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River Island is one of my favourite high street fashion shops. I’ve always admired their clothes… From afar. Even as a teen I was always one or two sizes too big to actually shop there. So the news that they will be releasing almost a hundred plus size items got me really excited. And then came their press release, announcing RI Curve. Here are some tweets that summarise the disappointment better than I can:

RI Curve’s development has taken the exact same trajectory as boohoo.com, Missguided, Dorothy Perkins, Mango and Forever 21’s plus size collections before them: initial excitement, puzzlement at the misuse of body positivity slogans/”real women”/references to curves in their teaser campaigns… And finally, the disappointment when the official announcement comes around, because they only service a smidgen of women beyond size 18. Bonus points if it’s only available in a sprinkle of shops – everyone else has to order online (a.k.a. pay the Fat Tax).

In RI Curve’s case, the collection stops at a size 24 (a US20), and will be available in ‘top stores’ only. So, you guessed it, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to waltz into your local River Island with your head held high and try before you buy.

Only time will tell if they complete the set and end up revealing 75 sad, lifeless imitations of their main range.

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Look, I’ve got no doubts that the team are working as hard as they can on this, that they believe in RI Curve and want it to succeed. And I genuinely think the collection will be fairly trendy, given River Island’s brand. Indeed, the working illustration looks great! (Although blazers and jeans are not my thing.)

But this just cements – for me at least – that there is still such a cognitive dissonance between what fat consumers want vs what the fashion industry are willing to give them.

What does a fashion-conscious fat babe want? They want to wear the same cool, on-trend and downright fabulous shit their friends wear. Surely the logical solution for a fashion retailer looking to harness fatties’ spending power is to introduce larger sizes to the clothes they’re already producing?

But, fashion brands don’t. They won’t – and they insist it’s because they can’t. So they dance like fuck around the issue and act like it’s the same thing.

Personally, I believe their resistance has more to do with brand management than any logistical excuses. Fashion-focused retailers have thin women as their main demographic, for better or worse. That is who they’re looking to please. That is who they are: even in plus size only retail head offices, it’s really rare to see someone who is actually plus sized. And as any fat person who’s walked into a mainstream fashion shop will know, thin women do not welcome you with open arms on the shop floor. (Obviously #notallthinwomen, and all that malarkey. But way, way more often than many think.)

With that in mind, is it any wonder attempts at opening established fashion brands up to big(ger) customers has to be kept separate, and dulled down? Think about it. If your brand rests on a very particular demographic who famously do not want to be associated with fat people, are you going to enable those same fat people to parade about wearing exactly the same outfits? (My god, I wish someone would. That’d be brilliant, wouldn’t it?) If you’re a multi-national retailer, are you going to create a PR nightmare and go up against the likes of Jamie fucking Oliver and fucking Jamelia (lol), to create nice clothes for fat people and ENCOURAGE OBESITY?! No, I guess you wouldn’t.

This is exactly why Beth Ditto’s new collection is so important – there are no restrictions like this. No advertisers or industry bods to consider, or market research featuring solely women who hate themselves to base their final designs on. It’s by fat people, for fat people. It makes all the difference in the world.

Straight size fashion brands want fabulous fatties’ money but they want to assuage their core customers’ fatphobia at the same time? Maybe they’d be better off leaving us to it. I’d rather that than one patronising, separate-and-inequal collection after another.

All in, or out.


I mean, bloggers are the new celebrities, right?

Recently, everyone’s been talking about Essena O’Neill, who turned around and called out her hugely successful social empire (and truly, it was an empire – her following rivaled populations of modest cities) as a sham. Whatever your thoughts on her epiphany – I’ve seen everything from celebration to outright derision – it’s opened up a lot of dialogue among bloggers and those in the industry which can never be a bad thing.

This story hit a little too close to home. I’ve spent much of this year taking time out from Pocket Rocket, a project that had previously been the best thing that ever happened to me. And a lot of it was for similar reasons.

Back in 2009, blogging and plus size fashion were burgeoning sub-cultures, both of them in their own ways on the cusp of something amazing. I wasn’t sure what, but I knew I wanted to be involved. So I set up this blog, and for four amazing years, it was the biggest positive force in my life. I can’t tell you, as someone who spent her teen years reading glossy magazines and wishing desperately to be among them, how freeing and powerful it felt to have my own voice, to show off my own style, completely outside of mainstream media. I was entirely in control of my own narrative, as was everyone that I was fortunate enough to meet and become friends with. I even met up with plus size fashion brands, speaking to them about their products and acting as a spokesperson for plus size women who actually wanted fashion (at the time I was the only plus size blogger within reaching distance of London, where most companies were based). I was wined and dined, and yeah, I did really enjoy it!

It was around 18 months into Pocket Rocket that I began noticing changes, as what had been a grassroots community evolved into something monetised, competitive and, well, capitalist. In hindsight, I realise I was witnessing the transfer of that incredible editorial control from the bloggers themselves to the fashion and advertising industries. Suddenly, it wasn’t enough to just write about fatness and show off what you wore. It was a means to an end: a modelling contract, or a job in the fashion business. It was no longer about defying a fatphobic culture but about fusing together body positivity and consumerism. It became a numbers game. Why would a brand want to work with someone who can’t sell their products to more than a handful of people?

The most important thing O’Neill said in her video was “To put your work out there, to share a part of yourself… And a number on the screen dictates that success, or that value? It’s ridiculous. [When I was 12] I thought because I had no followers, I meant nothing.

I have never, ever, thrived in a competitive culture. And I’ve been coming to terms recently with the fact that I am not efficient with my time. Nor am I particularly productive. So I was forced to stand back and watch those who could survive – whether through sheer-willpower, phenomenal talent, efficiency or having the luck of looking like a model to begin with (I would like to point out that lots of bloggers are blessed with all of these qualities in spades!) – sprint past me in terms of success. I hit the so-called jackpot – getting a job in advertising – only to see ridiculous demands put on bloggers for little more than a free product, day in, day out.

Experiencing both sides like that, as well as the downturn in my own blog’s audience, how could I not feel sad? How could I not feel ashamed and embarrassed, considering that the free lunches I’d enjoyed believing I could help make a small difference in plus size fashion (Ha! How ridiculous that sounds now!) actually accelerated the capitalist takeover of blogging and social media? My blog had gone from something that boosted my confidence every day, to yet another avenue of reminders that I was insignificant. That I meant nothing.

So, I quit. And I lived happily ever after… For about a week.

The fact is, without my blog to turn to, without Twitter to document those silly things I think to myself but don’t feel are important enough to text my friends about, without Instagram to take a photo of the trees outside my mum’s house or The Shard looking particularly awesome, I feel lost. This year without blogging has felt like the bottom of my world has fallen out. And I’ve realised that, no, I’ll never get on TV or a columnist job, or a modelling contract, or a book deal. But that’s okay, really.

This is my blog. It owes nothing to no one, and in this day and age that is so, so powerful. It makes me proud.


lane bryant's #imnoangel campaign. Their actual customers don't look like this.

You may meet people who wistfully assure you the plus size blogging community hasn’t always been like this. “It used to be so nice, until the drama queens showed up!” Pay them no heed. They’re liars.  All blogging scenes, and especially the plus size fashion niche, have always found themselves embroiled in a constant fliration with drama.

Even so, the past couple of weeks have been more tumultuous than usual, with two hashtag campaigns – #DropThePlus and Layne Bryant’s #ImNoAngel inciting a lot of heated debate.

I don’t need to explain what these campaigns were about, why they are ultimately wrong, and how the ways they reacted to criticism is a huge slap in the face to plus size women everywhere: Bethany and Amanda sum it all up brilliantly.

I guess what I want to add to the discussion, my small offering, is to reiterate that you do have the right to question, you do have the right to criticise, you do have the right to call to account.

This is so important to keep saying. Sometimes it feels simpler to turn the other cheek when someone or something in the plus size industry fucks up. The plus size world is so small that chances are you directly interact with the party responsible – in some cases, they might even be a friend. How do you confront a friend without upsetting them? Or it could be a brand you’ve had positive dealings with. What if you get struck off their PR list? Not only more superficial reasions such as those: what if you’re at a truly systematic disadvantage, e.g. a woman of colour who speaks up, only to get dismissed as an ‘angry black woman’?

Right now there are more options, clothing lines, events and initiatives for plus size women than ever, but it still accounts for small change compared to the luxury of choice afforded to our thinner pals. That makes it all the more important that as many of us as possible who are able (those of us who are free of stereotype and bold enough to speak out) to keep a critical eye on things do, and to highlight anything that we feel could be improved. Even more importantly, we support each other when people in the community are feeling disenfranchised and listen instead of dismissing them as mere haters or ungrateful.

We’ve pushed hard for change in the plus size fashion industry and slowly, it is happening – but it’ll never become the utopia we want if the only feedback heard is an enthusiastic thanks. And if we do speak out and are dismissed, the way we were by the folk behind #DropThePlus and #ImNoAngel? Then we can start to think, collectively, about ways to shop elsewhere.

You aren’t limited to feeling grateful. You are absolutely allowed to demand better and ask for more. We’ve got your back!


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By rights, I should never let a photo like this appear on my blog. My un-dyed hair hasn’t been washed since Thursday. My dress is creased from a day’s wear. I’m positioned in a way that you can see my epic back bulge (I have more cleavage at my back than I do at my front). I’m only wearing a bit of mascara and eyeliner.

There are no accessories. No clashing colours. No mixed patterns. Nothing extraordinary.

I recently saw a question posed to Bethany on ask.fm that said most successful UK bloggers were boring and didn’t deserve their success. It was an emotional day (the day my dress launched) and I came away and cried. I’ve little doubt that I was one of the bloggers implied, and I don’t blame them.

The thing is, yes, I’ve done phenomenal things with this blog – but you’ll never meet anyone who thinks I deserve the recognition I get less than I do. I didn’t start blogging because I wanted success, free clothes, invites to events. I didn’t start my blog because I believed I dressed better than other women, or that I had an innate sense of style. I started my blog because there was a conversation, one that excited me, and I wanted to contribute to it. That’s it.

Over the years, I have battled with myself to not delete the blog. I see that there are far better dressed, more intelligent, more politically savvy bloggers arising, not to mention women who are far more attractive than I. There are many times when I feel alienated and outcast from the community. I recognise that I don’t have anything particularly unique to contribute, and I’ve thought about passing the metaphorical baton to the next generation and stepping into the shadows.

But I do have something to contribute. There is point to this blog. And when I remember it, after a while of the purpose getting lost, it’s so visceral and powerful:

I am contributing to the canon of fat bodies and providing a narrative of someone living their life while fat, in an age when we are denied our voices at any cost.

Not fat bodies and lives in abject misery. Fat bodies and people who, despite the attempts of almost everyone, don’t quite despise themselves. Those of us who should stay in bed, hidden, but who every day wake up and get on with their day the best they can.

That’s why I’m still around, even if I’m not adventurous in my dress sense. I hope that people can find my blog, and through me find blogs of other fantastic people, and begin to feel that they aren’t alone. And, I hope that if someone is starting to feel like they aren’t a good fatty because they don’t have coiffured hair or have gone out in a dirty top or whatever, that they can see me on just an average, slobby day and know that they are totally fine.

Or maybe I should accept that it’s time to close shop.


UPDATE: According to Gemma’s Twitter, some pieces will now be available in sizes up to 32: “Just so everyone knows girls I’m here for you all you curvy ladies although some pieces are 24 were taking it up to a 32 #excited xxx” YAY! Thanks Gemma for listening.

You know, it’s been a while since I had a good old angry rant here on the blog. But here we are, yet again, with yet another spectacular fail by the fashion industry when it comes to plus size fashion.

You’ve heard of Gemma Collins? Actually those of you overseas probably haven’t, but she’s on one of the UK’s combinations of The Hills and Jersey Shore, set in Essex, which is very popular. The joke is that they are all rich but classless, and impossibly dim. And one of them, Gemma, is “fat”. I have to admit I’ve never seen the show – I live near where it’s filmed, and it’s embarrassing enough to see in real life let alone watch it on TV – but I’ve seen a few interviews with Gemma and she seems really nice, and pretty genuine.

In the past few months – after she lost loads of weight at a fat camp, which should have rung alarm bells – she’s been touted as the plus size fashion correspondent in the UK, appearing on chat shows and in magazines, talking about how hard it is to be fashionable as a plus size woman. Then it emerged she was “designing” her own plus size fashion line. Awesome! She did appearances with Simply Be, the store manager at Evans in Marble Arch had the entire Swan collection bagged up to give to her. She always looks nice (in the stereotypical Essex way, granted) which I took as a good sign. So now, the collection drops this week on her website. Here’s what she has to say about her collection from the press release:

I am so happy to be able to offer bigger girls a clothing range that they can show their curves off in – why should plus size girls be stuck wearing black and try to cover up? Just because you’re bigger it doesn’t mean you can’t dress well and be glam – girls should be proud of their figure no matter what size you are – I am!

And guess what the size range is, peeps?

16 – 22.

No, that’s not a typo. And that’s British sizing by the way, two ahead of US sizing. A US12-US18.

Yes, I’m angry. I’m confused. There are a few places on the high street that go up to 22 in their collections: Dorothy Perkins; Next; Tesco; TU at Sainsburys; H&M; Asda; M&Co; Forever 21 (+ range included), Marks & Spencer. And more that I can’t remember. Even her straight sized co-star, Lauren Goodger, had her straight sized fashion collection adapted up to size 32 by Simply Be. So why stop at 22? Are we supposed to believe it’s plus size because of the absence of smaller sizes? That doesn’t really wash, though, as the suppliers the collection is coming from sells the originals in sizes as small as 6 (US2).

Look, shopping over size 16 is difficult, but it’s once you head over size 22 that the doors are officially closed to you on the high street. Over size 22, you’re considered so repulsive by companies they don’t even want your money, unless it’s via a remote transaction online. And here we have the current plus size spokesperson of the country, doing the EXACT SAME THING. How can that be viewed as anything other than an insult, especially when it comes with such “empowering” talk? “…[you] should be proud of their figure no matter what size you are” – but only if you’re bigger up to an acceptable point, is that it?

A plus size collection that ends at a size 22 is not a plus size collection at all. As Em put so succinctly on twitter: Curvy, plus size, fat acceptance doesn’t stop at a size 22. It begins there.

You know, I genuinely don’t think this is all squarely on Gemma’s shoulders herself, but the team responsible for this collection – well done guys. You just alienated the same women who needed you most. Don’t believe me? Check out Joanna’s post. If you really felt that catering for sizes over 22 was untenable financially, or – and this will REALLY piss me off if it turns out to be the case – irresponsible in the face of an “obesity epidemic”, why did you frame it as an empowering collection, catering to plus size women who have been ignored (just not by all those high street shops I mentioned)?

Did you guys really think you could appropriate fatshionista language, our movement and goals for your own monetary gain, leave half of us out in the cold and think we wouldn’t notice or care?

I’m just so sick of it, people. I’m so sick of this faux-body-love-within-slightly-wider-limitations-than-usual for money. I’m sick of larger fats routinely being shut out of even plus size fashion stores. I’m sick of seeing the endless parade of white, cisgendered, straight women who are a bit (but not too much!) bigger than usual celebrities framing size acceptance in a sickeningly heteronormative, binarist and cissexist way: “real women have curves!” and “you know real men like girls with some meat on their bones!” being the oft-heard culprits. I’m tired of seeing people exclaim that they love their bodies while looking for the next fad diet that will change it completely, or being all for acceptance “unless you’re REALLY fat, then you’re a drain on the NHS.” And so on.

It’s been said that the collection has been picked up by a retailer. I just hope it’s Simply Be, who can do the same as with Ax Paris and Lauren Goodger and have the clothes made up to size 32 – at least.

Okay. Rant over now!


Do you need a laugh this morning? Well here’s one, via Marie. The plus size section of Ford, Ford+, has a new signing, Karolin Wolter:

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I just… I mean… LOL?

Apparently this lady was a “new face” for a season a couple of years ago, opening shows for Jil Sander and the like. It seems as though she has stopped fighting her body and chose her health over career, finding herself a size 4. A size 4 plus size model.

I just can’t even, you guys. I absolutely, 100% applaud her for taking that devastating step away from a glittering career and deciding to love instead of hate her body, I honestly do. To know that being true to yourself, looking after your health, means one of the most adored industries will turn its back on you and to do it anyway. That takes massive resolve and deserves a huge amount of respect. Nor do I have any doubt she’s an amazing model. But I think this proves just how ridiculous the fashion industry is being on the subject of plus size models. They will tow to popular opinion so they can boast about how open minded they are – but only on their narrow, insular terms.

That said, it could also be an olive branch to fashion fans who inevitably cry foul on any plus size model news story with “WHAT ABOUT SIZES 4, 6 AND 8?! WHY DO MODELS HAVE TO BE ANOREXIC OR OBESE*?!?!?! WHAT ABOUT IGNORED, HEALTHY, PERFECT ME?!” Hopefully this will satisfy them, at least for a while.

I hope, and think, that Karolin will inevitably wind up as a high fashion muse to highlight the industry’s ~diversity. Fair enough. But if I see her modelling for someone like Evans, or Simply Be? That’ll be a real slap in the face.

*Funnily enough, anorexia and fatness aren’t oxymorons. Fat people suffer from anorexia and other eating disorders, too. True story bro.


A few days ago a lovely lady on tumblr, Nanner, posted a screen-shot of Forever21 dresses and their plus size counterpart. She talked about how the plus size section was tacky, loud and crass compared to the “normal” range. It got me thinking about here in the UK, and the differences which I’ve talked about on twitter in the past. So, here are a few screenshots of different UK shops that have plus size collections.

I’m posting them without comment, because I want to know what you think. Do you see what I see? Which collections would you be more likely to shop from (assuming you could buy all of it if you wanted)?

Compare and Contrast

Image: screencap of some dresses available at New Look

New Look new dresses above. New Look Inspire (16 – 26) new dresses, below:

Compare and Contrast

Image: screencap of some dresses available in New Look's plus size section.

 

Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of Matalan's new in.

Matalan new in above. Matalan Plus new in below:

Compare and Contrast

Screencap of Matalan's new plus size offerings.


Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of M&Co's new dresses.

M&Co dresses above. M&Co plus size dresses, below:

Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of M&Co's plus size dresses.

 

Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of Tesco's new in. (Really want the star ptint shiffon shirt!)

Tesco new in above. Tesco True (16 – 28)  new in, below:

Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of Tesco's True range new in.


Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of ASOS' new arrivals.

ASOS new in clothing above. ASOS Curve (20 – 26) new in below:

Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of ASOS Curve's front page/new in.


Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of Very's new in, mostly Love Label (6 - 20)

Very new in above. Very So Fabulous! (16 – 32) new in below:

Compare and Contrast

Image: Screencap of Very's So Fabulous new in.


What do you think? I’d LOVE to know your thoughts on this, haha.


But really, it’s more than just that. It is a reminder, an explanation, and hopefully a little insight into a fashion conscious fat woman’s frustration.

The Red Dress.

Image: A model in a garden themed catwalk wears a red lace dress with sleeves and ballerina skirt. It's lovely.

At London fashion week for SS11, the beautiful ballerina inspired collection by Erdem was a definite highlight. For me (and it seems, a crap load of fashion editors) the Margot stood out. Not only was it extremely pretty, but it was unique without being alienating or un-copyable by the high street. It was inevitable that variations would find their way into every feminine fashion lover’s wardrobe by high summer.

The Red Dress.

Image: 4 of the many, many Margot interpretations on the UK high street: ASOS, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop and M&S

And it turned out right, of course. As well as the derivatives above, there were Margot dresses in Primark, Miss Selfridge, Matalan, River Island… I think even Tesco got in on the action.

Here’s the thing: not one of these dresses were available over a size UK22. Not one of the major plus size brands in the UK – or indeed, the world – thought to make their own version.

The Red Dress.

Image: a blonde plus size model wears Simply Be's version of Margot, almost a year after the original.

Finally, Simply Be have been the ones to include an homage to Margot as part of their Angel Ribbons collection in their Autumn catalogue (thanks LaCara for the heads up!). I don’t want this to seem like I’m having a moan at the Simply Be team, I’m not – I’m a huge fan and always have been, and I realise they work on a later schedule than most. But speaking generally, the fact that a plus size version of Margot is available just as the love for its original is dying down, after every straight sized girl and inbetweenie has had the privilege of choice and forgotten about it, just makes me so disappointed. Once again, plus size women have been sent to the back of the queue.

Not that I feel anything fashionable should be ditched as soon as the season is over, or anything like that. It doesn’t matter in the long run. And, if anything, this particular dress and case study is incredibly timeless. To me, though, it’s the principle. I feel part of the fashion fun is trying out trends alongside your Topshop wearing friends, not a season behind.

Erdem will be showcasing their SS12 collection next month. Will this pattern happen all over again? (Rhetorical question – of course it will.) Is the idea of producing something GENUINELY on trend and in the correct season so terrifying that brands wait until it’s been seen in every other shop before producing an option up to size 32? And if so, why?

 


warning: may be slightly triggering in terms of racial and fat phobic talk.

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Above is a photo of Tom Ford smiling (presumably through gritted teeth) with two fairly portly gentleman. They funded his movie, so I guess he had to.

Whenever the issue of plus size fashion, plus size models and fat women comes up in mainstream fashion press, there is initially some acceptance and support – but it’s always followed by a push back from the industry. In my attempts to laugh at designer’s attitudes I christen them with a LOL. There’s quite a collection now: Karl LOLerfeld. Julien MacLOLald (though he’s since seen the error of his ways, apparently). Henry HoLOLand (he also tweeted about a fashion critic who was fat, but can’t find it!). NicLOLa Formichetti is a recent recruit, saying that he did one shoot with three fat dudes and walked out, never to work with fat people again. He has since refuted that and put pictures of the fat models he’s worked with, including Scottee and Tara Lynn on his Facebook page – only it led to us seeing his actual profile, and that he’s actually one those douches that have profile pictures of ~comedy fat people~ for their friend’s amusement. What a catch!

And so, super slick, control freak, kinda misogynist ex-Gucci head Tom Ford has decided to join the club. Well, he does favour elitism and exclusivity, so it was only a matter of time, right?

This is an excerpt from his recent Time Out HK interview. Bolding mine:

I came to try on some clothes yesterday…
[Uncomfortably] And did they not fit?

I feel you’re designing for someone very slender, very tall…
I don’t agree with you, Kawai. I think I can put any dress on you and hem it to the right length and I think I can alter it and it’ll fit you.

But would it fit everybody?
Well, I have to say if we have to talk about things like this, Americans are too fat. And in London they are starting to get fat too. So I have to say that if we have to talk about race system and nationalism, I find it refreshing that everyone [who is] Chinese is slim. The only thing we changed [at Gucci] was the width of the nose bridge on eyeglasses because it won’t fit an Asian nose if it’s made for someone’s nose like mine. We changed the shoe width because, traditionally, in Asia, certain men and women have a wider foot in the front. Our buyers should be buying our shorter jackets. We made a kind of petite version, which my mother for example, 5ft 3in, or 5ft 2in, you could say she has an Asian body. Long torso, short legs and she’s 5ft 3in. She needs a kind of petite jacket. And she’s German and Irish. So I don’t know, you know?

Let’s move on. Enzo Ferrari would never sell his cars to somebody with bad taste. What does Tom Ford feel about this?
I don’t feel that way. But I do design for a specific person who appreciates… who’s probably thin, quite honestly. She takes care of herself. She understands the quality of a stitch, understands the quality of the fabric. She’s most likely urban. You know, my clothes are expensive. As I told you earlier on, I used to make jeans that cost US$50 here, and at this stage in my life, after 25 years in the fashion business, what interests me the most is the best. The best fabric, the best stitching, the best quality, and that is, by nature, expensive. It doesn’t mean I’m trying to exclude or make a social judgement about not wanting people who can’t afford my clothes to be stylish. By the way, style has nothing to do with money. And the fact that you [points at my dress] know who you are and are wearing something that’s different than anyone else in here who’s come in, even though [they are] traditionally Chinese, you’re the first person in China that I’ve seen in traditional Chinese clothes since I’ve been here. So that to me is exciting. Because you know who you are and you have your own character.

Thanks, but…
[Continuing] So what I’m doing now is more about style than fashion. So I wouldn’t say, no, I wouldn’t sell it to somebody I don’t like but because of the things that I’m designing they are targeted towards the kind of person that I would normally want to [dress].

So you’ve auto-selected your clients during the design process already…
I think one does do that when they design. You do design for a kind of ideal. The ideal comes from me, from menswear. I’m my muse. So no, you’re not gonna go in there and find elasticated waist bands and flip flops. Because I’m not that kind of person. So clearly I’m not going to sell that kind of person because we don’t have it.

First of all, i would like to say: what a prick. (haha)

In a perverse way though, his comments and observations – that all fat people are poor, and thus have no concept of luxury, tailoring or quality in all aspects of their lives, but especially in their clothing – are welcome. This is the true face, the underlying attitude, of the entire fashion industry. Certain factions may make tiny amends every now and again to generate a little more income in these difficult times but really, they have no interest in serving us no matter how many times we tell them we do have money to spend. Fashion doesn’t believe us; not only that, it believes even if we DID have the money, we don’t posses the taste to appreciate their “art”.

I don’t for a second think this has anything to do with sexuality, by the way. It’s just simple, old fashioned snobbery.

Oh well.


Lovedrobe

Image: Me, in my usual garden place surrounded by foliage, wearing a navy pleated tunic and nude heels. In a dodgy pose, as always.

Hiiiiiiii! It’s been a wee while – I was off on holiday last week to Cornwall. I have to admit I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did when I were younger, though the dismal weather may have played a part in that. Ah well. Next time I’m definitely heading abroad for my hols.

In a coincidence that is totally typical of my bad timing, this whole week will be featuring reviews from brands such as Lovedrobe, One Stop Plus, We Love Colors and Accessorize – just as debate is dying down on whether plus size bloggers should give air-time to brands just because they make stuff in their size. I especially love Sarah’s post – she is a fantastic blogger and one of my favourites. At the same time though I feel slightly guilty reading her post and the comments, because I do say yes to things (not everything, as there have been some incredibly dodgy asks of me!) such as review items and events. Shit, I even work for a plus size clothing company now!

I’ve thought quite a lot about why I’ve accepted the things I have. In the beginning it was down to sheer amazement that I was offered in the first place – which still remains, even to this day! Also, my parents were very dubious about what I was doing, and showing them these invitations and having parcels sent to me was proof that I was doing something that people had started to notice. I wanted to prove to them that I wasn’t wasting my time. Another reason? I’ve liked the clothes and the brands! Hard to believe, huh? Of course, none of them are perfect, and I walk into any shop hating half of it, liking some and desperately coveting another few – that happens in all shops, plus size, straight size, non-fashion related. So when I’ve been offered to take my pick of things to comment on and wear, then I am extremely happy to do so, especially if it saves me a few quid. At no point do I ever think any of the companies I’ve worked with are infallible or the answer to every fat girl’s fashion prayers. If I did I’d be a bleedin’ liar. Lastly, especially when it comes to events, I say yes because I get to hang out with my fellow bloggers. That’s the main thing for me. Even with Plus London, as amazed I was at the support I got from brands, it was always about getting to meet so many amazing people in real life who I felt like I knew. Y’know?

This has gotten FAR too talky and self absorbed, as always. Anyway… on to the outfit, and my first review of Lovedrobe!

Lovedrobe

Image: Same as above, in a slightly different and less awkward stance. I'm also half smiling this time - the horror!

Dress/Tunic: courtesy of Lovedrobe
Heels: New Look
Necklace: courtesy of Accessorize

I’ve really loved this dress by Lovedrobe. I have to admit, I’d not heard of them before they started a concession range in Evans – but it turns out they’ve been operating for almost 15 years. They have a huge selection available, and of course not all of it is to my taste, but there are more than a few items I’ve really liked by them.

This dress was one of their most popular looks and some of my fave bloggers have also worn this. First, the pluses: It looks SO nice! The colour is a beautiful rich navy, which is one of my favourites. I love the tiny vertical pleats that peter out at the hem, and billowy chiffon sleeves. It also has an underslip which is sewn into the dress along the neckline – it actually makes the garment feel much better quality than I’d have expected. The only downsides are that while it’s a decent length for me, taller women would have to wear it with leggings which is a shame. And also, it’s a basic tunic shape – the chiffon belt helps, but it would be nice for it to have been more fitted.

I thought it best to wear with neutral tones and let the colour speak for itself, hence the subdued shoes and necklace. I do like this look and have worn it a few times – including my latest Vogue Curvy video. You get to see it in action there! What do you reckon?