All bloggers together, courtesy of Kirsty
STOP PRESS!!!! Diana’s photos are now up! They look AYMAYZING.
And now for the happy stuff! WOO! For all the other posts and round ups, please check out http://pluslondon.tumblr.com! Let’s start with pics from the day…
Height difference :'( Me & Steph, by Ragini
Deena, Val, Gaelle-Vanessa and Daphne, by Deena
Me, Donna and Beth trying on matching dresses, by Amy
No idea what's happening! Anika, Katrin, Beth, me and Devon
I was obviously incredibly nervous, as I’ve never done anything remotely like this before. But honestly, the day itself was nigh on perfect. There was an initial scare with the venue when Cherb and Sarah arrived at 11 to find no one there – turns out the staff don’t get there until 2pm on booking days, so they had to wait in the pub. Which is absolutely fine but for those scary 20 mins before I spoke to the venue manager I thought they’d forgotten, and was in a bit of a panic.
Really though, the entire day couldn’t have gone any better than I’d imagined. It was just so lovely to meet all these people I’d spoken to, give them all cuddles and just spend the entire day giggling and chatting. We started out at the Evans in Marble Arch where we tried on everything – unfortunately I had about £20 to my name so couldn’t even buy anything in Primark, our next stop! A lot of us then stopped for coffee in Starbucks – it was just so nice to sit and chat – then off to Hanover Square, although I had to stop everyone mid-walk to point out this:
French Connection’s new man is someone I used to work with and who knows a lot of my mates, so I delighted in shouting “I KNOW THAT GUY! HE DOES I.T. SUPPORT!!!” at everyone for 10 minutes. To be fair to Dan, he is also a really good musician and has been in some great bands etc etc etc, but the fact that he was tech support at SCEE is way funnier, right?
We then met up with everyone at Hanover Square for more chitchat and photos, which was lovely.
From there, Katrin, Beth and Devon joined me for Indian tapas at Imli, where the waiter apparently tried to woo me by showing me a video of an alien baby on my phone. Um…
After that, Devon, Beth and I went straight to the venue to meet Cherb and Emily, who had already started setting up. My parents turned up a little after me, with literally EVERYTHING: rails, clothes samples from Yours, ASOS Curve, H&M Inclusive and Torrid, hangers, champagne, food and goodie bags in their car! I seriously don’t know what I would have done without them! We all helped get everything set up while Diana and Geoff arrived with their equipment, Cliff and Sharon from Anna Scholz turned up (and Cliff had a tumble down the stairs with his rails, bless him!) as well as Marie from Carmakoma.
Beth, Katrin & Devon, by Nefferth
Emily, me, Devon & Marie setting up, by Georgina
Cherb's fab cupcakes! By Val
Champagne courtest of Plus Size Tall, by Marie
When things were about 90% sorted and it was nearly party time I eventually changed into my party dress:
Courtesy of Devon
Thank you so much Torrid for dressing me that evening! I originally declined their offer but they sent all the samples in my size in case I changed my mind… and this dress was AMAZING. I wasn’t particularly trendy on the day or evening, really. But I felt pretty, and that’s more important to me.
Emily, Cherb, me and Devon, by Marie
During the day I wore my Yours Clothing peter-pan collar tunic, with my Simply Be cardigan – wanted to get all the sponsors included! ;)
The event itself was like an absolute whirlwind. At first I greeted everyone with their goodie bags (they’ll be in another post!) but then my friend Emily took over so I could go and mingle. It was so awesome to speak to everyone, although I wish there had been more time as some guests I literally only got to say “hello” to! I did find time to get my photo taken, try on some Anna Scholz, and drink 5 glasses of champagne, haha! I just loved that Cliff and Sharon and Marie were there. I think it made a huge difference having their presence there along with all the lovely samples! Everyone was so, so excited by the clothes and loved trying things on! It was also brilliant for me to talk about the samples from our other sponsors as I’d been keeping them a secret until the night!
Crowd shot! By Marie
Photobombing Naomi, Claire, Amy M, Georgina, Wendy and Lauren, by Carla
Theresa, Morgaine & Katie
Emily and I looking WELL busy, by Beth (i think)
Beth & Katrin (with Marie & Maria in the background) by Carla
Sharon and Cliff from Anna Scholz, by Devon
Devon & Amy M
Me in Anna Scholz, by Devon
Michelle, Mel & Nadia
Carla, who took the photo, with Nadia
Val & Devon
Cynthia trying on Carmakoma, by Katie... I think!
Me, beaming by the Yours rail, by Ellie
Naomi and Amy S
Me, Beth, Sharon & Wendy, whose pic this is, in our Anna Scholz!
Towards the end everyone rounded up upstairs, and as a surprise Carla introduced me to do a speech and got everyone to applaud me, where I promptly burst into tears. I think the champagne had a bit to do with it, but mostly it was just sheer relief. I was just so relieved everyone seemed happy and having a good time, relief that everything had worked out okay despite previous drama, that sort of stuff. Anyway I think I blubbed a thanks to everyone for coming, and how being part of the blogging community has been a really positive experience for me, and that I was so glad the day had gone well.
After that things began to wind down, Cherb and Emily did ALL the clearing up bless them so it meant I had more time to chat. Once everything was packed up and we waited for a cab, Cherb brought me back a McDonalds chocolate milkshake and we packed up and went home, where I apparently made sex noises in my sleep, and kept hitting Carla in the face as I wasn’t used to sharing a bed.
And… that was it! I still can’t believe I did it, not when I take into account my anxiety issues and depression, etc. I literally can’t leave the house sometimes, and yet I go and do something like this?!
I think more than anything, it completely bowled me over just how positive, supportive and kind everyone was. There were NO egos, pretension or attitudes – we all instantly clicked like we’d been friends for years. It was just amazing. Amanda said it was like a sisterhood, and I really agree with that. I think because we’ve come from a place where we’ve had negativity directed at us because of how we look, we’re all really supportive and non-judgemental to each other, so there’s no bitching or infighting, which I love and makes me feel so proud to be a part of it all. In the end it was about us meeting each other and strengthening the community, rather than celebrating rampant consumerism that people mistakenly believe fashion blogs stand for.
Another thing that made me so happy was my mum meeting a few of you. As you might know, my mum is very big (same height as me and a size 30-32.) She HATES herself, she lives in black and sometimes feels I dress ridiculously for my size. The first thing she mentioned the next day was that “all the guests looked so lovely, they were so bright and colourful and pretty!”. I think it did her the world of good to see so many happy fat girls dressed amazingly in one place, so for that I am very thankful to you guys!
Last of all: I gotta hand it to my sponsors and helpers, I seriously could not have done this without them.
For sponsoring the wonderful venue that was perfect in every way:
For sponsoring the lovely champers and nibbles:
Plus Size Tall
For taking everyone’s pictures and unleashing the models in all of us!
Diana/The Second Floor Studio
For actually coming down to the event with samples and getting to meet everyone:
For sending samples to be viewed by the guests:
For donating gifts, bags and blogger discounts:
Jibri (psst, those of you with blogs, please give me your emails!)
For doing the lovely graphics and brochure:
For being my designated helpers, contacting sponsors, sorting accommodation & helping publicise the event or even just listen to me panic and whinge!
For your organisational expertise/baking industrial amounts of cupcakes/looking after me:
For helping me set up and being my assistant on the night/viewing the venue with me & Cherb:
For helping me assemble the bags/taking me to buy the clothing rails/getting the champagne for me/driving everything down/helping set up/putting up with me & my mess:
Okay. I think that’s everyone on the organisational side. My biggest thanks is reserved for everyone who came down and made the whole day a total blast.