Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Runway

I need to preface this post by saying this: Full Figured Fashion Week was great. I met some seriously wonderful people, I was inspired by beautiful women, and I got introduced to new designers. However, while I watched the finale fashion show, I found myself so in awe of the gorgeous women on the runway that I soon realized I was clapping for the girls and not the clothes. I quickly had to snap out of it and ask myself: "Would these designs be good enough for Fashion Week at Bryant Park? Am I lowering my standards just because this fashion is for fat women?"

The answer was yes. Most of the lines featured during the finale show consisted of the same dresses we see all the time for plus sizes. Nice? Yes. Innovative? Not so much. Runway shows are supposed to blow us away, they are supposed to show us something we have never seen before, they are supposed to inspire and amaze us. I can't say that was necessarily true for the lines featured during FFFWeek. Seriously, how many flowy chiffon and satin dresses can we see before we get sick of them? They're nice and all, but I like a little variety in my closet. That being said, I respect the fact that FFFWeek even exists and I hope that the event only improves with time.

The show began with Ashley Stewart's line, which impressed me considering what I'd previously seen in-store. The prints were gorgeous, and I was pleasantly surprised with how fresh, flirty and fun the dresses were. The clothing fit the models perfectly, the line was cohesive, and the quality and construction of the garments were impeccable.


Next up was the line Candi Apple Couture, which I hadn't heard of before FFFWeek. I thought there were some hits and misses, but I was moderately happy with most of the items shown (my favorites are below):


I have to say, I was seriously disappointed when I saw the fashion from Agape Goddess Wear. I mean, granted, I'm probably not their target demographic, but I didn't see one thing I liked or would wear. The designs looked amateur, the construction was poor, and the line was not cohesive.


Osun Designs, on the other hand, offered a cultural line while still managing to stay current and somewhat fashionable. Again, I probably wouldn't wear the designs, but I appreciate the aesthetic. That yellow and brown jumpsuit is kind of fly.


If there is one designer who gets it right, it's Monif C. Seeing her line in person solidified why she's made it mainstream. The construction and quality of her clothing is seriously perfect, and I loved the purple floral mini.


For me, the most refreshing line of the night came from LaMaica Fashions. We got a break from the flowy stuff and finally saw some structured pieces, high collars, and fun hats.


Qristyl Frazier also had a few gems. I loved the prints she chose, and she offered some cute jumpsuits to mix things up. The mint and cream maxi was my favorite look of hers:


Sealed With A Kiss (SWAK) Designs offered their usual fun stuff. Lots of jersey knits and accessible, easy to wear outfits.


Big Girls United (BGU) offered a lot of body con dresses (which I'm into right now), and some good options for younger girls who like to party.


Robert E. Knight's line lacked cohesion, but he had a few things I liked. My favorite was the tan dress with the oversized sleeves.


Jewel Shannon Designs
closed the show, and I gotta say, it was a great way to end. Tons of white, sparkly swim and resort wear that was perfectly constructed. I could definitely see myself in some of these pieces on the beach.


All photo credit goes to Richard Lew Photography. Check out his site to see all of the pieces that hit the runway (and photos from other events during FFFWeek).

There were some cute things, but overall, a little underwhelming. I'm still waiting for the day when plus size fashion will finally see a designer like Marc Jacobs or Zac Posen. What do you guys think? Fab or drab? What's your favorite?

Oh, and for all you Aussies, supposedly FFFWeek is coming your way soon!

Tetris


I'm currently in love with this Tetris print mini skirt from the Australian retailer, City Chic. Why is it that US plus size stores can't keep up with the stylish designs of their foreign competitors?

I've been thinking about posting an article of clothing I'm digging each Monday as the "Item of the Week," but sadly, I don't even think enough cute plus size options exist for me to choose something new that often. What do you guys think?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Richie Rich Does Plus Sizes



Yesterday I had the pleasure of running into none other than Heatherette designer, Richie Rich (this is why I love being in NYC). As much as I love Heatherette's stuff, I was more than excited to meet Richie because I'd heard that he's coming out with a plus size line! We spoke briefly and he assured me that he's pumped for the launch. Back in April, he told the press “It should be cool. I’m coming out with a plus size line, which I’ve never done before; that I’m really excited about because a lot of the girls that approached me — and guys that approached me — are, um, you know, they’re not little twigs." Richie is one of the first high-fashion designers that is pursuing a line for fat girls (and being vocal about it) and I can't wait to see what's in store!

Hear what he had to say at the White House Black Market Press Preview:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sittin' Pretty on the Sidelines

The runway last night was fantastic! Some lines were amazing (others were...not), but it was the audience members that wowed me the most. There were three girls in particular that I couldn't take my eyes off of; their steez was incredible. As for me, well, let's just say I was disappointed with how I looked. Long story short, I was in a huge rush and ended up throwing on the dress I wore for my friend's party in Boston. Others assured me I looked great, but I was sad I couldn't bring my best at such an amazing event.

As soon as I saw Ose, I squealed. The girl gets it. She's so stylish, I found it no surprise when she told me she works at TopShop (that's where the majority of her outfit is from). When I asked her whether fat women could fit into things there, she said "you'd be surprised. I make things work!" That's when I knew she was my kind of girl. And those fab bow earrings? Yeah, she made 'em. 


When Huny walked into the room, everyone literally stopped and stared. Her outfit was impeccably executed, giving her that edgy-chic look that others (including myself) try so hard to emulate. Her top is from Macy's, her belt is from Ashley Stewart, and she found that amazing crinoline skirt (that I must buy) on ebay. I love nothing more than a girl who knows how to mix fun pieces and create something totally inspiring. 


My favorite outfit of the night belonged to Meilee. Her vintage cropped sequins jacket (with bow details on the sleeves!) made my mouth water. The high-waisted pedal pushers are from the Goodwill and the ruffle top is from Ross! Now that's innovation---if you told me someone was wearing khakis from the Goodwill and a top from Ross, I'd never imagine it would look this good: 


Don't fret, the official runway photos are coming soon...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nikki Blonsky and Others at FFFWeek


Thursday kicked off Full-Figured Fashion Week, and yesterday I had the pleasure of attending The State of the Curvy Community discussion. Honestly, it was even better than expected; the speakers were inspirational, the crowd was lively, and I met some pretty amazing people. 

The consensus among the panelists seemed to be that plus size designers and retailers need to listen to their customers and truly show they care about our desires and complaints. Celebrity stylist Susan Moses said it best: "I think the biggest problem today is a lot of ignorance... and a lot of companies just wanting to take our dollars, but not speak to us, not show us any love." 

Unfortunately, I didn't get to record the entire thing, but here's what Nikki Blonsky had to say about her experience as a fat girl:
She was super sweet! Hairspray is one of my favorite movies, so this was especially exciting for me.


Susan was also wonderful and helpful, I should be meeting with her soon for some tips.


For the first time ever, I had people recognize me from YFF! They asked to take a picture with me, it was a humbling moment:


After the discussion, I headed to the press party at Taj Lounge, where I mingled with more beautiful women. Model Mia Amber looked amazing in her Igigi maxi dress:

I also hung out with the model from SWAK Designs

And I had to get a picture of this cutie in her H&M outfit (by the way, that's where my top is from too):


All in all, I'm having a blast. I can't wait for the runway show tonight (even though I have no idea what I'm wearing...)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whitney Thompson


Last Tuesday, I attended the red carpet of Samsung's 8th Annual Four Seasons of Hope Gala to interview Whitney Thompson (the first plus size winner of America's Next Top Model). Let me just get this out of the way and say what everyone's thinking: this girl is nowhere near plus size---I'm guessing she's a size 8, at most.



I almost felt weird asking her questions regarding her size, because the truth is, no matter what I asked, her answers would in no way relate to the experiences of true plus size women in America. Nevertheless, I was invited there to ask her a few questions, so I did my duty. Red carpet "interviews" are approximately 45 seconds anyway; I was just happy I got to stand within three feet of John Legend (big crush) and Kelis (bigger crush).



(I'm excusing Kelis for this fug outfit because she's 8 months pregnant)

Anyway, back to Whitney. She was wearing a cute bodycon dress, her makeup was flawless, and she was super sweet.

YFF: What has been your experience in the plus size modeling industry so far?
WT: Um, yeah, everything has been really great since I won the show. I've gotten a lot of support and it's a wonderful show because it's in 140 countries, which I think a lot of people don't realize. And a lot of people associate Americans with being overweight, which is just ridiculous because people deal with these issues all the time all over the world...so I get fan mail from people in Hong Kong and Australia and New Zealand and it's just really cool because I feel like I'm making an impact.

YFF: Cool. So what have you been doing since the show ended?
WT: I've been busy! I'm writing a memoir and I'm shooting a pilot for my cooking show, and I'm just doing a lot of stuff. I'm also signed with Wilhelmina now as well...so yeah, life is good.

YFF: Sounds great! Who inspires your fashion and style?
WT: You know, I'm pretty bad at styling anything. I'm really bad at hair and makeup and dressing myself... I depend on a lot of people. But, I've always looked up to, you know, the old classic icons, Tyra Banks, Cindy Crawford, and just people who were leaders in the fashion industry but aren't necessarily uh...

YFF: Fashionistas?
WT: Yeah, yeah, not the Kate Mosses, you know? I'm not walking around in my mini shorts and crop tops.

YFF: Got it! Well, thank you so much for your time, it was great meeting you.
WT: Thank you, nice meeting you too.

I don't know how I feel about Whit. She's obviously a total sweetheart, but I can't help but be a little off put that she's touted as ANTM's first plus size winner, as if she somehow proves that the modeling industry is okay with bigger girls. I guess in theory I should be happy that someone above a size 4 finally won ANTM, but I can't say I'm impressed. I hope Tyra and the gang eventually choose a winner above a size 10.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hepburn Style


Kind of like, I don't know, everyone else in the entire world, one of my favorite fashion icons is the ever-inspiring Audrey Hepburn. For as long as I can remember, I've heard people talk about how amazing she looked in her signature cigarette pants. And like clockwork, they always add "but only women with a body like hers could pull those off." I love proving people wrong.

I know I already featured Sakina on YFF, but I can't help but share another outfit of hers. When I saw her in these perfectly tailored pants, I knew I had to spread the word: fat girls look hot in ankle-length skinnies. I totally think she does Ms. Hepburn proud.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Make It Work


You know the whole, "whatever size you are, buy clothes that fit properly" mantra? Well, yeah, I've never actually believed in that. I'm more into the Tim Gunn school of thought--in other words, make it work. If I restricted myself to only buying clothing with my size on the tag, I'd be stuck paying hundreds of dollars for calf-length polyester dresses.

Instead, I go to mainstream stores and hunt for things that look like they might, by the grace of God, work for me. The other day, I went into Forever21 and found so many cute tops, none of which they even had in a size large. Instead of walking out disappointed, I grabbed the mediums and brought them in the fitting room. Each and every single thing looked great...I mean, I didn't end up buying anything, but that was because I had no money, not because the tops were too tight. I need everyone to understand this: just because stuff may not "fit" the way the designer intended, does not mean we can't wear it. Creativity is the one thing that has saved my style as a fat girl.

While at H&M, I saw the most amazing pair of stretchy acid wash denim pants (I warned you I'd be wearing acid wash this summer), and I knew I had to have them. It was no surprise that the largest size they had in stock was a 12. According to most size charts, I should wear a size 20/22 in pants. According to experience, I wear a solid 18. Either way, I think it's safe to assume there is no way I'm anywhere near a size 12.

I bought them. After a little stretching and a lot of jumping up and down while pulling upwards, you better believe I made them work for me.

I can't lie, they do create a bit of a muffin top, but whatever--the layering of my long H&M burnout tee paired with my blazer (why yes, I do wear it everyday) quickly fixed that problem. The black Zinc wedges and neon pink f21 headband perfectly complete the outfit. I've been wearing some version of this for the past week or so (hey, I'm living out of a carry-on suitcase), and it's my new favorite day time look.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Asos!


If I could fill my entire closet with clothing from only one store, it would undoubtedly be Asos.com. Honestly, there is no other place that has that many things I am completely in love with; I think it's safe to say I would gladly wear 99% of what they offer. So you can imagine my reaction when I found out from a very reliable source (read: Twitter) that Asos is considering adding a plus size line! If this happens, I can die happy. They already offer sizes up to UK20, but extending the range further would make a huge difference. As far as I know, things are still in the early planning stages; in fact, they are asking for feedback and advice from people like us. Please participate in the survey and be sure to comment on their blog--I want us to do all we can so that 1) they see there is a desire for this line, and 2) we can avoid disaster a la Faith21.

Also, more Beth Ditto for Evans pictures have surfaced, check out The Musings of a Fatshionista to see the images.

The State of the Curvy Community

Since my appearance on GMA, I have gotten some pretty negative emails and comments regarding my blog (don't worry--I've received a lot more good messages than bad). People tell me I am promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, that I am encouraging destructive behavior, and my favorite: that I am "eating myself to an early grave with a smile on my face."  

In general, I try to keep fat politics out of YFF, because I want this blog to focus solely on fashion (not to mention I think Shapely Prose and Fatshionista are doing a superb job as it is). Let me make one thing clear: I do not promote anything on YFF besides being fashionable.  I have tons of readers who are currently on diets and attempting to lose weight. Guess what? That's fine. I don't vilify the "skinny bitch." I hope all women of all sizes love their bodies, because I love mine. I don't care whether you diet or not. I do care that fat girls realize they can look just as stylish as anyone else.  If you think that's somehow radical and offensive, then don't read this blog. It's really that simple.

I keep my personal opinions regarding size acceptance and body image out of YFF because they are just that, personal opinions. I am not here to tell anyone how to live their lives. That being said, I am glad that there are places online where a discussion around these issues is encouraged, and I am super excited to announce an upcoming event where this type of dialogue will occur in person. In conjunction with Full Figured Fashion Week, The Curvy Collective is hosting a panel entitled “The State of the Curvy Community." 

Date:  Friday, June 26th
Location:  Ripley Grier Studios, 520 8th Avenue (between 36th and 37th), 16th Floor, Room 17C, New York, NY
Time: 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Sharon Quinn, “The Original Runway Diva," will be moderating the panel, which consists of some pretty cool people:

  • Deb Malkin, Owner of Re/Dress NYC
  • Cassy Jones- McBride,US Director of the Fuller Woman Network
  • Glen Johnson, Owner of Full Figure Plus and a Member of The Curvy Collective
  • K. L. Belvin, Author of "Man In Transition"  
  • Mia Amber, Model, Actress, Creative Editor of Plus Model Magazine
  • Maddy Figueroa-Jones, Editor in Chief of Plus Model Magazine
  • Susan Moses, Celebrity Stylist

  • Because I am a bad blogger, I didn't put this up earlier and now the event is full! I hope some of you saw the information on other blogs and were able to RSVP in time to secure a spot!

    After all the serious stuff is over, join us for the fun part: shopping! Head back down to Ripley Grier Studios on Saturday, June 27th, for "Curves in the City Shopping Soiree" from 11am-3pm. If you want to come, you gotta purchase your tickets online ASAP! It's $15 to get in, but it's worth it; you'll get discounted prices from FFFWeek designers and vendors. Lastly, come party with us! Check the official website for more info on the social events that are offered throughout the week.

    Hope to see you guys there!

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    More GMA


    My segment on Good Morning America got postponed last week, but it aired today! It also featured Marianne Kirby, blogger of The Rotund and co-author of Lessons From the Fat-o-sphere. If you missed it, you're in luck: they posted the video (and an accompanying article) on the ABC website. It's obviously heavily edited, but I'm pretty happy with the results. Let me know what you think!

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Beth for Evans


    I know I just posted about Beth, but seriously, I have been waiting to see a preview of her Evans line forever, and it's finally arrived! Thanks to Deena of Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too for scanning in pics from the style section of The Sunday Times

    I am ridiculously excited for this to launch; I truly think it will be the first plus size line that actually gives us fashion-forward clothing. I was just thinking about how hard it is to find the perfect cropped leather jacket in my size, and voila, Beth delivers. Can't wait to get my hands on this stuff.




    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Ditto


    Photo taken from The Guardian Guide/Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too

    I need to raid Beth Ditto's closet, pronto. She is the only famous fat girl who actually takes risks with fashion instead of sticking to the typical "flattering" wrap dress. Everyone already knows I love anything sparkly, gold, and overdone, right? It should come as no surprise, then, that I must have everything she's wearing in The Gossip's new video, "Heavy Cross." Oh yeah, and the song is pretty hot too. 


    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Gotta Have Faith

    Slowly but surely, Faith21 is adding items that I might actually consider buying, and I'm hoping that soon the line will offer as many choices as its straight-sized counterpart. As for now, the collection leaves much to be desired, but I think it's moving in the right direction and I'm optimistic that the options will only improve. Plus, from what I've heard, the clothes fit a much larger range than what's indicated on the size chart. 

    At the moment, I'm digging a few of their skirts and dresses--here's to hoping more is on the way.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Woe is Me!

    On my last post, some of you agreed that I should share my "to-buy" list. I may get around to that eventually, but for now, I just want to show you the number one item I've been lusting after. I saw this Banana Republic dress when it was featured in Marie Claire recently, and I have been dreaming about it ever since.


    The cut! The color! The sleeves! Is there anything more beautiful in this world? I mean, I get that it's kind of mermaid-like, and maybe I am trying to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming Ariel, but I don't really care. I must have it.

    Obviously, I was thoroughly disappointed when I checked the website and it was nowhere to be found. But, as luck would have it, I spotted it at Banana Republic the other day while buying the black dress for GMA. Unfortunately, they only had it in a size 12 (and let's be honest, even if the size 16 was in stock, there's no way it would get around these hips). I was almost delusional enough to hope the 12 would magically fit, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants style, but I took one look at the fabric and shook my head.

    It truly is perfection, though. I am considering having one custom made on etsy, because I really don't know how much longer I can live without it in my closet. 

    Summer Days

    For me, summer is all about finding the perfect balance between fashion and function. It's usually so hot, I could care less about what I have on as long as I'm not dying of heat exhaustion. But the truth is, we shouldn't have to sacrifice style for comfort. 

    My default summer outfit (like 99% of the female population) is a lightweight dress that is well-accessorized. You literally can't go wrong with this combo, and it's super comfy to boot. I know maxi dresses are all the rage, but I'm pretty sure it will take Rachel Zoe herself to get me out of anything mini. (Ok, so maybe I bought my first maxi dress the other day, but still, ain't nothin like showin' a little leg). 

    It may not be the most fashion-forward outfit, but a simple cotton dress like this one from Old Navy can be paired with some bangles, big earrings, and gladiator sandals for a look that's summer chic.


    If you wanna step it up a bit, look for more detail in the dresses you buy.  This floral contrast dress from Evans has a sweetheart neckline and pleats that add interest.



    This is the perfect example of that whole fashion/function thing. It's so easy to just throw on and instantly look stylish while still keeping cool. Plus, it can totally transition from day (big bag & flats) to night (clutch & heels). It's definitely on my "to buy" list. (It may be worth mentioning, however, that most things on that list are never purchased due to a severe lack of funds). 

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    Good Morning America

    The past few days have been insane, to say the least. Some of you may know I was quoted in the New York Times last weekend, and since then things have been a little hectic. I was contacted by the producers of ABC's Good Morning America and asked whether I'd be interested in appearing in a segment they're doing on dieting. Uh, let think about that...YES. 

    Today they came to my [friend's] apartment and set up lights and cameras; the entire thing was way too surreal to even describe. Long story short, the episode will air on Monday! I discuss my history of dieting and my journey towards becoming comfortable in my own skin. GMA is on from 7-9 am, so make sure you tune in. And don't judge me too harshly, I was nervous! 

    I wanted to wear something simple and classic that would translate well on screen. I bought the perfect little black dress from Banana Republic and paired it with a great statement necklace from H&M. The cute mustard jacket is by DKNY, the bag is by Marco Buggiani (via TJMaxx) and the shoes are BCBG.


    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    FFFWeek


    If you haven't been hiding under a rock recently, you've undoubtedly heard about the very first Full-Figured Fashion Week, which is fast approaching (June 25-27). Produced by DeVoe Signature Events, the three day extravaganza in New York City will feature plus size clothing designers from around the country.

    Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista and Johara Tucker of Luvin' My Curves decided to create a group of fat fashion bloggers (known as The Curvy Collective) that will have exclusive access to the events and provide coverage for their readers. Naturally, I was happy to oblige when approached to be a part of such a cool group and momentous occasion--how could I say no to seeing fat girls rock it on the runway? 

    The Curvy Collective will also be co-hosting some exciting events during FFF Week: “The State of the Curvy Community” at Ripley Grier Studios on Friday, June 26th, from 3 – 5:00PM and “Curves in the City” Shopping Soiree at Ripley Grier Studios on Saturday June 27th, from 11AM – 3PM. 

    I'm totally pumped to see what FFFWeek has to offer, and I can't wait to share up and coming designers on YFF! For more info, visit the official website. Hope to see some of you there!