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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.

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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.


Hiya.

How are you all? It’s been a while! I unplugged from the blogging world for a bit to recharge my batteries and rediscover my love for it all.  I was beginning to get lost among all the politics and favours and competition, when really all this is just an outlet for me to talk excitedly about clothes. You know? Of course, I’ve chosen completely the wrong time to bring it back, as work has gone absolutely mental (in a good way), so we’ll see how it pans out. But for now I’ll talk about some cool stuff that happened this week.

First up: Cut For Evans. I saw a video floating around on twitter a few months ago and nearly fell off my chair. I’d practically been counting down the days until it launched since then! Evans had run a competition with fashion students to design a capsule collection, before eventually choosing print specialist Alice Farrow and knitwear designer Rebecca Partington.

Alice Farrow designs at Evans

Alice Farrow’s jumpsuit and shirt on the rack. Gorgeous.

The result is possibly the freshest, most imaginative – and, let’s be honest here – polarising – collection that I’ve seen in plus size fashion for a long time. The shapes and fabrics are fairly simple: tank tops, tunics, shirts and tube skirts. But in terms of colour and print? The shock factor is off the scale. People really like to be a debbie downer on Evans and what they offer but Cut shows how they CAN take risks, they CAN be bold, and they CAN show everyone else what’s what. It’s brilliant, and so exciting!

Cut for Evans designers and Brix Smith-Tart

Rebecca and Alice pose with Brix Smith-Start, who gave a rousing speech AND is putting the collection into her swanky boutique. Awesome.

To celebrate they had a launch in their Marble Arch flagship store, and we got to see the collection in situ and try it all on. I ended up buying three pieces, the Rebecca Partington skyscraper top and skirt, and the Alice Farrow tube skirt. All three have been worn in the following days (in fact I’m wearing the skyscraper top as we speak!).

I wasn’t invited to the launch but I was really cheeky and asked Bethany to see if I could tag along with her. If not I would have gone down to Marble Arch to see it anyway, but they kindly let me come down and I had a great night! It was so lovely to be back with the blogging crew. Now, to photos!

Three plus size girls in bright dresses.

Myself and two statuesque blondes, Ms Bartoz and Margie, test run Alice Farrow’s amazing tropical shift

Evans Marble Arch staff

The staff at Evans’ Marble Arch flagship store. What a bunch of stunners.

UK plus size bloggers

Too much babeliness for one image – almost. From l-r: Caroline, Rosie, Debbie, Isha, Hanna, Charlotte, Rivkie.

Designer has a giggle

Knitwear designer Rebecca gets manhandled by one of the Evans staff before her Now magazine shoot

Me and my heart print dress

It’s me, showing off my new heart print dress, replete with my dorothy-wannabe red shoes.

Dress: Alice and You, via ASOS Curve
Shoes: Primark (very old)
Rings: ASOS Curve
Brooch: Tatty Devine (sample sale)

And finally, here’s what I wore – a little bit girly and plain considering the subject but I had to be a bit businesslike for work! You know me, I’m all for cutesy prints so it was only a matter of time before I bought this. Didn’t realise it was quite so creased on Wednesday morning, though…

Me, twirling in my fancy dress.

An obligatory twirl shot, and we’re done.


Yesterday's make up, greasy hair... My @cultofcali jumper makes up for it tho. #ootd #plussize #fatshion #psbloggers

Dress: New Look Inspire
Jumper: Cult of California
Ring: David Bowie Is… exhibition (it broke after I took this pic!)
Necklace: Primark

Hello all, I hope you’re well? I’m off to Portugal this week with my pals for Optimus Primavera (I really have to concentrate to not type Optimus PRIME-avera) Sound festival. I ARE EXCITE. Gonna drink port, eat francesinha and if I don’t die from those, see some of my favourite bands. Yay. Let’s hope the weather is a bit better than my holiday in Spain last year, at least.

I also wanted to say thanks for the amazing and thoughtful comments on my last entry. It’s been great to hear your stories, even though some have made me angry that Charlotte’s isn’t an isolated case, but more a systematic failing in the fashion industry. But thankfully, there IS a happy ending! Charlotte got to show her collection, and the models (including some plus size fashion bloggers you know and love) looked wonderful. I really can’t wait to buy some of the designs!

It’s been a while since I did an outfit post, but in the meantime I’ve been making use of my new bedroom mirror to instagram OOTDs before I head off to work! Most of you probably already follow me there, but in case anyone missed them, here’s what I’ve been wearing lately.

Today's dress. See, I don't just wear outfits on the blog once ;) #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Simply Be (2012)
Belt: Evans (2011)

Nice thing about having a massive mirror - more frequent outfit documentation. #fatshion

Dress: Lovedrobe 2011

Friday's outfit #ootd #plussize #fatshion

Top: Primark (2012)
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)
Skirt: Forever 21+

Monday - keeping this chiffon skirt down in the wind is gonna be HELL. #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Ax Paris Curve* (2012)
Cardigan: Torrid* (2011)
Necklace: Accessorize* (2011)

Unintentionally matching my #ootd to my bedroom #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Yours Clothing (2011)
Necklace: not sure as it was a birthday present in 2012
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)

Wearing a skirt under this dress to combat the wind #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Dress: Yours Clothing* (2012)
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)
Necklace: Tatty Devine*

Not sure if bopping so wearing my comic skirt instead :) #ootd #fatshion #plussize

Top: ASOS (2012)
Skirt: Primark
Necklace: Queer Riot

Plain #ootd from me today #fatshion #plussize

Top: ASOS (2012)
Skirt: Forever 21+
Necklace: Tatty Devine (2012 sample sale)

Lazy Sunday #ootd - love my sundress from Very last year. #fatshion #plussize

Dress: South by Very (bought in the January sale as it’s from last summer’s collection)
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins (2012)

PHEW! Maybe I’ll do weekly round ups to spare you all. I’m not sure how I’d even describe my style, it’s a bit safe – pretty dress, black cardi. Maybe I’ll take some more risks this summer…


So Fabulous Event

This is my fashion face. Also, holy eyebags, Batman.

Dress: Simply Be*
Boots: Evans
Hair clip: “vintage” (aka I bought it when I was kid and it magically hasn’t managed to get lost since 1995)

So Fabulous Event

See, I DO laugh!

For Littlewoods” So Fabulous event all about their autumn/winter plus size fashion, I wore my favourite new dress. I’ve put it in a separate post because I always feel it’s a bit rude to talk about a rival in a post about a brand event? I dunno. ~Blogging politics, haha! This dress was given to me, although not for a review or anything – when I was in Manchester for a meeting about my dress (save your pennies for June 14th, peeps) they let us take something home. I was completely in love with this and had planned to buy it anyway so I was cheeky and went for it. I’ve worn it more times than I can count, and, even though I’m not particularly shapely I love how I look and feel in it. Other lovely bloggers like Sian and Rosie have worn it and look gorgeous, too!

You know why I love this dress so much? All it is is a basic shirt dress, with a couple of bits missing. But those cut outs make all the difference. It adds character. It’s a talking point. It’s the kind of dress you’d find in any young fashion boutique – but it’s plus size.

My beloved Evans boots, after three trips to the menders have finally retreated into that shoe shop in the sky. Parting was such sweet sorrow, but at least the sun’s out now and I can wear pumps.

Also, I really need to sort my hair out. If anyone has ideas for a hair makeover, I’d love to hear it!


Outfit with Cat Ears

Outfit with Cat Ears

Dress: ASOS Curve (2010)
Tights: Teja Jamilla
Lace Cat Ears: ASOS
Cardigan: Evans (2009)
Necklace: Fancy Lady Industries
Brooch: Tatty Devine (2012)
Shoes: New Look (2009)

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having fun Saturday evenings? I’m using the snow and lack of central line as an excuse to stay home and get things done, including updating here. This was what I wore to the lovely Bethany’s club night, Dancing on My Own. I went for something simple and comfortable – and which would show off my amazing tights from Teja Jamilla. I’ve wanted to buy a pair since seeing them on Natalie ages ago and treated myself to a pair come payday. They’re made up to 3x – I’m a 22-24 on the bottom and they fit me pretty well. All the tights are hand printed and are original sketches by Teja themselves, which is awesome!

I also got to wear my beloved FAT necklace by another Aussie babe called Natalie. I’m so pleased I was able to eventually afford one of these, and in rainbow glitter, no less. It means a lot to me – just take a look at the blurb on the product page:

“Wear this and feel radical. If it’s in public or in private, it doesn’t really matter, because you’re reclaiming a word that is as descriptive as it is powerful. When you reclaim fat, you can move on. You can listen to your body instead of denying it or minimising it in harmful ways.”

Alas, after a final dance both the cardigan and dress appear to be on their last legs, which breaks my heart. LBD of dreams, you have served me well.


2013 Outfit #2

Image: me (you know me by now, right?) in my usual place in front of the black wardobe with the scratch marks. I’m wearing a forest green dress with bow print tights, skinny belt and big gold necklace. Yay!

Dress: New Look Inspire
Bow print tights: Pamela Mann (via Yours Clothing)
Boots: Evans
Oui/Non belt: ASOS Curve
Necklace: Primark
Glasses: London Retro*

Hi Lovelies! How are you? It’s a SNOWPOCALYPSE here in Essex (and the rest of the UK, to be fair). I am celebrating by a) doing none of the things I had planned to do, b) not getting dressed and c) alternating between watching Community or playing Temple Run 2. Best weekend ever?

This outfit on its own isn’t advisable in the snow, but it is something I’ve been wearing a lot over Christmas. I am a sucker for a skater dress, sad as it is to say. I know they’ve become slightly too ubiquitous in plus size ranges at the moment to the annoyance of some (hi Amanda!) but, ah, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel at home in them. This one from New Look has a high waist as well, which is perfect. And since it was a last minute sale buy in their Oxford Street branch, I’ve gotten my cost-per-wear down to mere pennies. Win/win!

I’m hoping to be a bit more prolific in my updates this year and better at photographing my outfits – but if there’s anything you think I should do or talk about, let me know. Speak soon! x


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Hello all, and more importantly: happy new year! My 2013 so far has been a bit sleep-deprived, but hopefully that won’t be a trend, eh?

I had an almost abnormally good year in 2012. I found a great job, caught up with old friends, took part in Burger Queen (you can see me, neck-less, talking in their funding vid!), had a long awaited holiday (even if it did rain for over half the time I was there) and met some absolutely incredible people. The best thing though? I got my blogging mojo back! And it paid off – one of my plus size fashion heroes, Velvet d’Amour, shot me for her magazine Volup2. I was interviewed in The Times, and my literal dream has come true in the form of being able to design a dress for an upcoming Simply Be collection. ACTUALSCREAM. I will talk more about it in a separate post, but I really hope you all like it.

But more importantly I was happier with my wardrobe than I’ve been in a long time. I actually think I wore some more interesting outfits in 2012 than in all the time I’ve been blogging – probably because I was leaving the house a lot more. Anyway, here are my favourites over the past year, in case you missed them first time round!

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skater dress

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Fuck flattering

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lovedrobe review two

2012-11-16 21.22.22

AXP

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Eddy and Bri dress

I’ve got a lot on my plate for 2013, no less than moderating a discussion panel at LPSFW next month, and helping to organise this year’s Plus London 3 in November! I just hope I can keep on enjoying running this blog. Thanks so much for sticking with me through 2012, and I hope you have a fat and fabulous 2013! x


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Image: me (short, fat, pale caucasian skin, long brown hair, glasses) stands in front of a black wardrobe wearing a black top, floral skirt, rust coloured tights and boots.

Jersey peplum top: ASOS Curve
Floral skirt: New Look Inspire
Pearl collar necklace, rust colour tights: Primark
Ankle boots: Evans
Glasses: London Retro*

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Image: as before, in a slightly different pose

This is an outfit that I feel looks better in real life than in photos. Or it could be my not-so-good camera! I have to say winter really does sort the men out from the boys, photography-wise. It’s always so dark, and my camera can’t cope with anything other than bright sunlight! Ah well.

This outfit includes a few recent purchases for once – hooray! Although the glasses, tights, boots and skirt are all from 1-2 years ago. I recently got the boots mended for the second time, as they’re just so comfortable. Unfortunately my Clarks pair (review here) got a hole in the first day of wearing them, and apparently it was so bad they couldn’t be saved. So, quite disappointed really, especially as Clarks are meant to be a super durable brand! Maybe I need to invest in some DMs…

Also, to any of you who answered my red lipstick question on twitter: thank you! It was the push I needed to treat myself to MAC’s Ruby Woo. I have MAC Red, but it’s far too glossy and glam for daytime use. Ruby Woo is exactly what I was after. Yay!

I hope you’re all well. It’s been an exciting week – can’t wait to tell you all about it!


Swan AW12

The second instalment of Swan, Evans’ designer collaboration with Clements Ribiero, dropped online today. Some lovely bloggers attended a press event last week so I had some idea of what the collection looked like, but I absolutely adore the lookbook with Robyn Lawley and had to put some of that gorgeousness on my blog!

Swan AW12

Swan AW12

Swan AW12

Swan AW12

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Swan AW12

It’s just all so gorgeous, isn’t it? I think I might prefer this collection to their debut. I just love the sultry glamour and sophistication of it all, like a modern film noir heroine. It also really tickles me that Bethany and Deena paired the mimosa print trousers and top as a jumpsuit to the horror of Evans‘ facebook fans, and here it is represented just as beautifully! See? Trust your fatshion bloggers. They know what’s what. (haha)

aI’m not sure when the clothes arrive in store, but I’m definitely planning to head down after work and do another dressing room post. Let me know if you’re going too, we could have a dressing room party!

If you’re ordering online, make sure to use the code LUCKY20 for 20% off the range. What are you gonna buy?


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!