BD_PRODUCT-04_1024x1024

Aaaaaaaaargh. There’d been rumblings for a while about reigning supreme fat babe Beth Ditto designing her own independent collection, but I didn’t let myself believe it. I just couldn’t deal with the disappointment if it never happened, you know?

BUT IT’S REAL. It’s happening! In February! There’s a website and everything! The collection was announced today with pictures of Beth looking incredible in her limited edition t-shirt with Jean Paul Gaultier (more on that later) and I’m so excited I think I might be sick. Also, please can we get the lowdown on that make up look as soon as?

I know that Beth has mentioned in interviews about the limitations of her Evans collections and how she wasn’t 100% happy with the process. Evans are a giant retailer, so it’s understandable that some amendments had to be made. What blows my mind is that Beth’s two Evans collections pushed SO MANY boundaries for plus size fashion, even with those limitations. Can you imagine what will be on offer now that she’s got full creative freedom?

The fact that she’s reached out to fat activists to be part of the team is also awesome. Specifically Jessica (Tangled Up In Lace, and the inventor of the fatkini), who remains an inspiration for when I’m getting dressed each day. I can’t think of many people who are more deserving of a gig like this. As it says in i-D magazine, the collection is “by us, for us” and by getting the fat community involved, it really feels like it.

BD_PRODUCT-03_1024x1024

As for the t-shirt itself, some have talked about it being problematic and/or boring, which, I mean, okay, but I don’t see why some are writing off the entire collection based off one t-shirt. This is a PR move and a savvy one at that. With a Proper Designer(TM) on board, the collection will be taken more seriously by the fashion press. Maybe I’m just bamboozled to see a genuine collaboration with an A+ fashion designer, I don’t know.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: the t-shirt (and, I’m assuming, the collection itself) fits up to size 32. In an age when every new “plus size boutique” launches with their backs turned on our size 26 and over sisters, this is a bold move. I’m for it.

What do you reckon? Have any of you gone and bought one? If so, TELL ME EVERYTHING.


Evans blogger brunch AW11

Bloggers together, smiling for the camera! Left to right: LaCara, Carla, Claire, Me, Laura, Rosie, Steph and Naomi. (Photo courtesy of Evans)

Oh, so bloody much for updating more frequently this month, eh? Being busy and then putting your back out for a weekend will do that, though. I just hope I’m well enough to attend Big Beach Bums on Saturday.

As you’ve seen around the blogosphere, a few of us were lucky enough to get invited down to Evans‘ AW11 presentation to see what they have planned. It’s always really exciting to have a nose at clothes (and in my case, figure out a budget plan which will enable me to save up and buy as much as possible when it comes out!). And lovely to meet the team and of course, hang out with other bloggers who I love dearly! This time around I met Laura and Rosie, who were adorable, as well as catching up with Carla, Steph, LaCara, Claire and Naomi!

Evans blogger brunch AW11

Image: The Evans AW showroom. Two mannequins stand to the left, one in a grey print wrap dress, and another a black tunic dress with large polka dot sleeves. There are two framed giant campaign photos leaning against the wall, and a table to the right featuring shoes and jewellery.

There’s not much I can add that hasn’t already been said by everyone, but I’ll ramble on anyway. The most exciting piece of news for me was that Evans and Style369 will be split, so that Style369 becomes a younger, faster, trendier look, and Evans will be more mature, classic and better quality*. They also told us about a dramatic shift in focus for Evans which they came up with after interviewing 10,000 customers, and finding that for most, clothes shopping is a terrifying experience for them. What they have planned is incredibly ambitious, and I think will be brilliant if they pull it off. Another little bit of news is that while there won’t be another Beth Ditto range (sob!) they are working in collaboration with another celeb – but it’s top secret so they couldn’t tell us who it is! Bets at the ready, yeah?

Evans blogger brunch AW11

Image: The Style369 section. Two mannequins to the right wear 40's style dresses, one with black and white polka dots, one with polka dots and floral patter. To the left is a rail containing the S369 samples which are very colourful.

I think all of us at the brunch would probably identify more with Style369 as we’re all about fast, colourful fashion and their rail was definitely my favourite. It included items from a range with Max C, who I absolutely love, including some gorgeous 1940s and art deco inspired dresses, and stuff like sheer floral crop tops. Naomi also asked the head designer Lisa Marie whether they would expand their sizes to 32 and the answer was YES. I’m really pleased about that!

Evans blogger brunch AW11

Image: My favourite Evans mannequin outfit. A pleated rust maxi skirt worn as a dress, with statement necklace, panelled black fake fur coat belted with a black leather waist belt, and big black boots. Look was inspired by Stevie Nicks!

That said, there were lots of things in the Evans collection that I loved too – fitted shift dresses, fake cur coats, military boots, and sparkly jumpers that were gorgeous. Although I did admit on the day that I was glad the Style369 rail was there, as if it wasn’t then I may have been  bit disappointed. But thankfully that’s not the case ;) I really hope they all make it to store!

Evans blogger brunch AW11

Image: Mannequins in the Evans AW showroom. Including a grey ruched empire line dress with sleeves and a long necklace; a grey and rust floral print maxi dress and charcoal boyfriend jacket; and a roll neck beige jumper over a maxi skirt the same pattern as the maxi dress.

It was just a lovely day and really nice to speak to the team again, even if I did end up chewing Lisa Marie Peacock’s ear off about music for ages. After that we headed off for pizza as it was Carla‘s birthday! We really do have such a laugh, and I hope we can all meet up again soon!

What do you guys think of the photos and news?

*ETA – the references to age were their words, not mine! There’s no age limit on either set of clothes. Wear what you like, age is about as relevant to style as size is (i.e. not one iota).

As I type this, it is approximately three days until Christmas. AAAAHHHHH! That said all my presents are wrapped and under the tree, so I’m not stressing – just massively excited!

Because I like window shopping and hypothetically spending money, I created a bumper Christmas “wishlist”. This year I took a lot of fashion risks, which was great – but along the way I think I lost sense of what my own personal style is. I think in essence it’s very vintage inspired in terms of shapes, colours, but not genuinely vintage. This is probably because I lack the patience or skill to go all-out vintage with the hair, and make-up (though eyeliner flicks are my speciality!) but I remain really havily influenced by it. Polka dots, kitch prints, bows, embellishments and kitten heels, because high heels cut off the blood circulation to my toes, making them go numb, so YAY for this years’ kitten heel renaissance!

Here’s a couple of collages of things that are definitely “me”, that I’d love to own…

em

From left to right:
Ambitious Endeavour dress, Modcloth; Polkadot Fit&Flare Dress, Dorothy Perkins; Casey Chiffon Embellished Cardi, Monsoon; Bow Ballet Pumps, Accessorize; Ruffled Cotton Dress, eShakti (WHY DON’T ESHAKTI DELIVER OUTSIDE THE US, GODDDD?!)

em2

Clockwise from top left:
Black Collar Boots, Evans; Leopard Print Cardi, H&M (BiB range); Lace Kitten Heels, Evans; Terracotta Fit&Flare Dress, ASOS; Leopard Print Shift Dress, Tesco (True range); Cropped Heart Cardigan, Beth Ditto at Evans; Baroque Shift Dress, Tesco (F&F Range); Grey Collar Boots, Evans

Here are some things that aren’t really my style at all, but I still covet them desperately:

nqm

Clockwise from left:
Floral Biker Dress, ASOS Curve; Leather Shift Dress, Tesco (F&F Range); Ettore Boots, Red or Dead; Khaki Aviator Jacket, Style369.com; Jarv Specs Necklace, Tatty Devine; Khaki Lace Up Boots, Style369.com; Peaches Logo Necklace, Tatty Devine; Blade Running Dress, Domino Dollhouse; Lace Kitty Ears, ASOS

I am so in love with all of these. I originally saw the Blade Running dress on Fashion To Figure, and saved a picture as “Tron Dress” – I love that Chubble Bubble named it after another sci-fi classic! I tried on the khaki boots in Evans the other day and they looked fantastic. But I have hardly any brown or khaki in my wardrobe so…

And I couldn’t leave these babies out…

tech

Ah, a girl can dream, right? Just because my poor, geriatric workhorse of a laptop is gradually submitting to technical arthritis. As it is I have to set aside an entire hour for it to load up properly, and even then every time I click something it has to scratch its bum and sigh, before eventually shuffling over and doing what I asked. Bless it.

And if you happened to notice that I only ever did one video for Vogue Curvy, you’re right. It wasn’t supposed to be a one-off, but my lack of video camera has totally hindered my plans for the rest of the year. First thing I’m treating myself to is a camcorder so I can get back on it – I mean HELLO, as if I’d give up an opportunity to be on Vogue Frickin’ Italia!

Hope you’re looking forward to Christmas!


BDdesktop

London Fashion Week can fark off. As you all must know, on Friday the second Beth Ditto at Evans collection launched, both online and in two London stores. The fatosphere exploded when the website went live on Thursday evening, earning the #dittowatch hashtag and numerous blog posts. Since I was commuting distance to Marble Arch I couldn’t not go and check it out, could I?

As it turned out, Evans’ PR were in the store interviewing and photographing people, so I was featured on Evans’ blog and VIDEOED OMG along with the lovely Marie about our thoughts on the collection! Sadly I had to run before Nicolette and Sakina arrived to interview Beth for Vogue Curvy (Speaking of which, I have a couple of stores lined up for VC and should be shooting in the next few weeks, hurray!), as I was off for job interviews before meeting Messy Carla for an adventure which will be revealed in another post!

MY THOUGHTS ON THE COLLECTION:

  • Much more subdued in colour than the 1st – BUT, the garments themselves are actually more catwalk-inspired and genuinely fashionable than before.
  • The range is so, so much better in person than online. I wasn’t very keen having looked at the site, but in real life they really do look good.
  • There’s an emphasis on garment shape and silhouette in this collection, which wasn’t present last time. It’s always nice to see a hint of tailoring in plus sizes!

The biggest disappointment is the lack of representation for the butches. Tamsin asked me to see if there was anything, perhaps a good pair of jeans or a cool shirt, but most of the range is ultra girly. A few things are slightly less femme: the unisex hanky hem top, the polka dot t-shirt, hooded cape, high-waisted jeans and the lightning bolt jumper, but the majority of the collection is very, very much on the feminine side. I know that Beth herself is absolutely a femme, and that a person’s sexuality shouldn’t be a key part of their designs. But it does feel sad that someone who is such a prominent figure in the queer community has side-stepped quite a few of her fans and friends.

Overall, while it’s not as BOOM!POW! as the last Beth Ditto collection and slightly more pedestrian, it is still the most dynamic and unique clothing range available in sizes UK28 – 32. Sure, ASOS Curve has stolen a bit of Beth’s thunder since its launch, but those of us around the UK18-22 mark can’t just assume “plus size” begins at 14 and ends at 26. There are a great deal of people who need bigger sizes than that, and who are even more isolated when it comes to expressing themselves through clothes than most. They shouldn’t be forgotten!

The only niggle I have with the collection being more down to earth than previously is that it feels less like a super duper special range, and more like the type of clothes Evans should be making all year round anyway.

As most of you buying the range are overseas, I thought it’d be a good idea for me to try stuff from the range and see how it fitted – who knows, it might help you! For your information, I’m 5’1″ and a size UK20-UK22. Oh, and I have tiny boobs and a massive bum. The much more curvalicious Em went down yesterday to see how they fit her hourglass frame, so keep an eye on her blog! If you have any questions, feel free to comment here or tweet me!

Click the elipsis for my dressing room pics:

Continue reading


Some fairly interesting bits and bobs are happening around the plus sized fashion world at the moment…

The Second Coming of Ditto

beth_floral-dress

Image courtesy of evans.co.uk

The most exciting event for us fatshionistas is upon us! Beth Ditto’s second range for Evans launches this Friday – at a pop up store in Selfridges, no less. Yes, THAT Selfridges, which stopped stocking plus sizes as they weren’t right for the store’s image. Change of heart, darlings?

I’m so excited, the photos look great and all the clothes seem very inspired by current trends albeit with a bit less all out glitz. Check out Val‘s blog which has a scan of some of the collection featured in Look magazine. My favourite items are the black and red dress, as well as the velvet drape dress. Gorgeous.

I’ll be heading down to Selfridges at some point on Friday afternoon to try on absolutely everything – let me know if you’re heading down!

NYFW’s First Plus Sized Fashion Show

Also rather impressive is One Stop Plus cornering a little of New York Fashion Week for their own catwalk show. It sounds to me like a slightly “equal but different” affair, and the idea of a runway show having a red carpet is a little OTT in my opinion. To be bluntly honest, I’m concerned that it’s more about showcasing plus size models than it is about actual high fashion. If I were to choose between having runway shows at major fashion weeks with bigger models in drab clothes, or a lack of representation at fashion weeks but a great deal of current, trendy and edgy clothing, I will always take the latter option.

But, it’s still ultimately a positive thing and I look forward to checking it out.

Models, Models, Models!

All this talk of models… There have been plus sized model competitions aplenty of late, with two sets of finalists recently announced. Check out the Simply Be model competition finalists and Torrid’s House of Dreams finalists – best of luck, ladies!

VIVA FAT VEGAS!!!!

Lastly but not at all least, Sarah and Stiletto Siren have teamed up to organise another fatshion blogger event this weekend, in Las Vegas! Check out their blog with all the info here, it sounds incredible and I believe they put it together in about three weeks? Amazing work, wish I could be there with you all.

That said, there *may* be something in the pipeline here in Londontown, but sshhhh. I will only say: try and keep November free…


Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my last post. I actually wasn’t trying to attack a specific person at all, it’s something I keep reading and had been planning to write about for a long time. But clearly a lot of you are quite upset so I understand that that post was the one place you could discuss recent events.

Enough of the ~drama though, here’s an outfit which I’ve practically lived in, I love it so much:

P1020756
ASOS Curve Military Cape

Simply Be Lace Dress
Evans boots

P1020755

I was kindly sent the cape from ASOS Curve to review, and I’ve rarely removed it from my person since! Apart from washes and sleeping, of course. It’s a lot longer on me than it is on the model, but I actually prefer this length as it gives a lot of cover. It’s a lovely quality knit, heavy without being uncomfortable. I wore  it to Offset festival this weekend I can honestly say it’s great for keeping toasty on autumn nights!

I teamed it with my Simply Be lace dress as I like the hint of lace peeping through underneath. I guess this is the most “on trend” outfit I have at the moment, although my Evans biker boots are absolutely battered. Perfect for festivals, though.

Speaking of Evans, Val and Em have found out some info about the latest Beth Ditto for Evans range: apparently it’s dropping in TWO WEEKS, and will be on sale at Selfridges, breaking their recent ban on plus-sizes. Interesting…


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