Fatshionistas are hip, but can they fit into the dress?
So Fat-shionistas (their word, not mine) have come together for the launch of Full Figured Fashion Week in New York, and larger women all over Manhattan are excitedly gathering in anticipation of clothing that is actually on trend and made in big-girl-friendly sizes.
It seems too good to be true after the recent too-small-clothing debate, with UK Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman calling for designers to up their sample sizes.
Five years in the making, the event organizer Gwen De Voe is hoping to get the attention of fashion designers globally.
“The main objective is to show the consumers and buyers that there are other designers out there.”
She’s expecting 1500 people to attend including retail buyers and plus sized customers all looking for a solution to their what to wear dilemmas.
But the bigger issue is, well, bigger.
Beth Ditto, frontwoman for ultra cool band, The Gossip acknowledges the irony of a fashion industry which holds her up as a style icon, yet doesn’t have a single piece to fit her.
“I know that one year Karl Lagerfeld was refusing to make clothes for women of a certain size, and the next year he was asking me to play the Fendi party,” she says.
“What a contradiction they are! But they’re probably just as big victims of not being able to see beyond the ends of their noses as all the people complaining about it. You have to get in there, shake it up.”
TopShop, the same retail outlet which boasts the Kate Moss line, asked Ditto to design a range for them and thankfully she refused, asking instead if she could design for their plus–size division, Evans (available from July 9 online at bethdittoatevans.co.uk).
And while she’s on top of the fashion roost, while her songs are still spinning in the coolest clubs, Ditto remains a designer’s darling. Now everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Chanel are making one-offs of their regular styles for her to wear to shoots and events, reports the UK Times. But will this spin off more ranges in larger sizes?
“The truth is, they’re not going to make them for everyone. They make only a few pieces just to fit me. For the rest, I have to make it work my own way. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to go round my shoulders because it was a skirt, but that’s how I wear it.”
So what will Full Figured Fashion Week do for an industry which insists on fitting their clothes on female coathangers? Rhiannon Gammill, who writes a blog called Manolo the Big Girl had this to say to The Daily Beast:
“I’ll say there are more options now than there used to be, but that’s sort of like saying ‘he doesn’t hit me nearly as often as he used to.’” says Gammill. “I’m fat, I have money. I’m more than willing to give it in quantity to the store who will supply me with beautifully made clothes that don’t make me look like a hooker, a tranny, or someone’s bingo-playing grandma from Duluth. I would love to see Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, a big girl herself, do a ready-to-wear line that extends to the plus-sizes.”
Ditto, meanwhile, should enjoy her time on top. The highlight? That she was actually photoshopped to be larger after posing naked for the cover of style bible Love, earlier this year.
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