Archive for the 'Plus size models' Category



Fatshion on the Runway: The Rundown on City Chic

On Thursday, feeling terribly important, I went to my first fashion show. Not coincidentally, it was also the very first plus-size label to hold a runway show as part of a mainstream Australian fashion event. City Chic were unveiling their new Spring/Summer 2009 collection as part of the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival (not to be confused with Australian Fashion Week, which is earlier in the year). A big fat thank you to City Chic for kindly inviting me along to the show!

There was quite a fun vibe outside the giant tent (also known as the ‘Rosemount Runway’… it was a tent) as we waited to be let in. There were fatties everywhere. And we were milling around waiting for a fashion show that was targeted at us.

Some were obviously very excited about this, as they had made a real effort to dress up: full face of make-up, nice hair, good clothes, high heels. I, however, had gone to the show in my lunch hour. Sure, I was wearing my lucky yellow tights from We Love Colors and my wicked fatty necklace, but I’d still come straight from work. I probably smelt like old printer cartridges and disappointed hopes.

Once we got inside, I instantly I spotted an error in planning. The seats were placed close together with quite a narrow gap between rows. If you put on a fashion show for a plus-size label, fatties are going to attend. The thing about fatties is that we take up more room. You can’t organise the seating in the exact same way you would for a mainstream fashion label. The lack of space between rows meant I got to know some women extremely well as they nudged past me to their seats. I could see fatties squished into the front row, hip to hip and flibbety arm to flibbety arm. I was in a row that was half empty, so at least we were able to shuffle our seats around for a bit of extra room.

The show opened with one of Australia’s most successful plus-size models, Elizabeth Green. She is based in New York and has signed with Ford Plus.

Now, I’m not a fashion-y kind of person. I don’t attend fashion weeks, I can’t say whether a garment is channelling A/W04 Alexander McQueen, and I don’t really know anything about modelling. (I’m way into Crystal Renn, but that’s because she makes me sexually confused, not because I love her ‘craft’.) I figured models just walked down a runway. Whatev. But when Elizabeth Green strutted past wearing a gorgeous jewel maxi by Julie Beach, I understood.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

She’s fantastic. Some of the other models looked inexperienced; they seemed nervous or they looked like they were concentrating too hard on their walk. Green is supremely confident, and may I add, totally fierce.

I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes for the show. After the disappointment of the Full Figured Fashion Week runway show, I just assumed that City Chic would be trotting out the predictable display of jersey and floral maxi dresses. And there was a bit of that:

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Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

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Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

But that was far outweighed by the number of pieces that were firmly on trend and youth-oriented.

The bulk (teehee) of the collection was divided into two camps: bright spring dresses (‘Garden Party’ and ‘Formal’) and rock-inspired casual threads (the Ed Hardy line and ‘Rock Chick’).

The dresses were mainly bright, mainly short and mainly strapless. I don’t really wear cocktail dresses and I never wear strapless (looks terrible on me), so this part didn’t hold much personal interest. That said, I know this range will be popular, especially when our Spring Racing Carnival rolls around.

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Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Next up was the Ed Hardy plus-size collection, which is launching at City Chic next month. I’ve never been one for Ed Hardy. The tattoo prints and excessive use of diamantes always cried ‘Motorcycle Slag with her own Bedazzler’.

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Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

But then, of course, the bitches had to go and prove me wrong with THE BEST SKIRT EVER.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Super super super short and… is that acid wash? It looks like acid wash (help me out, I told you I wasn’t fashion-y). I am a massive sucker for the 80s heavy metal look and for showing off some leg, so I am crazy about this mini.

Speaking of minis, I read in this article that City Chic made a point of not dictating what they thought was suitable for their 18 to 28-year-old target market. According to the general manager, “if we do a skirt to the knee it doesn’t sell.” Love it.

It got better with the ‘Rock Chick’ range – plenty of studs, chains and zips. Further proof that the company are willing to let fatties dress for themselves was this outfit:

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

I was completely floored that they have actually made a sexy midriff top for fatties. TAKE THAT, MAGGIE T.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

This is Courtney Maxwell and she’s a total babe. She’s also the main model on the City Chic website, and got a huge reaction from the CC staff in the front row when she stepped out onto the runway.

I really liked the look of this crossover zip dress, but I suspected the fabric wouldn’t be all I hoped for. A look at the website confirmed that this is a polyester/elastane blend and I’m not willing to fork out AUS$149.95 for polyester.

What I am willing to fork out cash for is this:

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Photo by Justin Lloyd

Corazones Rojos started my love for slashed leggings. When I saw her wearing them in the Daily Beast picture gallery, I wanted to jump her for her outfit. With these gorgeous leggings, I don’t have to resort to assault and robbery! *high kick*

This outfit almost made me squeal:

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

The zip vest and studded jeans look like they were taken straight from a 1990 Motley Crue video. I am a shameless fan of 1980s cock rock, so this outfit was very very exciting for me. (Nikki Sixx, you have an open invitation to come live in my pants.)

Then came the evening wear which, like the cocktail dresses, has limited use for me. I’m sure fatties in Year 12 will be very excited by these options for their formals (aka ‘proms’, for all you weird Americans).

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

The grand finale outfit was completely unexpected and completely, utterly awesome. It featured a City Chic lace corset and couture skirt by Kamikaze, designed by Tealia Scott.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Plus. Size. Couture. And it looked amazing. Any designer that pooh-poohs couture for the corpulent can, obviously, go shove it.

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Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Of course we all lost our minds when she tore off the skirt and strutted back past us sans pants.

End with a diva performance from chubby ex-Australian Idol contestant, Natalie Colavito:

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Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

There it is. The first big fat runway show in an Australian fashion week. It was good, but of course there is room for improvement; better quality fabrics (less polyester, please!) immediately spring to mind. But, after decades of sexless plus-sized clothing, this was a strong start from City Chic.

Pippa – the person behind one of my favourite blogs, Runway Revolution – also went to the show and posted a review, which you can find here.

City Chic has posted a bunch of videos onto their website covering the preparation, the show itself and the ensuing media coverage.

Women I Love: Fluvia Lacerda

Fluvia Lacerda is one of those women with unreasonable bodies: the sex face, the thick hair, the cute belly, the killer hips.

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Fluvia Lacerda by Lucas Pictures

So completely unreasonable.

Fluvia started modeling in 2003 when she was discovered by MODE Magazine on a New York City bus, of all places.

She also writes a magazine column in her native Brazil. In her own words:

I write about what I know, which is the struggles of being a full figured woman in a society (there in Brazil) where is difficult to find clothes, be accepted as a normal human being and so on. I hear plus size women in the US complaining about not being able to find pretty clothes that won’t make them look frumpy and unfashionable. Well, Brazilian plus size women don’t even have that option! It makes me cringe when I go there to see women either having clothes made because stores, in 90% of the cases, carry up to 44, which I think it’s equivalent to a US 12 (GASP!)- Or wearing clothes 2 or 3 sizes smaller, which is a complete NO, NO! It’s a market that still has a long way to go compared to most countries.

I hear ya, sister.

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Fluvia Lacerda by Nikki Gomez

Because of this culture in Brazil and her success as a plus-sized model, Fluvia makes for a fabulous size acceptance advocate:

I know how they [plus-sized women] feel – society in Brazil makes you feel like wearing a size 16 jeans is a national crime. Most women have known nothing but negative criticism throughout their entire lives, from parents, school friends and even work colleagues. It’s the innocent suggestions of a new diet to a mentioning a new high tech plastic surgery procedure. Therefore they have yet to comprehend the meaning of being happy with yourself, regardless of your size. When I have the opportunity to do an interview in Brazil I always try to bring points such as, as long you have an active life, try to work out at least half an hour every day and eat healthier, you should be more concern with your happiness and health rather than beating yourself up for not carrying the genetics of a size zero women.

Also, she’s a babe. Let’s observe, shall we?

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Fluvia Lacerda by Daigo Oliva/G1

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I cannot remember where I got this from, but this picture is way too good to not post. It gets me right in the pants.

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Fluvia Lacerda for Biluzik

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Quotes sourced from Plus Model Magazine
All unsourced pictures are from Fluvia Lacerda’s online portfolio

Fatshion on the Runway

Exciting news, Sydneysiders!

The Australian plus-size brand City Chic will be holding a fashion show as part of the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival (the same folks who organise Australian Fashion Week). Models from BGM will be strutting about in City Chic’s spring/summer collection. A plus-size brand has never been part of a mainstream Australian fashion event before (please correct me if I’m wrong), so this is seriously exciting stuff.

The City Chic runway shows will be at 12:30pm and 1:30pm on Thursday 20 August 2009 at Martin Place. Tickets are available through Ticketek. I’ll be attending the 12:30 show, notepad in hand, and I’ll give you guys a complete rundown. I’ve never been to any kind of fashion show before – this will be a bit fun!

City Chic and BGM Models are also hosting a plus-size model search;  if you have dreams of full-figured super stardom, see the City Chic website for all the details.

Plus size runway shows AND talks of bringing FFFWeek to Australia? This could be the start of something big (teehee).

Thank you to Sonya at No More Mumus for blogging about this – I never would’ve found out about it otherwise.

Women I Love: Ashley Graham

Welcome to another arousing exciting edition of Women I Love! (Yes, two in one week. I have a lot of girl crushes to work through so I don’t have time to dilly-dally.)

Introducing: Ashley Graham

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Ashley Graham in Latina Magazine

I will never understand why Ashley Graham isn’t so spectacularly successful that we can’t open a newspaper without seeing her. She is literally perfect. Her figure, her face, her hair, her amazing lips… all perfect. I can’t even talk about it, the girl just kills me.

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Ashley Graham by Brian Boulos

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Ashley Graham's Ford+ polaroids

She was discovered in her native Nebraska at age 12 and by age 15 she had been signed with Ford Models. Even though she was and is gorge gorge gorgeous, she still had to deal with prejudice; her high school peers would tell her “You’re a fat model. It doesn’t count.” She is conscious that her unique opportunity in plus size modelling probably saved her from developing quite a negative body image in her teens; as such, she is purportedly working on a self-esteem handbook for teenage girls.

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Ashley Graham for Penningtons

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Ashley Graham for Penningtons

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Ashley Graham by Brian Boulos

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Ashley Graham for Liz Claiborne

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Ashley Graham for Bombshell Magazine

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Ashley Graham by Brian Boulos

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Ashley Graham, Ford Models

She’s also best friends with Crystal Renn. Good lord, can you imagine?! If I ran into them together I would be an utter mess. A quivering, stammering, fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up mess.

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Am...

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...dead

PS. For those in New York, she did an interview with Vogue US on her favourite NY shopping haunts which has been graciously uploaded on Too Fat for Fashion.

Women I Love: Crystal Renn

Welcome to the first edition of Women I Love. I discovered a lot of beautiful plus size women as a result of my tumblr and now I’m overflowing with girl crushes. What better place to showcase my lascivious ways than on my blog!

Introducing: Crystal Renn

I love Crystal Renn. I love her so much it borders on unhealthy.

To gather fodder for my tumblr, I started an online hunt for plus size models because I honestly didn’t know of any. Crystal Renn was the first one I found and I’m fairly certain that this was the first picture I saw:

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Crystal Renn by Matt Jones

Which caused me to do something along the lines of this:

actual Frances may differ in size and appearance

Actual Frances may differ in size and appearance

Crystal Renn first attempted modelling at age 14 after being spotted by a model scout. However, the scout told her from the beginning that she would need to lose 10″ from her hips in order to be successful. Fighting against her natural body shape and the constant pressure to stay thin led to an eating disorder. Eventually she realised the toll it was taking on her body and she walked away from her job, recovered from her illness, got a new agent and started plus size modeling.

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Crystal Renn in People 2006, showing her as a straight size model

Crystal Renn in the finale dress for Jean-Paul Gaultier prêt-à-porter S/S06

She looks like a goddess. Sigh.

She also has a book coming out in a few months detailing her own experience with self-esteem and body image. While I am of the opinion that 23 is a wee bit young for a memoir, I’m still looking forward to its release. Watch this space for the review when September rolls around.

Anyway, that’s enough biography. It’s time to perve:

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Crystal Renn for Torrid

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Crystal Renn in Elle Canada, January 2009

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Crystal Renn for Anna Scholz S/S05

Crystal Renn in La VanGuardia, Spain

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Crystal Renn by Steven Meisel in Vogue US, April 2004

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Crystal Renn by Steven Meisel in Vanity Fair Italy, March 2004

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Crystal Renn by Ruvan Afandor in Elle Italia, December 2008

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Crystal Renn by Ruven Afanador for Nordstrom and Harper's Bazaar

Editorial: Crystal Renn in Harper’s Bazaar Australia, May 2009

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Crystal Renn by Luis Sanchis

I know, I know; this is two months late. And I know these pictures are already all over the Interwebs. But I only set this blog up a couple of weeks ago and I am utterly in love with this set, so y’all will just have to deal with it.

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Crystal Renn by Luis Sanchis

Crystal Renn is an extremely successful plus size model who has been featured in a pile of high fashion editorials: Vogue US, Italy, Germany and Paris; Elle Canada and Italy; Vanity Fair Italy and so on and so forth.

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Crystal Renn by Luis Sanchis

The May 2009 of Harper’s Bazaar marked her first editorial in an Australian high fashion magazine.

What is truly spectacular about this editorial is that they have highlighted Crystal Renn’s curves. Not skimmed, not flattered, but HIGHLIGHTED. It’s freakin’ amazing.

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Crystal Renn by Luis Sanchis

She has been dressed in the shortest, tightest couture; couture that at times is even (quelle horreur!) TOO SMALL FOR HER.

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Crystal Renn by Luis Sanchis

Seriously. Look at that skirt. Her legs are being contorted by how tight that skirt is. But wait…

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Crystal Renn by Louis Sanchis

What’s that on her left hip… Why, I do believe that’s a chub bulge!
I was so floored when I first saw this set. I could not believe that stylists and photographers and the Powers That Be at a fancy magazine have taken a plus size model, emphasised her fat and labelled it High Fashion.
This disputes all arguments from designers that refuse to do plus size lines and debunks all the fashion rules for fatties. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that clothing “just looks better” when it hangs from a straight size model, or that fat girls should only wear clothing that draws attention away from their fat parts. This set shows that fabric clinging to an ample behind and chubby thighs looks stunning. CELEBRATION!

PS. This is for my own (and hopefully your) happiness. Here is an outtake from the Harper’s Bazaar shoot with absolutely no retouching. Hi, cellulite! This just makes me love Crystal Renn even more. Swoon.

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Crystal Renn by Luis Sanchis


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