Curves in Couture

Image: Me (short, fat, brunette) standing in the middle of a party in a black dress with white musical note print, red belt and red shoes. I'm making claws with my hands and doing a "grrr" face.

Dress: Made by my mum!
Belt: Love Label, many years old
Shoes: Torrid (gifted) (dammit!)
Headband: Primark, also old

I’m glad my mum finally made me this dress after having the material and pattern pinned and cut for about five years. It’s from this Butterick pattern, although it’s not nearly as fitted in the photo. But I guess that’s just how my body is. As you can see, while I’m fat I would never consider myself curvy at all, there’s no waist, no boobs! And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The photo is, of course, from the Models of Diversity Curves in Couture event from this Thursday, which was great fun! I’ll be writing it up for Vogue Curvy, just waiting on photos as the ones I took were absolutely atrocious. (My fault, I should’ve sat in the photo pit. n3wb error.)

The main thing about events like this is getting to hangout with bloggers again, because we all get on so well! I mostly hung out with Claire (my rescuer!), Rosie, Em who I got to meet for the first time finally, and Georgina. Here they are looking stunning:

Curves in Couture

Image: 3 stunning plus size bloggers: one brunette, one blonde, one redhead smiling for the camera in their purdy dresses (black and studs; grey pleats; black floral)

Curves in Couture

Image: 3 women, including the redhead and the blonde, with a brunette lady wearing a floor length velvet gown & silver cardigan.

Curves in Couture

Image: two plus size bloggers (in the black floral and black studs) and myself, pulling silly poses.

90’s girl band. Or boy band. I can’t remember any more!

Curves in Couture

Image: me, as before, with model Velvet D'Amour, a blonde buxom bombshell with wavy blonde hair and a pink lace corset.

And I got a bit starstruck meeting the legend that is Velvet D’Amour! She is absolutely stunning in real life. I am in fact doing a shoot with her tomorrow for her new magazine, and I am BRICKING IT.


Right. A lot of people I know IRL and my family read my blog. I’m going to whack a disclaimer on this video: Mum, Gloria, Brian – you’re going to absolutely hate and be offended by this, haha. Probably best if you don’t click play.

Everyone else… well. I cried little tears of joy watching Gisela Ramirez‘s fashion show in full this morning. It is everything I wish all fashion was about: fun, not giving a shit, camaraderie. Big Bum Jumble’s fashion show last year had a similar vibe, but because this is an independent designer with her own collection it feels so special.

All of the clothes (apart from Kelli Jean Drinkwater’s incredible skirt) are available from the website in sizes 14 – 28 (AUS sizing). There’s 50% off at the moment, too! If I wasn’t dirt poor I’d have one of everything, in every colour.


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?

 


 

You guys. I wrote a 1,000+ word post talking all about this event, my honest thoughts about the new Curvissa label… and WordPress ate it. So here is a photo post without much text! If you have any questions please do comment and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

My thoughts in brief: Always excited to have new shopping options. Josie is bloody gorgeous. The clothes aren’t outrageous or anything, but that’s okay. The clothes are great quality and well thought out. Fiona Parkhouse is really cool. LaCara and the Curvissa team are lovely!

Curvissa Launch

Image: Instagram photo of cupcakes with the Curvissa logo sitting in plastic boxes with white bows attached.

Curvissa Launch

Image: LaCara interviews Josie and makes her laugh at the Cafe de Paris bar

Curvissa Launch

Image: Instagram photo of four mannequins wearing various Curvissa outfits.

Curvissa launch

Image: 2 models (one blonde, one brunette) stand on the runway

Curvissa launch

Image: 2 models (one blonde, one brunette) stand on the runway

Curvissa launch

Image: 3 women, including the face of Curvissa, Josie, on stage in pretty dresses, having a chat

 

Thanks so much to Curvissa for having me! What do you think? x


There are more collections that I loved, but right now I’m totally ‘shopped out – ripping off the last Elle Collections book is fiddly work, ha. But go forth, stare at the pretty, and let’s dream of getting them in sizes 20 and above!

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temperley copy

dkoma copy

miumiu copy

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moschino copy

Pucci copy

Marc Jacobs copy

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Yes I know, I’m not exactly avant garde in my tastes. And I am a sucker for a great cocktail dress!


Remember the LDN XL GRRRLS Funzine I mentioned in my video? Meryl still has about 20 copies for sale! They are £2 each + postage and feature articles by myself, Jessica, Devon and many more! To order a copy email Meryl at ldnxlgrrrls@gmail.com

In another wildly hypocritical move of mine, after saying that I am more interested in plus size clothing than plus size models, yesterday I judged a plus size modelling competition, hosted by Plus Size Tall and Evans. I debated whether to drop out of taking part because of what I had previously said, but actually I am really glad to have done it. I had a wonderful time, but more importantly I saw first hand how important and emotional the idea of diversity in modelling is, and that it does fit in to the wider idea of normalising fat bodies. There were a few tears when various finalists were telling how they came to accept themselves and what it means to be an advocate for size acceptance, and some of the women were so passionate (although a few did mention “real women”, which made me wince) that it was just lovely to see. If I could’ve sent them all to Las Vegas, I would have!

As it stands, the stunning Kelsey is representing the UK at the Curvy Revolution, with Serena and Georgina as runners up. Well done ladies!

It was really strange to be on the judging panel as I wasn’t really a “professional”, but I guess what I brought was a knowledge of what the consensus is among plus size consumers (basically… us lot!) are talking about and the kind of things we’re looking for.

If I start talking about the rest of it and the judging process I’ll be here all night as there are so many interesting points and discussions that happened, so I may leave the process itself for another post. I’m also writing a small article on the event for Evolve so look out for that!

Anywho: here is what I wore to the event:

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Dress: Beth Ditto at Evans
Boots: Evans
Headband: ASOS
Brooch: My mum’s

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I wanted to document my hair before it inevitably dropped 5 minutes later! I ended up ditching the headband as wearing my fake fur coat gets me enough looks on the walk to the train station, and silver and gold isn’t that great a combo in my opinion. I wore the boots as I knew I’d be walking from Liverpool St to the venue and I knew they were comfy! I’m still completely in love with the velvet dress, it can do no wrong!

Okay I think that’s enough rambling for one day! I must say it was awesome to meet everyone, especially LaCara who is gorgeous and adorable! I also got to catch up with Naomi as her gorgeous friend Lorna was a finalist. Yay!


Before I get to the ~fashun, I absolutely have to share this with you if you’ve not already seen it:

The Fat Body (In)Visible

It’s a documentary by Margitte of Riots Not Diets, featuring Jessica and Keena. I’m reluctant to get into body politics again on the blog, but if you have a spare 30 mins please watch it. It’s just a really lovely documentary, and it brought me to tears. Even though fat bodies are supposedly becoming the norm, it’s still radical to see someone discussing openly what you’re up against, and the correlation between invisibility and hyper-visibility. I found them so articulate, strong, beautiful and empowering. I was a massive fan of all three anyway, but this just cements it!

I suppose it might seem strange to post images of high fashion models now, but to be honest the day that we can see bodies of all sizes celebrated together without politics or objection is a day I look forward to, y’know?

TOP 5 PRE-FALL 2011: BCBG MAX AZRIA

Pre Fall 2011 Faves

I enjoy the colour pops of this collection, but I particularly love how this dress manages to be bold and streamlined at the same time.

TOP 5 PRE-FALL 2011: BURBERRY PRORSUM

Pre Fall 2011 Faves

I think we can all agree the past few seasons for Burberry Prorsum have been one huge home run for Christopher Bailey, right? Seriously, the man can do no wrong. Pre-fall is in a similar vein to AW1011, with lots of military detailing, tweed, and thigh high boots. This look is my favourite because of that beautiful skirt and the half-fur jacket.

TOP 5 PRE-FALL 2011: CHANEL

Pre Fall 2011 Faves

What is happening to me?! Normally I’m allergic to ye olde Lolerfeld and his designing clothes that make anyone wearing them look as ludicrous as he does, but this wasn’t even a proper collection (although at 69 outfits it wasn’t all that smaller than his Spring/Summer extravaganza) and it managed to completely charm me. Inspired by the Byzantine era, gold, jewels and bling were all over the shop but nothing looked cheap or gaudy, it managed to look classic and restrained. This to me a perfect example of what a good black dress would look like dressed up to the nines – and it has pockets!

TOP 5 PRE-FALL 2011: ZAC POSEN

Pre Fall 2011 Faves

I liked a lot of Posen’s pre-fall collection, especially his insistence on leopard print bodycon dresses. I tried to choose one out of them and couldn’t, so plumped for this ladylike suit instead. It is great though, isn’t it? I could have been dull but the pattern and piping make it stand out just enough. Also, the shoot makes me laugh. I still can’t believe old Princess Coldstare from Misshapes is a legit fashion model now. And Crystal Renn is still proving that she is in a complete other league to most models.

TOP 5 PRE-FALL 2011: OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Pre Fall 2011 Faves

I saved the best for last, obviously. Make no mistake: this is how I want to dress every damn day of my life.


Hello! I wanted to do a thorough round up of this season’s catwalk shows, and I figured the best place to start was by showing you my favourite collections from each city. I’m aiming to round up anyting similar available at the moment, and then pick out the colours and looks that were most popular.

Now, I understand some of you are scratching your heads, wondering why on earth a plus size girl is looking at clothes that will never fit her? It does seem a bit odd! But the reason why I do it is because a) what happens on the runway eventually filters down to the high street, and I like knowing where the influences from my clothes have come from, and b) I LIKE LOOKING AT PRETTY CLOTHES, OK!?

To be fair, even if I could fit into these clothes I still couldn’t have them as I’d never be able to afford them! (Hell, even Primark are out of my price range right now.)

I have to say, my tastes are very much out of step with the majority of the fashion press (mostly because I am a massive girly girl who doesn’t really care for minimalism!) but that’s why I’m just a blogger and not a proper journo. Do let me know what you liked!

All images courtesy of Womens Wear Daily.

NEW YORK

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Marc Jacobs pretty much pwned this season’s 70’s luxe aesthetic with this, MBMJ and Louis Vuitton. This was my favourite, though.

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Oscar De La Renta almost made me weep at the delicate perfection of those dresses. Guess I never stopped wanting to be a princess.

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Rodarte was just adorably kooky, and the colours are so warm. Love the wood print, too!

Notables: Prabal Gurung, Betsey Johnson, Marchesa, Nicholas K

LONDON

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Erdem are always exciting and slotted in nicely with the garden party/ballerina theme. The patchwork prom dress is my favourite.

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Mary Katrantzou went for full on trompe l’oeil on her dresses this year with each one representing a dream interior. I’m sure to lots it was very one-note, but personally I was completely charmed.

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Todd Lynn had a more austere and futuristic look, which I loved.

Notables: David Koma, Basso & Brooke, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane

MILAN

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Francesco Scognamiglio‘s collection wasn’t too popular with the fashion press but I loved the silhouettes and fabrics used for his 10th anniversary collection.

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Missoni was so bold and fun, the colours were stunning – the black accents made it all pop even more.

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Versus – It makes me so happy that Versus is back. The fabrics and patterns are spliced and mixed together, but in a much more coherent way than most designers. Yay Chris Kane!

Notables: Alberta Ferretti, Fendi, Moschino C&C, D&G, Versace

PARIS

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Alexander McQueen – Sarah Burton’s first collection for the house was just stunning in every way. A lot of the shapes and regal motifs were similar to the late Lee himself, but even so, you could feel the more feminine and softer influence. Just beautiful.

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Gareth Pugh always speaks to my inner goth, but with this season (and the video, too) he put a fair bit of cyber into his aesthetic. This collection is pretty much what I thought I’d be wearing in the ~future when I was wee.

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Zac Posen was very much a sultry, almost burlesque aesthetic. If I could dress like this every day I absolutely would.

Notables: I loved loads of Parisien shows; Carven, Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens, Valentino, Lanvin (though I hated how he used his models of colour), Elie Saab, Hermes

So there you go! Did anyone else look through the collections this year? If so, what were your favourites?


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Image courtesy of Simply Be UK

While I was getting all starstruck over Ashley Graham and Quinn Miles, models arguably at the top of their game right now, over in Simply Be land they were busy recruiting the next top plus model! I really loved the fact that this competition had no upper size limit, and was even more pleased when the finalists were revealed – a lot of size diversity which was great!

The Simply Be team shared photos of the event which I just had to post, as it’s always amazing and inspiring to me to see gorgeous fat women rocking the runway – hopefully some of you feel that way too.

And, of course: congratulations to Amy Sellu, the winner! Can’t wait to see more of you in the future.

Click the ellipsis for more photos:

Continue reading


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All images courtesy of nowfashion.com

I am trying to concentrate on applying for jobs instead of updating the blog, but I had to share these pics with you. Beth Ditto opened and closed the Jean Paul Gaultier SS11 show – the look was based on punk rock, with Beth being flanked by succession of Joan Jetts. Her dress was 3-D, with glasses supplied in the show invitation. IT WAS AWESOME. Thanks Marie for the heads up!

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Sure, it may be tokenism – although JPG has featured models of a similar size before. In fact, I’ve just remembered he practically single-handedly launched the careers of the beautiful Velvet D’Amour AND a certain Ms Renn.

But even if it is just a small token, it’s still really, really awesome to see. Go Beth!

UPDATE: I am such a duh brain. Crystal Renn actually walked too:

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As well as the gorgeous plus model Marquita Pring (thanks Marie, again!) She looks wonderful:

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All in all, I really like this collection – will most likely be featuring it in a round up soon.

Now back to the job applications…