Size seems to be a hot topic in fashion this year as catwalks have been graced with the presence of fuller figured models. Earlier this year Mark Fast caused quite a stir when he used successful “plus-sized” model, Crystal Renn, for his catwalk show. More recently Louis Vuitton used models usually considered too, shall we say, voluptuous for catwalk work, including Laetitia Casta, Adrina Lima, Karolina Kurkova. And the latest news is that Marc Jacobs is going to create a line for “plus-sized” women, which has got the UK press talking about fashion and size again.
Now the topic has entered the blogging sphere let’s talk about how it affects bloggers who often act as writers and models to get their message across.
1. Should someone’s size stop them from fashion blogging or having a voice in the community?
Definitely not! Large sections of the fashion consumer community are underrepresented by the conventional fashion press, bloggers help fill this void. As I have said before the internet allows all types of fashion lovers to express their voice and I think that can only be a good thing. I think it is a shameful prejudice to say that only people of a certain size should be able to express their views about fashion.
2. In your opinion, can the term “curvy” and “plus-sized” be used interchangeably when it comes to fashion?
I’m not am not in favour of the “plus-sized” especially when it is applied to models who are only a UK size 12 or 14 (American size 8 – 10). I reject it because of the connotations of being large or above the norm when in actual fact the average size for a British woman is a size 14-16. I personally feel that there should be no distinguishing term, women in real life come in all shapes and sizes so, to reflect this, models should too.
I also disagree with stores and designer brands that create alternative lines that are “plus-sized” as they are often poorly proportioned and old fashioned. I have a few friends who are UK size 20 and above, their sense of style is similar to mine and when they find clothes that fit them they wear them as well as I do. My point is make fashionable clothes is a wider size ranges there is no need to create a whole new line.
Basically I don’t think the term “plus-sized” should be used ever!
3. Many people make the argument that catering to plus sized women would promote being overweight as “okay”. What do you think? Should more designers be catering to plus size women?
Well if that is true then designers, who create clothes in a size zero, and magazines, who air brush models so they look stick thin, are encouraging eating disorders, why is that ok?
Many people who are overweight are already unhappy with their appearance, not being able to find clothes that flatter them just adds to this. People are being urged to eat well and exercise for health reasons not vanity. My problem with designer labels and some high end high-street stores is that the limited size ranges they do offer are often cut smaller than regular clothing stores. This to me means they only want skinny people wearing their clothes. I understand that they can’t cater to everyone but they should at least try to cater to the majority.
4. Should the mainstream fashion industry be showcasing more plus size models?
Of course, women and young girls need to see beauty in different forms. These modes show that you don’t have to be super skinny to be beautiful or to wear clothes well.
5. For you personally, how do you view your size, the struggle with it through the years, your ideal size, etc…
I have always been a curvy girl but when I went to university I gained about 28lbs, at my biggest I was a size 18 and became very unhappy with my appearance. In my final year I made an effort to change my lifestyle, I started eating well and getting more exercise, but it wasn’t until I started Weight Watchers in 2008 that I began seeing s results. Over a period of about 18 months I lost 42lbs and went down to a size 12 but the weight it is slowly creeping back on. I am currently a size 14 but ideally I would like to be a size 10 so the battle to lose weight continues.
I am not affected by the skinny girls I see in fashion magazines; I think women should be curvy. What forced me to make a change was not being able to find a nice pair of jeans. I love to shop and I want to be able to buy nice clothes anywhere but unfortunately if you are bigger that a size 14 that becomes a bit of a challenge. My aim is to be slim and toned and most importantly healthy, I understand that it is important to eat well and exercise and I am not prepared to damage my body by starving it all in the name of vanity.