Well hello there! Sorry for the radio silence (if any of you noticed). Trying to juggle a million different things and make a go of my job is totally draining, to be honest with you. I’ve not even dressed particularly well in the past month, hence the lack of OOTDs. Totally in need of a makeover, but that’s a whole other post, I expect.

I’ll tell you what else I’ve been doing a lot of: spending money. I had possibly the opposite of a Frugal Feb, and ordered a lot of clothing. In my defence, almost everything has been reduced/had discount vouchers, and knowing me over half of it will be going back anyway when it inevitably doesn’t fit! But In lieu of decent content, here’s what I am awaiting in my letterbox…

spendspree

1. Simply Be dress, £38
2. Yours secretary dress, £35
3. ASOS Curve polka dot dress, £28
4. Evans red bardot jumper, £3(!!)
5. ASOS Curve red velvet dress, £17
6. Evans polka dot courts, £25
7. Evans navy tights, £3
8. Evans berry tights, £3
9. Bijou Bijoux “Petit Faisan” hairclip, £9.95
10. Anna Scholz heart print sundress, £36
11. Yours pocket watch necklace, £12

You know what’s really awful? There are still things I’d like to buy – I’m obsessed with ASOS’ Wowzer dress and New Look’s sheer bird print shirt, but after this I really am going to watch my pennies. Scouts honour!


PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO

About five minutes after I completed my earlier post, Diana published her finished set of pictures that she took in her pop up studio at Plus London. Everyone had so much fun posing for her, as you will see! I had to share my faves with you – beware, this is VERY image heavy…

Just so you know, all the photos can be found here or here. All pictures are copyright The Second Floor Studio – you’re more than welcome to post them, link them etc, but if you could give a link back that’d be fab!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Caroline and Kirsty Lou

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Queen and Rianne of Evolve magazine

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
TEAM REDHEAD: Carla, Ellie, Sarah, Claire, Amy M. Someone said it looks like a promo for a BBC3 comedy. I would SO watch, haha

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Daphne and Love. Actually, you have to hand it to Daphne, she modelled something from EVERY sample rail! Look:

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
ASOS Curve

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Yours Clothing

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Carmakoma

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…And Anna Scholz. Someone get this girl a contract!

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Talk of should-be models, look at smouldering Nefferth! So beautiful.

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Siobhan and Sophie M, yay!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Kat and Femmie

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Mo looking adawbs.

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Anika!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Carla, posing like a pro :D

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO

Donna

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Valerie

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Isha looking lovely

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Yemi and Sian

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Cynthia

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Wendy and Amanda

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Melissa and Diana

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Naomi

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Deena and Katie

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Nadia

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Sharon and Cliff from Anna Scholz. What a lovely couple!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Miria, aka colour coordination QUEEN!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Beth and Katrin

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Anika, Nefferth, Gaelle-Vanessa and Daphne. Divas!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Gaelle-Vanessa has the cutest smile

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Devon

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Carla and Diana

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Val and Gaelle-Vanessa

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Aine, Steph and Sophie W

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Amy S, what a cutie!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Yemi and Sian – total outfit envy!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Carla and Devon with the stunning Marie of Carmakoma

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Lovely Sarah D, who donated Re/Action magazines – isn’t it awesome?

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Naomi and Amy S

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Sarah V being adorable

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Ellie

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Gemma and Tahlie

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Miria and her sister Lara, aww.

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
The essence of Steph, in one picture :D

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Katie and Daphne – Bond girls

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Michelle and Mel, loved these two!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Katie trying on Anna Scholz – born to model!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Lovely Maria

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Claire

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
Amy M

I suppose I might as well put in one of my photos, Diana is so good she makes even me look pretty!

PHOTO COPYRIGHT DIANA THOMPSON @ THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO

—ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT THE SECOND FLOOR STUDIO
You can of course use these pics, just as long as you link and credit :)


All bloggers together

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…

Me and Steph, By Ragini

Height difference :'( Me & Steph, by Ragini

Deena, Val, Gaelle-Vanessa and Daphne

Deena, Val, Gaelle-Vanessa and Daphne, by Deena

Me, Donna & Beth, by Amy

Me, Donna and Beth trying on matching dresses, by Amy

Really don't know what's going on here

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:

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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 and Devon in Evans

Beth, Katrin & Devon, by Nefferth

Setting up!

Emily, me, Devon & Marie setting up, by Georgina

Cherb's cupcakes!

Cherb's fab cupcakes! By Val

Champagne, nom!

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:

My outfit!

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.

Chatting beforehand

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!

Place starts filling up... :)

Crowd shot! By Marie

Epic photobomb is epic!

Photobombing Naomi, Claire, Amy M, Georgina, Wendy and Lauren, by Carla

Theresa, Morgaine & Katie

Theresa, Morgaine & Katie

Emily and I looking busy

Emily and I looking WELL busy, by Beth (i think)

Beth & Katrin

Beth & Katrin (with Marie & Maria in the background) by Carla

The lovely Cliff and Sharon from Anna Scholz

Sharon and Cliff from Anna Scholz, by Devon

Devon and Amy M

Devon & Amy M

Me trying Anna Scholz

Me in Anna Scholz, by Devon

Michelle, Mel & Nadia

Michelle, Mel & Nadia

Carla and Nadia

Carla, who took the photo, with Nadia

Val and Devon

Val & Devon

Cynthia in a Carmakoma gown

Cynthia trying on Carmakoma, by Katie... I think!

Me beaming by the Yours rail, haha!

Me, beaming by the Yours rail, by Ellie

Naomi and Amy S

Naomi and Amy S

Me, Beth, Sharon & Wendy in Anna Scholz!

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:
Torrid
Simply Be
Yours Clothing

For sponsoring the lovely champers and nibbles:
Plus Size Tall
Dicke Welten

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:
Anna Scholz
Carmakoma

For sending samples to be viewed by the guests:
ASOS Curve
H&M Inclusive
Yours Clothing
Torrid

For donating gifts, bags and blogger discounts:
Simply Be
Torrid
Carmakoma
Anna Scholz
Jibri (psst, those of you with blogs, please give me your emails!)
Bijou Bijoux
Domino Dollhouse
Re/Action Magazine
NSPCC

For doing the lovely graphics and brochure:
Katrin

For being my designated helpers, contacting sponsors, sorting accommodation & helping publicise the event or even just listen to me panic and whinge!
Val
Carla
Kat
Steph
Sophie

For your organisational expertise/baking industrial amounts of cupcakes/looking after me:
Cherb

For helping me set up and being my assistant on the night/viewing the venue with me & Cherb:
Emily
Jayne

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:
Mum
Steve
Pete

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.

YOU.

ARE.

AMAZING.

Goodnight!


I just can’t bring myself to write up fully about the day. It’s been over a week now, and on top of tying up loose ends and working 12 hour days, I just don’t have the brain capacity to do it justice. But at the same time I won’t be able to make another post on here if I don’t talk about it. So I’ll keep it brief, and I better get the negative stuff out the way first. I’ll keep it to its own post, so it’s out there, out of the way, and then I can concentrate on the positives, of which there were many!

There’s been some talk about this so I have to clear things up: Evans and Style369 didn’t sponsor the event – but please, please don’t bitch about it. It was 100% my fault that it didn’t happen. Both brands had no option but to pull out of their sponsorship after I made derogatory comments about Philip Green on twitter. They were planning to be much more involved and looked forward to meeting everyone, however it was due to my motormouth and lack of thought, when I know if I’d gone straight to them with my concerns they’d have answered me. But I didn’t, and as the biggest orchestrator of the meet up they just couldn’t be seen to endorse my views, and I absolutely accept that. I guess I’ve learned that when you have a platform, no matter how small, you don’t have the luxury of shooting your mouth off without consequences, and I’m just so sorry that because of me everyone else missed out.

As a side note, I feel like a hypocrite for getting in trouble complaining about store closures when the company I work for, Yours, are also closing shops around the country – and I am not at all happy about that, either. I suppose the difference is I’ve been able to tell Andrew (owner of Yours) face to face why I feel so strongly that it’s wrong, whereas I just resorted to the internet for other companies I don’t work for. I’m not going to lie, the drama did put a dampener on the event and has made me question whether I want to keep blogging in a personal capacity, especially now that I’ve been “bought”. I’m still not sure what my final answer is. But anyway. I am sorry. I think Evans/Style369 will be creating events of their own to get bloggers involved, so hopefully it won’t be too much of an opportunity that I ruined.



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Finally.

Okay, so my blog appears to be on a definite Simply Be slant this week, but I had to share this with you. I was sent a copy of their SS11 lookbook today (among the goodie bags donated to Plus London – so soon! Meep!) and my god, I am so impressed with it. It’s just stunning, completely fresh and YOUNG.

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It’s almost startling that a brand like Simply Be have managed to showcase clothes that women my age and younger wouldn’t look twice at when flicking through the catalogue, in a way that makes them fun, youthful & twee. JD Williams, twee! Who’dathunkit? I just think the stylist here has been a bit of a genius. See these for example:

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I’d expect these photos to be out of Teen Vogue or something. I love the styling, the poses. The lace trim parka and sundress is the kind of festival chic perfection I never thought I’d see come from somewhere that concentrates on plus sizes. That the model looks like a fuller Jameela Jamil probably helps give it a bit of an edge, though.

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Whenever I see lookbooks for plus size brands, I don’t feel I am being marketed to. Those pictures, those clothes, that fantasy is never for me. And I accept it, to a point, because I understand that the biggest demographic for these shops isnt me. It’s not the vocal, brash fatshionistas – or even the quiet indie girls who like alternative, indie fashion – who generate the most sales, but older women who want to look good but only ever within those hateful fashion restrictions that have been placed on them forever. Gok Wan is their fashion guru, when Anna Dello Russo is mine. Y’know? Like the earlier Carmakoma film, I love this lookbook because for once I feel a lookbook is actually taking to me, and not to my mum. Not even talking to my mum with a sly wink at me, like we have some little secret… me. Just me, and the things I like.

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Bravo Simply Be, Bravo!