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.

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Dressing room raid

May 13, 2010

You have until TOMORROW to get 10% off orders over £40 at Evans with EVPOCKET!

Oh, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these – a while since I’ve had the time to dedicate a whole day to shopping. But hurrah! Today was that day, and unlike before I was actually able to buy a few bits, too. Win all round. But enough of my waffle, and on to the photos, yes? Please note: I apologise for them being crappy quality iPhone photos (lost my SD card so can’t use my camera, hence the lack of OOTD’s too), I also apologise for my goofy face, lack of skirt and that one annoying strand of hair that keeps getting in my face.

Yours Clothing


Tulip hem dress. I’ve seen lots of different patterns of this, but this was the only one in store today. I love the shape of it though, and the pattern was gorge. SOLD!


I was so impressed with this! It’s from the Allison Hammond range, and it’s pretty much the only plus size garment that even hints at the Burberry Prorsum drapes from last year. Tried it with a belt too:


I pretty much love it (yes if I was to wear it outside, then there would be a skirt or leggings involved!). Was trying not to buy too much so left the top for another day. It will be mine though. And that fantastic belt: SOLD!

Evans


I hoped I’d be able to work this tunic as a dress, but sadly it didn’t look quite right on me. It’s beautiful though, definitely for someone much taller and with far ampler bosoms than myself.


Man. I wanted to love this so hard, but alas I seem to have a very different body to Evans’ fit model meaning that dresses never seem to look correct on me. Such a shame as it’s so cute and bang on trend. And in the sale if memory serves…


My khaki aversion is slowly being beaten down by the fashion business. This top isn’t normally my cup of tea but is definitely cute!


I think my face tells you everything you need to know here. Just when I thought all hope was lost, though…


Ahh, that’s better! Totally fell in love with this, despite not usually enjoying embroidered stuff. It’s delicate and pretty, but could be versatile, too. SOLD!

H&M


So I attempted to ‘make it work’ again! I believe the gorgeous Sakina has this jacket, and I thought I’d give it a go. This is an M, about a 10-12, but it is made of thick lovely jersey, the kind that feels like a nice hug when you wear it. Of course, it didn’t do up but there were no buttons anyway – it’s meant to be open! I really liked it, although an L would have been better I think.


(side view)


This skirt is also a size M. This looks like it belongs to Ulrika – to be honest I didn’t think I’d get it past my knees, but the stretch is ridiculous! It ticks all the boxes for me: flouncy, delicate, flowery… SOLD!


Attempting a mix and match. Not sure.


This dress was a size L, so 14-16. It fit but I feel these types of dresses are better when they flow. And, if I so much as put my head forward the back would ride up. Not bad, though!

New Look Inspire


Liked this cardigan on a lot more than I expected – I do like the buttoned at the top deal as it reminds me of 50’s twinsets. Here it is done up properly:


Not bad.


As nice as this looked, the material felt quite flimsy and as a result the top didn’t feel nice on. Which is a shame!


Similar to before, although the bottom half was made of a better material. I have to be honest though, I don’t understand why people would want bubble hemmed tops – dresses yes, but tops seems a little strange! This was sweet, though.

So there you have it! What is your fave item/look? I must say, I’m an idiot for passing up the Allison Hammond top as that with the belt is my favourite look, hands down. Next time!

Dress Flash: Monochrome

May 12, 2010

Just a quick reminder – You have until Friday (14/05/10) to get 10% off orders over £40 at Evans with EVPOCKET. Go, shoo, buy pretty things! And then come back and tell me what they are please? :D xx

As you may have gathered by now, I’m pretty much a clandestine sucker for a good dress. I do find that plus size dresses tend to have less detailing or are less eye catching than their straight size counterparts, but recently I’ve been really impressed by some gorgeous stuff from Faith21 and Plus Size Fix. Here are my favourites:

ONE: Faith21 Mystery Ruched Dress, $24.80
I’m really impressed with the ruching of the first dress, especially as it’s sewn in a way that draws the eye upward which definitely appeases my obsession with all things asymmetrical!

TWO: Faith21 Tux Event Dress, $22.80
The detailing on dress number two is subtle, but the fact that it has been included at all is a bold step. A flat panel of fabric over the stomach? Ruching around the mid section? A fabric that holds a shape and doesn’t flow? All of these things would have been considered a no go not even a year ago. That Faith21 are putting out clothes like this is really, really exciting to me.

THREE: Plus Size Fix Polka Dot Bubble Hem dress, $44.99
Now this dress is pretty much the dress I would have committed murder for back in the day (and I wouldn’t mind it now to be honest). Isn’t it adorable? I’m so pleased that someone actually thought to make this in a bigger size and make 17 year old soft-goth/rockabilly girls very, very happy.

FOUR: Was Faith21, but appears to be sold out… Sorry!
This is the dress I would commit murder for now. Form fitting, striking and pretty unique – perfect. Plus, not entirely dissimilar to Crystal Renn’s lovely Chanel dress from yesterday:

Image courtesy of Vogue Curvy

Alas I can’t get my hands on any of the above beauties as they’re all US based and I am poor. Here is my small slice of the mono action:

Zebra print courts by Evans :D

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?

Link Amnesty!

May 2, 2010

It’s been an extremely exciting time to be part of the “fatshion” blogging world of late, with some incredible opportunities coming my way and many of the more established blogs gaining press attention all over the world, which is totally brilliant and definitely deserved. However, it’s understandable that the sheer volume of blogs now means that inevitably some fly under the radar no matter how awesome they are. This is such a shame!

Talking things over with Blog to Be Alive, STOP!!! You’re Broke!!!, Diva in Deep Thought, Embrace Your Curves and Definatalie on Twitter, Valerie suggested a regular links round up that gives everyone an equal space, and Natalie has posted a little link adding bot which means everyone can add what they think is the best content of late. Personally I try really hard to make sure all fatshion blog links are represented here and keep up with them all, but sadly I am just one person and it is pretty hard to keep up sometimes. So, I propose a blog amnesty!

If you see that a blog link is missing that really should be there, then comment here with the link and I’ll add it as soon as I can. It’ll also be worth giving a brief introduction so anyone reading can check it out too!

The fatshion blogging community is growing every day, but we are all in this together. After all, it’s just fun, and more people means more fun right?

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.

Back for good!

April 25, 2010

I’m finally back. HELLO EVERYONE!

I have been so out of the loop recently having been working really hard for the D&AD (‘Oscars of the advertising world’) judging event. It ended on Thursday, and although it was an absolutely brilliant experience I’m very glad to go back to normal life and commit more time to the blog. That said, if anyone’s interested in design or media then definitely check out the website – it features some great interviews with the best creatives around the world.

More importantly though… If you’ve been following Gabi or any of the other bloggers attending the event you’ll already know all about this, but if not, I’m so pleased to tell you I’m going to be attending the YFF Blogger Conference in NYC this July!

I am so, so flattered to have been invited to this event, and I seriously can’t wait to meet everyone! I realise a few people have been saddened that the majority of the conference is exclusive but that’s because it’s been a grass roots effort first time around – I’m sure next year will be even bigger and better! And of course a massive thank you to the events sponsors: Evans, City Chic, We Love Colors and Boutique Larrieaux.

There is going to be a meet and greet cocktail party on the Friday night and it would be amazing if some of you could come down to party! It’ll be held at the legendary Re/Dress store from 6pm – 9pm. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to info@youngfatandfabulous.com. I can’t wait to meet you!

Well, are you?

April 12, 2010

I AM SO EXCITED, ARGH!

So… that whole ‘making it work’ thing

April 4, 2010

Argh! I apologise for my lack of updates lately – I think my 9 hour work day combined with a 3 hour daily commute has impinged my ability to keep up with all things fashionable, sadly. I do have some very exciting stuff coming up though which I can’t WAIT to share with you all!

I know that most plus size bloggers advocate the ‘make it work’ mode of thinking – that you can find things to fit you in any store if you look hard enough. And while I agree, it’s not something I put into practice a lot, if I’m honest. For years now I have almost unconsciously avoided Topshop and similar stores because of their indignation about going larger – they clearly don’t want my money, so why spend it there? The problem is, though, that about 85% of my wardrobe comes from either Dorothy Perkins or Evans, both of which are under the Arcadia umbrella along with Topshop. So that mode of thinking is actually quite silly – surely it’s worth a look?

With that in mind I recruited one of my best friends Emily to be my straight size stylist and went to the Oxford Circus branch of Topshop to experiment. Here are the results. Do let me know what you reckon, I love your feedback! xx

Pink crop top, Size 14
Bodycon skirt, Size 16

This was a hit. It reminded me of a softer version of my friend Christina’s look, which hopefully I will be showcasing here before too long. The skirt was a bit too tight to be truly comfortable for me.

Floaty blouse, Size 14
Black vest, Size 14 tall
Bodycon skirt as before

See I understand that this kind of floaty, flowery 90’s is extremely now, but on me it just recalls the very worst that plus size fashion have had to offer in the past and the kind of blouses certain family and friends would hide themselves in. It was so pretty in itself though – in fact, Emily has her own version and looks amazing in it!

Mesh/Dot dress, Size 14
Vest and skirt as before

Now this overlay dress I absolutely fell in love with. A smidgen too small in the bust as a 14, however a 16 could probably work. And part of me quite liked it unbuttoned – made me feel like I had big boobs! I tried another skirt underneath which I think worked really well:

Skirt, size 16
Vest and dress as before

This reminded me of some of the Rodarte for Target range that came out a while ago and was definitely my favourite look of the whole afternoon.

Cream dress, Size 16
Mesh dress as before

I also liked layering it over something light, however for all its give the underdress was definitely a little uncomfortable for me to wear as it clung in a way I didn’t want it to. More confident gals could definitely rock it, though!

Knit dress, Size 16
Vest as before

Gettin’ my Mark Fast on! Haha. This wasn’t actually made by him although he is bringing out a Topshop line in the future. This was too tight – but not nearly as much as I’d expected. An 18 – if it existed – would have been pretty much perfect, though still smaller than my size is meant to be.

And finally, for one last blast of ridiculousness:

Ruffled shift, Size 16

This dress reminded me of those soft focus makeover shoots that women used to go on when I was a kid, so it felt natural to do a ~romantic~ pose, haha. I wasn’t completely horrified by this dress from the front and think it would be AWESOME in a bigger size. The zip on this totally didn’t go up at the back, though. ;)

Have I learned anything? Well, it’s definitely good to experiment and actually, window shopping is GREAT FUN. I’m not completely convinced that I can magically walk into a store and find stuff that fits – I do believe it is possible, but that it does take a lot of training. In the meantime, I’d still prefer to focus on retailers that are happy morally to see their garments on a woman like me, and egg them on to take more risks and be creative with their designs. It’s all good!

New dress x3

March 6, 2010

Oh my poor little blog! My life’s been incredibly hectic now I’m trying to branch out and do more fun stuff with my life. Which is sad because I enjoy this so much and don’t have the time to keep up with it and all of you. BOOOO. I hope everyone is well!

My stupidly busy weeks have been punctuated with nice purchases though, so I figured I should show you all here, complete with links to those still on sale – here goes…

Shift dress, Shoes: New Look Inspire/Wide Fit
Spot tights: Simply Be
Lace gloves: ASOS
Black shrug: Yours Clothing
Pink bow headband: Primark

Pictures just don’t do this dress justice. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever bought from New Look Inspire, it has a lovely shape to it and fits beautifully!

Dogtooth dress/tunic: Yours Clothing
Red tights: Evans
Shoes: New Look Wide Fit

Black, white and red is probably my favourite colour combination, and I try to wear it as much as I can. Not sure if it started before or after I became an obsessed Interpol fan (now jovially referred to as InterLOLOLOLOL) but it’s stayed with me for a long time. As soon as I saw this top on the web I knew it had to be mine! This is one of the few perks of being a shortarse, in that I can wear longline tops as dresses, like this. Like the dress above, I’d say this is the best thing I’ve bought from Yours, and I’ve been buying from them for years. The turnaround is really cool to see.


Lace overlay dress: Dorothy Perkins Tall range
Velvet belt: Evans
Spot tights: Simply Be
Shoes: New Look Wide Fit
Sequin bow headband: Primark

I tried on and bought this dress in a rush last week, not sure whether I like it or not. I know now that I don’t like it. I fucking LOVE it! The underlay is tshirt material, so it’s deceptively comfy but still makes me feel all glam. All the lace around at the moment makes me so happy! I’ll probably wear this out to my birthday next week.

Let me know what your fave outfit is! xx