Browsing Tag


Curvy Models, In The News

‘Vogue Curvy’ – Italy embraces the voluptuous woman


Vogue may be all about aspirational high fashion, but they know a hot topic when they see one. Hot on the heels of the so-called ‘rise of the size 16 supermodel’, Vogue Italia has dedicated a whole section of their website to women like us: Vogue Curvy.

So far it seems to be relying on two tried and tested topics – models and celebs. There’s a gallery dedicated to Crystal Renn, complete with behind-the-scenes pics you might not have seen before, and one for America Ferrera. Model Sindy Gourland gives fashion advice, and the ‘curvy blog’ covers the recent Mark Fast show.

But to be honest, it seems to be playing it incredibly safe so far. A selection of items inspired by Christina Hendricks has such great potential, but seems to consist entirely of boring black sacks. Where are the cleavage-enhancing red carpet gowns or Joan-esque wiggle dresses? Just because we’re curvy doesn’t mean we’re boring, and we all know Vogue has access to the most exquisite clothes. The style advice section is a bit more inventive, but there are no links to buy, just lots of photos.

The site shows definite potential, but I’d love to see them taking bigger risks and using a bit more imagination. Vogue is leader, not a follower, and right now I feel there are other sites and blogs out there delivering the same content in a much better way.

They get an A for effort though. It’s very early days, and this is such a departure for a magazine that’s usually devoted to tiny models. I’d love to see Vogue UK and US following Italia’s lead in the future. I bet I know plenty of willing contributers…


Debenhams start using size 16 mannequins


If you walk past Debenhams on London’s Oxford Street in the next few days, you might spot something a bit unusual. They’ve just added two size 16 mannequins to the display, with a board below reading “I’m a size 16. Do you want to see more of me?”

This is part of a trial by the retailer to see if customers would like to see these mannequins rolled out across more stores. Traditionally, Debenhams use size 10 models, but with 42% of sales coming from size 14 and 16 garments, these new mannequins represent the average customer far more.

Launching this trial is a savvy move on Debenhams part, particularly on the eve of London Fashion Week when everyone’s eyes are on the fashion industry. Far from being shoved into a specialist 16+ range, the mannequins wear the new Principles by Ben de Lisi range, which has had loads of press recently and is one of the store’s key collections.

Hopefully, if enough of us give positive feedback, the mannequins will become a permanent fixture across the country.

If that happens, I’d love to see them continue this good work and add some other sizes to the mix in the future. As much as I think this is a fantastic move forward, I don’t think you can truly represent British women just by adding a couple of plus size mannequins to all those size 10s. How about some petite models, some size 12s and so on? Let’s really push for diversity and a true representation of who is shopping on the UK high street.

[photo via the Debenhams Flickr page]

Clothing, Events & Launches, News

ASOS to launch plus size range – ASOS Curve


The wonderful girls from ASOS broke the brilliant news on Twitter today that ASOS – the folks responsible for the fab (non plus-size) items above – will soon be branching out into the plus size market with new called ASOS Curve. It’ll cater for sizes 20 – 26 and they’re currently looking for fit models, so if you’re a Big Girl who fits the criteria, you could be one step away from ensuring an almost custom-made collection!

ASOS need someone who can spare a couple of hours a week to try on ASOS Curve clothing. They’re looking for someone who’s 5ft 5″ tall with the following measurements:

Bust: 116cm
Waist: 98cm
Hip: 124cm

If you fit the bill, check out the listing on ASOS for details of how to apply. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear more details about the range. Judging by the mainline collection, this should be a trend-lead, stylish and affordable range so I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

News, Rants

Once-fat Karl Lagerfeld has another anti-fat rant.


Karl Lagerfeld has once again conveniently forgotten that he used to be fat and decided to moan about the use of normal women in magazines. “No one wants to see curvy women,” said the designer, on hearing the news that Brigitte, one of Germany’s top-selling magazines, was making a move to include ‘real’ women on its pages rather than professional models. This isn’t the first time the Kaiser has whined about bigger women, either. When he created a line for H&M, he complained about his clothes being made up to a size 16, stating he designed only for slim women. Well, Karl, we seem to remember you cosying up to Beth Ditto at one of your shows not so long ago…

So where to begin addressing this pile of nonsense?

Firstly, and most importantly, people do want to see curvy women. This website – started up after I worked on a mainstream fashion website and was constantly approached for help for dressing curves – proves that. And as I have said time and time again, curvy does not always mean fat. It definitely doesn’t mean ugly. It means natural, shapely, normal. Curvy can just as easily be attributed to a UK size 12 as a UK size 22. Nobody’s suggesting that Brigitte are suddenly going to fill their pages with obese housewives in high fashion (though if they did, good on ’em), despite Largerfeld moaning that “You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.” The magazine is simply taking a stand against the impossible ideal that the fashion press has promoted up to this point. Brigitte’s editor-in-chief told The Guardian, “For years we have had to use Photoshop to fatten the girls up, especially their thighs and decolletage. But this is disturbing and perverse, and what has it got to do with our real reader?”

I think this is a fantastic step forward, hot on the heels of Glamour US’s use of a plus size model in an article about body confidence. These magazines are recognising their audience and targeting them (something that will undoubtedly shift more copies in a recession, and who can blame them for that). If just a handful of magazines started using healthy UK size 10 – 16 models on their pages instead of emaciated size 4 ones, the world would be a better place. If we start seeing some more women in magazines who look like the women we see in real life on a daily basis, perhaps all of us will get a much-needed confidence boost and be inspired to live a healthier life. As someone who is only slightly overweight, I look at women in magazines now and think “I could never look like that”. I would love to look at them and think “Hmmm, maybe one day!”

Lagerfeld argues that people don’t want to see curvy women because fashion should be about “dreams and illusions”. Fair enough, I’m not going to pretend I don’t love a catwalk show full of ethereally beautiful women in frocks that could never be worn in real life. But I can safely say that this is not my dream, nor will it ever be. My dream looks a hell of a lot more like this; someone who is curvy, healthy and beautiful inside and out.

Unlike Karl Lagerfeld.

[Lagerfeld doll via Dazed Digital]