Archive for the ‘Fierce!’ Category

Simply Be plus model competition!

July 5, 2010

Hey all, just a quick bit of news from me for those of you interested in the modelling and glamourous side of fashion!

You may have seen on the twitter or blogosphere today but if not: Simply Be are hosting an extensive model search with all kinds of glamourous goodies and the potential to go on the books of 12+ Model Management. Exciting, no? The best thing about it for me is that there is no upper size limit. I’ll repeat that: there is no upper size limit! Anyone who’s seen Velvet D’Amour or Rosie Mercado understands that you can be a fantastic model at an extremely large size and it’s great that a retailer understands this too.

For more details on how to apply check out the Simply Be site here.

So, who fancies giving it a shot? Let me know if you apply, I’d love to hear how it goes!

London’s Big Bum Jumble!

May 27, 2010

This summer is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting one for us fatshionistas – in London especially there are two awesome events happening. Some of you will know about the UK Bloggers’ Conference in July – more on that later! At the moment I want to talk about the Big Bum Jumble, taking place on Saturday 14th August. IT’S GOING TO BE AWESOME. Capitals necessary!

I interviewed the BBJ organiser, Kay Hyatt. Kay is one of the founding members of The Chubsters – i.e. one of the coolest gangs I have ever seen. I’m a bit in awe. On to the answers…

This will be the first Big Bum Jumble, what sort of revelries can we expect?
The BBJ is first of all a clothing sale. I want it to be a place where you can buy cool cool clothes at low low prices that fit fit fit! That’s pretty hard thing to find even by itself but the BBJ is going to give you so much more:

1. You’ll meet a great mix of people.
The BBJ is organised by mostly queer, medium-fat people with varying degrees of experience of fat activism but I want it to reach a much wider audience than that. I’m hoping to get fat folks and their friends, people from the queer/grrl D.I.Y. scene to people who have just come in from the street. It’s really important to me that I’ve done as much as possible to make sure that anyone who wants to can come to the BBJ. I’ve made a special effort to find a venue that is accessible. Stratford Circus is level access, near a tube station and a car park.

2. There’ll be more than just buying clothes going on.
I’ve got some great volunteers who are going to be working as personal shoppers/ encouragers. I’m hoping that the atmosphere of shopping at the BBJ will help people take fashion risks and try on something that they wouldn’t normally wear. There will also be a catwalk show of clothes from the jumble modelled by shoppers and volunteer models at some point in the day. I’ve also got the amazing and talented Unskinny Bop DJs providing the music and film maker and fat activist Charlotte Cooper will be providing projections as well as inviting people to be filmed privately if they wish. Hopefully I’ll also have some Bill Savage designed badges that you can take away as a souvenir of the day. There’s also a lovely cafe at the venue so hanging out with friends new and old will also be on the menu.

3. You’ll be supporting future fat events and activism.
If I make more than I need to cover the venue costs, I’m planning to make the pot of money available to anyone who wants to organise something for the fatties in the future. Free money for you, if you support the BBJ!

What prompted the idea to get this event going?
In 2008 I went to the incredible Fat Girl Flea Market in NYC. That year it was organised by Deb Malkin, of Brooklyn’s brilliant vintage and resale shop ReDress NYC. This event and ones like it have been organised as fundraisers for Nolose, the organisation for Fat dykes/ transfolks and their allies that I’ve been a supporter of for a while. It was a truly amazing experience. I’ll never forget the riot I had trying things on, encouraging others to try things on and hanging out with the rad fatties there. Since then I’ve been pining for a similar event here so I thought I’d better just get on with it and make it happen.

As someone who has been campaigning for fat acceptance and self expression for a long time, do you feel the current embrace of plus size women by the fashion media is a positive or negative thing? Do you feel that fashion could ever be positive for fat men and women?
I don’t really know how to answer this question. To be honest with you, I feel pretty alienated from fashion. I’m a short fat butch dyke and I can’t find hardly any off the peg clothes that I want to wear, I don’t have the skills to make my own and I can’t afford a tailor but still, I get by. I make my own style with the resources I have.

With the fashion media too, it kind of doesn’t matter to me. I’m always happy to see fat people looking amazing and I’m happy for any positive representations of fat people to exist, but I also think it is better for us to make our own stuff. I’d rather read a zine that somebody sneakily photocopied at work, or read a blog like yours than worry about whether or not there is a fat model on the cover of Vogue.

You didn’t ask me this but.. is there anything else I’d like to say? It’s true, I forgot!
Yes, The BBJ will be from 12-5 at Stratford Circus, Stratford London E15 on Saturday 14th August. Please come and see us, whether you want to buy clothes or not, you will have a great time.

Right now, I’m still after clothes donations, especially in sizes bigger than UK women’s size 22/ Men’s 3X. Please contact me at bigbumjumble@googlemail.com if you have stuff to give me.

Also, if you have a fat clothing business and you want to give me any kind of sponsorship in kind then I’m interested in talking to you too.

Damn do I love seeing big girls on the runway

May 8, 2010

Hello all! Thanks so much for all your links in the last post and for contacting me via Twitter, I think I’m up to date with links. You’re all so stylish and super.

Can I just say, how much do we all love the French Glamour feature on plus bloggers, complete with a photoshoot featuring three of France’s chicest ladies? It’s brilliant! Sakina has a write up and behind the scenes pics of the day, it looks like such a fun experience. So exciting!

Another quick addage: Evans have kindly given me a discount code for anyone who reads this! Just use EVPOCKET at the online checkout and you’ll get 10% off any orders over £40. Woop! Get buying, kids!

I came across these photos this morning via Jezebel, and while they aren’t strictly fashionfashion I just had to post them here. A catwalk show was held in Paris this week in aid of (I believe, do correct me if I’m wrong) creating fashion from recycled materials, sponsored by Christian Lacroix. It featured women of various heights, colours, shapes and sizes, including these two babes:

Work it, ladies! I’m not keen on the gowns at all (well… ditch the cream petticoat on the 1st pic and we’re talking) but seeing genuinely plus sized women on the runways and in magazines really does make me a little giddy with excitement.

What do you think?

IRL Style Icons, Part 2: Diana

April 29, 2010

So I have finally gotten round to my second interview of real life style icons. This time is the turn of Diana. Diana is a very old friend of mine, and one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She’s almost disconcertingly gorgeous – but at the same time is so sweet and nice, she can turn even the most hard nosed bitches into doe-eyed, giggling puppies. Quite a useful trait for a fashion photographer, no?

As with Camilla, she happily took the time to answer my questions and has been completely honest. Whether you agree or not, I hope you enjoy!

How would you describe your style and what/who are your biggest style influences?
My style is a bit of a clash – somewhere between supergeek vs glamour. I spend a lot of time in the studio taking photos, where it’s all skinny jeans and robot tees, loud, grungy make-up and statement necklaces. In my head, I’m still a 17 year old jumping around to Hole, and my casual style is defiantly clinging onto those teenage dreams with chipped red nails and smudgy eyes. However when I’m heading out, I like to vamp it up a little more. Red lips, corsets, flowers – I love the opulence of the 1940s and 50s, and try to mix it up with my own touch of grr. It’s all a bit messed up – Daria boots with Bettie hair. But that’s what makes fashion so much fun – there are no rules, no restrictions. If you feel like you can pull it off, do it. Most of the time, even the most offensive outfit can be saved if the person is wearing it with confidence.

With regards to influences, they come from so many different places. There are the obvious ones such as Bettie Paige, Sophie Dahl, Shirley Manson, Karen O and Dita. Then perhaps the less obvious ones like the photography of Cecil Beaton, old movies, even things as silly as colour swatches.

Where are your favourite places to shop?
I love trawling through vintage shops – there are so many wonderful ones dotted around Brick Lane, and I could easily lose a whole Sunday afternoon doing just that. On the high street, New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Primark are always good for a budget fashion fix, although I try to make sure that if I’m wearing something from the high street, it’s paired with something brought from a market or a vintage shop with it so that it’s not cookie-cutter couture.

I love finding people who create beautiful one-off curiosities as well – Bink at Pearls and Swine is one such example. She makes the most incredible fascinators and hats, and each one is a miniature work of art. I can’t leave the house wearing one of her pieces without being stopped asking where it came from, and have enough of her bits in my room to start my own shop! Tatty Divine is also wonderful for show stopping jewellery. If it’s bright, chunky and made of plastic, chances are that I will fall in love with it.

What is your number one favourite item of clothing/accessory and why?
My favourite item of clothing would have to be my black waspie. Worn under or over a dress, it feels feminine, and harks back to a more elicit age of decadence and perfection. It’s also amazing when you’re a bit low on self-esteem, and want something to give you that extra confidence boost. Even if you’re wearing something fairly ordinary, you can’t help but feel just that little bit sexier as you tie yourself into it.

Bags are also a great way to finish off an outfit, and I have accidentally created something of a collection over the years. One of my favourites is an old faux-leather camera box-bag from the 1970s, which has lots of compartments to fit all of my bits into, whilst still looking cute. It was brought back from New York by my best friend after he found it in a thrift shop out there, and is always an old-faithful when I don’t have to carry anything too big. My Hello Kitty quilted bag is also another gem, and another vintage item that I always get lots of comments on.

Image courtesy of Tom Medwell

Have you found it more difficult to develop your style because of being a larger size than most stores cater for?
As a teenager, I was a bit of a tomboy because I was scared of fashion. By myself, I enjoyed playing around with make-up and experimenting with colour, but when off to a gig I would always be in baggy jeans, baggy t-shirts with my hair scraped back. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so dressed accordingly. It wasn’t until I begun to work with make-up artists that I dressed more like I wanted to – feminine and theatrical, and it was a bit of a jump from where I was before. I would take basic dresses and wear them with bright tights and accessories, and over the course of a few years, my style really begun to change into how I like to present myself now. Part of the reason why I distanced myself from fashion when I was younger was because I didn’t know how to dress for my shape. I was a size 14 / 16, but with huge breasts which I didn’t feel comfortable with, and felt like everything either looked too revealing, or hung over them like a tent, doubling my silhouette. I have a waist, and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve discovered the miracle of cinching belts, which balance out my breasts and hips, making my shape look less warped. It’s refreshing to see that shops are starting to cater for the 16+ market, although there is still a long way to go before I’d be tempted into high street retail on a regular basis as although the style details are leaping forward, there is still that element that everyone is the same shape, and I really don’t want to buy a dress that is two sizes too big because it’s the only way that it’ll fit on top. Bring on the summer with it’s stretchy sun dresses, so that I can buy them in the correct size, and layer them with leggings and cardigans in the colder months.

What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice?
Dress for your shape, and make everyday a fashion show.

Well, are you?

April 12, 2010

I AM SO EXCITED, ARGH!

IRL Style Icons, Part 1 – Camilla

January 29, 2010

One of the first things I wanted to do with this blog was showcase people in my life who’ve been a massive style influence on me personally, and who I think should be influencing everyone!   

Then I forgot. But then, I remembered! First up, Camilla Pia:   

Image courtesy of Nicolas Murray

Camilla is an ex-coworker of mine and one of the coolest people I’ve ever seen and then been lucky enough to know. She writes for various music magazines and DJ’s as a hobby, and her style is a cohesion of day-glo geek chic mixed in with an absolute riot of pop art-esque accessories. Sometimes I feel like she belongs in a nerdy yet hipstery comic book rather than real life. Whenever I see her I’m always totally mesmerised by her gigantic brooches and jewellery – Camilla is someone who totally knows how to work a statement necklace!   

But enough of my waffle. She kindly answered some questions about her personal style for me and answered really candidly and thoughtfully. Here’s what she had to say…   

How would you describe your style and what/who are your biggest style influences?   

Hmm… Geeky, glitzy, eccentric: lots of black, bold colours and classic prints finished off with huge (generally very sparkly) accessories. Biggest style influences are Karen O, Lady Gaga, Iris Apfel, Edith Piaf, Ghost World, Beth Ditto, Vivienne Westwood, my mum, my gran (Kika) and my friends John William, Ruth and Tamsin (Unskinny Bop) and Kirsteen Connor.

Where are your favourite places to shop?

I shop mostly online (farfetch.com, net-a-porter.com) but also at Tatty Devine, Evans, Beyond The Valley, Libertys – when I can afford it –  and this amazing jewellery shop off Portobello Road for most of my mad old lady bling. I have been going there for almost five years and still don’t know the name of it which is a bit silly really.

What is your number one favourite item of clothing/accessory and why?

Oh this is really hard, because it changes all the time. Right now it would have to be a tie between my big black gold and crystal turtle necklace and my gold Vivienne Westwood armour ring.

Have you found it more difficult to develop your style because of being a larger size than most stores cater for?

When I was growing up definitely. As a tween and teen I felt like I had no fashion role models and as a result felt completely like that world and looking good was totally shut off to me. I always wanted to buy vintage but could never find anything in my size and I refused to wear the bland high street stuff that was available at that time for larger sizes. It was sad because I really hated my body as a result and wanted to express myself in clothes but couldn’t. After years of slouching in band t-shirts I started to develop an obsession with quirky statement accessories. I really started to grow in confidence in my mid-twenties and focused on expressing my personality through jewellery and scarves and huge bright handbags which eventually became a kind of signature look for me. Things have improved for larger sizes in the past few years definitely and I find increasingly that I have more options on the high street and this has allowed me to pick out more interesting prints and colours but much more still needs to be done.

What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice?

Not fashion advice as such but a line from a song: “I want your ugly/I want your disease” from Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’. It feels very personal to me. I don’t think of larger sizes as ugly in general, but I’ve always had issues with my body and its imperfections because of various reasons and I find it really freeing and empowering when people like Beth Ditto and Lady Gaga talk about celebrating and loving your freakishness. It just makes me want to be freakier.      

Check out the blog she keeps with the equally fantastic Alex and John here: http://www.creepclub.co.uk