way I could truly compete, and I didn’t particularly want to try, but here’s what I wore anyway – complete with fantastically awkward posing:

Leopard Print tunic/dress: Evans
Skirt: Dorothy Perkins
Belt: New Look
Cardi: TU at Sainsbury’s
Shoes: birthday present, but from Marks & Spencer!

Wow, how totally high street! Apologies for the grassy legs. I’m not sure I like this outfit on retrospect. The tunic is definitely made for a bigger bust than mine (I also noticed the glass stain prom dress from the Beth Ditto Evans range also featured the same bust construction, which is why I didn’t end up buying it). Ah well, you live and learn.

By the way, the photo was taken by my friend Amy who has just resurrected her awesome general fashion blog, Wolf Whistle. She took photos of loads of gorgeous people at the festival and will be doing a feature on it soon, check it out!

I’ve been featured at the excellent plus fashion blog Our Plus Style, along with Beth, Joy Nash and other very stylish ladies. Yay! I didn’t know of the blog before, but I love their polyvore sets…

Thanks Marieke!