Tonight, I attended the launch of Gisela Ramirez‘s very first plus size collection. It was spectacular – the clothes and models were fab, the turn out was fantastic and I am so, so proud of her. My intention is to write a proper post on it (with pictures!) but I board plane tomorrow, so that will have to wait.
Gisela was sweet enough to invite me to introduce the show; here’s the transcript of my speech.
Good evening and welcome to the official launch of Gisela Ramirez’s first plus size collection.
I met Gisela on the internet almost a year ago. I liked her immediately – she’s a very cool chick and is seriously passionate about what she does. When I heard she was designing a line, it’s fair to say I was a wee bit excited. I knew that her line, however it turned out, would go some way to filling the sizeable gap in plus size fashion.
Despite how frivilous it may sometimes seem, I do think fashion is important and can be quite political. The way we present ourselves through our clothes sends a message about us before we even open our mouths.
The limited options available in plus sizes – especially in Australia – mean that the messages we are able to send with our fashion are, in a way, censored. It is much easier to think of fat women as homely and sexless when the fashion choices available are largely homely and sexless.
The bulk of plus size fashion caters to our insecurities. It assumes that we all must be ashamed of our arms, our bellies and our arses. That our sartorial goals only revolve around flattering our figure.
The idea of a ‘flattering’ outfit being one that highlights my good parts while minimising my flaws. Beyond the fact that no waist-cinching belt will transform me into a size 10, what the designers of ‘flattering’ garments fail to realise is that all my parts are good parts. I can’t minimise my flaws because I have no flaws.
When writing this speech, I was looking through the first emails Gisela and I sent to each other. All those months ago, she said to me that she designs for the “type of girl [who] isn’t hung up on her body, is confident enough to stand out in a crowd and wants to be the centre of attention.”
Now how amazing is that?
In an industry that tells fat girls ‘Don’t draw attention, don’t wear bright colours, don’t wear tight clothes but don’t wear shapeless sacks either’, Gisela Ramirez has created a line from superhero spandex and sheer silk chiffon.
That’s what’s so exciting about this new collection. She caters for the middle fingers. For those of us who wear our freak on the outside. Who don’t walk when we can strut.
Gisela is not flattering our figures with these clothes. She’s going one better. She is embracing our bodies. She knows that when our clothes send the world a message, we should be the ones dictating it. The main message for tonight? Fuck flattering.