Article written by Natalie Wakeling
Plus-size fashion that’s relevant, bold, stylish, and easily accessible, this is what we want!
Gone are the days when a curvy woman would settle for what was an afterthought of bad florals cut into a shapeless sack. The more coverage the better, as apparently anyone over a size 14 doesn’t want to show their skin or look fashionable. How much further from the truth could this be.
The perception that every curvy woman doesn’t want to show her arms or legs is outdated. Look around your local mall, and if you do see a store offering anything up to a size 26 it is usually very dated, with terrible styling, bad necklines, and incorrect hem lengths. The silhouette has been given no thought at all, and the model is always portrayed as bubbly and funny.
After spending 22 years in the fashion industry, I can truthfully say that I have seen it all when it comes to the lack of thought and true inclusiveness of women above a size 12, be it in television, reality shows, and fashion. And the big moment for myself and many others is where I see this horror story played out in full display every year Fashion Week.
Then comes the media circus where a brand may throw in a few plus-size models in a parade and call it inclusive, not knowing that us curve babes are a very savvy bunch that can see it for what it really is – a publicity stunt and tokenism. There are panels and debates on TV, and women jumping up and down about the lack of representation and offerings for them, but every year thin privilege still remains the priority.
A real progressive change in the industry needs to occur at a grassroots level, with the organisers, the editors, and the stylists. We need allies. We need other women that are not plus size to champion this change for us.
So why are true size-inclusive designers that offer fashion-forward styles excluded from main fashion features? Probably because designers haven’t been given the opportunity to show how amazing we can make a plus-size woman look when her body has been thoughtfully designed for.