Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Brief Interuption.

Hi guys!

I'm sorry that I have not had time to post anything lately. I just have had a tone of things to do and I still have not finished them all! I will be back soon and hopefuly you will too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Not So Mellow Yellow Ensemble

Have you ever been obsessed with something but unsure how to wear it?

Recently, I have been wrestling over the decision whether or not to buy this Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Purse Bow handbag. I was concerned, because yellow is so bright and I had no idea what to pair with it.

So, I kept surfing around trying to find some items to wear with it and I stumbled upon these Alexander McQueen heels on FarFetch. It was like lightening struck and I knew at that moment those shoes and the Sonia bag must be mine. I normally shy away from such bright colors, but I swear it was destiny. I just knew in my bones they belonged together.

Still, the question lingered how in the hell do I wear this without looking like I just time warped out of the early 90s? Then it hit me: dummy you already blogged about this in Grey Skies Got You Down: Find the Pink Lining!. I knew that I needed a dark dress and the Dorothy Perkins Rise Embellished Dress would be the perfect complement, but in order to tone it down for daywear a boyfriend jacket was definitely in order.

Then there was the issue of accessorizing. The Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Bow Purse had silver hardware and I am not really much of a silver person. I was stumped until I happened upon a bracelet from Deviated by Justin Giunta. It had both gold and silver finishes in it as well as stones similar in coloring to the dress! Huzzah - problem solved.

Well, almost as there was the necklace quandary I found myself in. The dress itself is pretty ornate and definitely did not need a statement necklace. I love necklaces though and so I was determined to find something to complement the outfit. So, I searched and searched and then I found it at Emily Elizabeth Jewelry.

Here is the ensemble in all it's photoshopped glory. Please, be kind - remember I went to Parsons for business not design. So, my photoshop skills are a bit lacking!


Sonia by Sonia Rykiel - Bow Purse (Yellow): $169.74

Alexander McQueen - Patent court shoe (Yellow): $577.00

Emily Elizabeth Jewelry - Gypsy Plume Lariat-Infinity Necklace: $60.00

Deviated by Justin Giunta - Crossed Ladder Bracelet: $238.00


Dorothy Perkins - Rise Embellished Dress (US size 12 - 14): $46.00

ASOS - Longline Ponti Blazer (US size 18-22): $92.58

Love some of these items but sticker shock has got you down? Try and More often than not you can find something similar at a reduced price. All you have to do is enter the designer and product name and it should come up within the search, and from there it should only be a few seconds to find similar items.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

Today I was browsing through my google reader and I came across this post from Young, Fat, & Fabulous. In in it, Amelia Pontes (guest blogger from Sound Bites) talks about her love of taking fashions risks despite being plus size.

It got me thinking about my own wardrobe and where I could use an injection of fresh new style.

Then it hit me. Sunglasses. I love them more then life and I had a pretty eclectic expensive collection that got lost in a previous move. I was devastated, because like all truly valuable items they were rare. So, in short re-buying them was never an option and they were never to be seen again.

I just did not have the heart to start collecting all over again, and as such my sunglasses assortment suffers to this day.


I think that is all going to change now, because some of these sunglasses I cannot see myself living without. I know I will have to chose just one, but I know in my heart of hearts that each one of these deserves a place in my collection! So, don't fret sunnies that don't get picked - when I win the lottery you are all coming home with me!

(Left to Right)

1. Nathan Jenden - Ms. Demeanor (Black): $295.00


2. Linda Farrow - Luxe (Snakeskin): $600

3. Moss Pull - Exotic Leather Mosiac (Ostrich): $1200.00

4. GianFranco Ferre - Luigi: $325.00


5. Linda Farrow - Alexander Wang: $288.00

6. Linda Farrow - Walter (Black/Red + Removable Lens): $256.00

Love some of these items but sticker shock has got you down? Try and More often than not you can find something similar at a reduced price. All you have to do is enter the designer and product name and it should come up within the search, and from there it should only be a few seconds to find similar items.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Negatives of Plus Size via Curves and Chaos

I came across this posting on Curves and Chaos today. Monique posted a link to an article written by Greta Hagen-Richardson titled "The Negatives of Plus Size" and as you imagine it made me pretty incensed.

Here are some of the choice lines:

1) "Despite my very secure self-identification as a feminist, I find myself a bit out of sorts where this topic is involved. While I oppose the idea of size-0 models as the only representation of the female form on the runway, I don’t think I am a fan of the size-12 models either."

How does being a feminist justify that statement? She has the right to say what she will about models, but the size 12 model has been integral to the market for quite some time. Size 12 models just have not been involved in catwalks as visibly until now, and this fact alone just indicates how ill informed the writer is on the subject.

2) "Let me say right now that I am no size 2 or 4 (or 6 for that matter), so I think I can understand the desire of many proponents of the plus-size movement...However, the sizes that the public consider to be in the plus range, 14-18, are to my mind just as unhealthy as the 0s and 2."

I agree to a certain against about the health concerns of being plus sized. I have said it before, and I will again that being on the high end of plus sized is not healthy. I recognize this fact and it is a cause of great anxiety, but that does not mean I need to be discriminated against by becoming fashion's invisible woman. Also, we are not privy to every woman's history - so who is she to judge their health?

3) "Part of what bothers me about having the size 14 on the runway is the motivation for it. In this economic climate, it would seem that many designers are doing whatever they can to jump on a market that was previously untapped...Perhaps this is a marketing ploy more than a new acceptance. If that is the case, then the inclusion of these new models could be just as damaging."

I agree with her to a certain extent in this regard. The fact is I mentioned it yesterday in my post Square Peg/Round Hole: The Dilemma of the Plus Sized Model. Diversity is a slippery slope and being exploited is sometimes the byproduct of inclusion, but does that necessarily mean we should argue against it?

4) "A few months ago, Glamour magazine drummed up a lot of attention by featuring a photo shoot of several plus-size models in the industry. Among them was Lizzi Miller, star of Glamour’s first nude plus-size photo shoot. In an interview, size 12-14 Miller said that she eats right and exercises daily and that her size is an accurate reflection of her natural weight. I find this pretty difficult to believe. I run between a size 8 and a size 10 and like athletics, so perhaps I am unable to shelve my own bias. But it would seem to me that someone eating optimally (six roughly 300-calorie meals a day, complete with the proper distribution of proteins, veggies, and fruits) and working out daily (could be as little as a 20-30 minute run) should be closer to a size 6 or 8."

This is the part of the article that really pissed me off. I have no idea why she thought it was necessary to bring in her own statistics when discussing the model's weight. It screamed to me "hey I'm thinner than this "fatty" why does she get to model"?

5) "I am by no means condemning larger sizes aesthetically. The plus-size women who have walked the runways thus far have been as beautiful as the typical Fashion Week model fare. Trust me — I am about as awed by Miller’s looks as I am of Agyness Deyn’s."

What a backhanded complement! How many times have you heard "you have such a beautiful place, but..."? Same sentiment - different wording.

I just feel overall this woman had her own issues, and took them out on the plus sized models of the catwalk. She mentioned nothing about the mechanics behind the size 0/plus size debate, which is integral to understanding the situation in its entirety.

The clothes shown on the runway are sent out to magazines for shoots. These are normally the only samples that showrooms have to send out for sample requests, and as such the model sizes on the runway determine the sizes you see in magazines. So, in short the models you see on the runway perpetrate the cycle of thinspiration entrenched in the American psyche.

(Sorry for the brevity in the post today. I have a severe headache, and this was all I could muster up before I had to lay back down again.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Square Peg/Round Hole: The Dilemma of the Plus Sized Model

The involvement of plus size models in fashion shows are on the rise, but at times I unsure whether to be exhilarated or enraged. Diversity is key to showcasing designs for customers, but I am completely against it being done solely for the sake of notoriety. It reeks of exploitation and commodification, and also an extremely condescending attitude towards the minority being represented.


Take for instance the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2007 Ready to Wear Show. He casted a size 20 model and then trussed her up as some sort of Valkeryie sent to consume the souls of fashion's fallen. She looked absolutely awful and extremely out of the place when juxtaposed with the looks that proceeded as well as followed her on the runway. A real statement to me, would have been to create a look that fit with the collection and also looked stunning on her. Instead, we get smug commentary on how the plus sized just does not mesh with the scenery of traditional fashion. The whole thing overall smacks of exploitation and also relied on heavy stereotypical imagery of plus sized women in fashion.

What do I mean by this? Well, have you ever wondered why is almost every plus size shoot either naked, in lingerie, or covered with a bed sheet? I mean take the shots of Christina Hendricks who is just a tad bigger than the majority of Hollywood starlets. I swear I have seen her in her knickers more than well myself lately!

Not that there is anything wrong with shooting curves with appreciation, but the real reason these shoots are so common is the sizing issue. Simply put, sample sizes are holding back shoots do to their restrictive size ranges. Thus, a twisted cycle perpetuates itself further and discrimination becomes customary.


There are some designers like Mark Fast that are trying to be more inclusive. He just showed his latest collection at London Fashion Week, and unfortunately all he deserves for this gesture is a golf clap. This is because after viewing the collection I was left with the following question: If the intention was to include plus size models from the beginning THEN WHY ARE THE GARMENTS NOT FITTING CORRECTLY?

I was lucky enough have interned at a brand where I was present from the initial design process to when the clothing walk down the runway. So, I feel that I am qualified to say that there is no way this would have happened if Mark Fast's intention was to include plus size models from the beginning. If the original samples made for the show were intended to be worn by plus sized models then there is no way the pinching that you see here would not have been addressed during model tryouts. I mean what designer in their right mind would want months of work go down the runway imperfect?

Once again, it is clear that this designer was subverting the plus size model as a means to their own end. In this case, it was all about publicity and I just do not think it was worth it to me as plus size shopper. This is because I much prefer underrepresentation than overexposure of the wrong type of imagery. Hopefully, this will not always be an issue and one day plus as well as straight sized models will walk down the runway arm in arm without notice.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Inside Out: Lingerie Inspired Fashions for Spring

"For lingerie inspired looks what matters is that you convey an idea of the unseen and allow the dream" - Stefano Gabbana (Marie Claire - March 2010)

Elegance and illusion are key to making this work this spring, and this is especially so in the case those with a bit of "junk in the trunk".


In order to pull it off, it is essential therefore to find the right balance to avoid becoming a burlesque caricature. Showing too much is sometimes difficult to estimate for a plus sized fashionista, as what it considered a little proportionally for us may be overboard in the opinion of the general public. Remember this is a look about sleek and subtle nods to their boudoir complements - so discretion in this regard is vital!

Caftan Inspired Looks

Caftans are not only one of the most enjoyable words to say in the English language, they are also an integral part of the lingerie category. Originally making their way into boudoirs from the Middle East they now have become a staple in lingerie. Their lose fit and intricate detailing make them a sure fire hit this spring.

Dorothy Perkins - Rise Asia dress: $54.00 (US Size 12 - 14)
Dorothy Perkins_RiseAsiaDress_DorthyPerkins.jpg

Dorothy Perkins - Rise Embellished Dress $46.00 (US size 12 - 14)

Warehouse - Embroidered Batwing Silk Top $77.00 (US size 12 - 14)
Warehouse_ EmbroideredBatwingSilkTop_ASOS.jpeg

Corset Inspired Looks

Corsets were essential as foundation garments for centuries - well until the bra was finally able to claim its rightful place in the market. Now this season, once again, they are cropping up as outerwear. This is a look that requires some discretion as it can look too costumey if done wrong, and that is why you want to work towards creating moreso the illusion of a corset than actually wearing one.

ASOS - Contrast Panelled Jersey Corset $43.00 (US size 12 - 16)

ASOS - Halterneck Body Con Top $43.00 (US size 12 - 16)

Cami Inspired Details

Camisole detailing is also making its presence known in fashion. Lacey elements about this season and add a touch of femininity and sensuality to almost every category of clothing. In short, it is one of the easiest ways to include some lingerie inspired looks into your wardrobe this season.

Karen Millen - Cutwork Vest: $77.95 (US 12 - 14)

ASOS - Crochet Trim Top: $43.00 (US Sizes 12 - 18)

ASOS - Lace Mono Two in One Dress: $74.00 (Us Sizes 12 - 16)

Sensual Hosiery

stylehive had this great pair of garter leggings by LnA listed as one of the ways to wear lingerie as daywear. Sadly, I was unable to find a comparable substitute in a plus size size range. There are, however, extremely sexy back seam and Cuban Heel thigh highs available in plus sizes in an array of colors/styles. (Cuban Heel hosiery are those items that have a back seam as well as a higher than usual reinforcement on the heel.)

Fredrick's of Hollywood - Color Band Backseam Thigh High Plus: $14 (1X-2X)

Hips and Curves - Cuban Heel Contrast Top Stocking: $7.95 (Queen)

Hips and Curves - Color Band & Backseam Stockings: $13.95 (1X - 6X)

Hips and Curves - Cuban Heel Sheer Lycra Thigh Highs: $7.95 (Queen)


If you are like me and thigh highs never stay up for you, I highly suggest investing in a garter belt. It takes the whole anxiety of whether or not your thighs are falling down out of the equation. Just make sure they are not too tight/short or else it will be an extremely uncomfortable fit.

Shoes: Flirty and Feminine or Tough Girl Chic

Elle suggests pairing lingerie-inspired separates with "shoes and bags embellished with flirty, feminine touches". Stylecaster, however, thinks that pairing these looks with "flat boots for a bit of contrast" helps "balance out the look". Either is a great choice, but for me I think that flirty and feminine complements the look best.

Manolo Blahnik - Raia: $995.00
Manolo Blahnik_Raia_Barneys.jpg

Christian Louboutin - Ernesta Bow: $875.00
ChristianLouboutin_Ernesta Bow_Barneys.jpg

Miu Miu - Bow Pump: $560.00
MiuMiu_Bow Pump_Barneys.jpg

Vera Wang Lavender Label - "Lynette" Satin Ballet Flats: $225.00

Valentino - Bow-detail Satin Sandals: $825

Love some of these items but sticker shock has got you down? Try and More often than not you can find something similar at a reduced price. All you have to do is enter the designer and product name and it should come up within the search, and from there it should only be a few seconds to find similar items.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Feet: Oxford Edition

I was leafing through Marie Claire and Lucky the other day and I nearly jumped for joy - Oxfords are in again!

For those of you not exactly clear on what an oxford is: it is "a basic shoe style that either laces shut or is closed with some other fastening". So basically, any shoe nowadays that has a lace-up but isn't a boot can be considered an Oxford. Why the distinction? Shoemakers first came up with it to differentiate between heel height, and wala a new category of shoes was born.

I love Oxfords so much because they really do go with just about anything: tights, socks, bare feet, dresses, skirts, pants, shorts, etc. They are also a great way to take a break from traditional flats, which if you are like me essential to life as you walk everywhere. So, for me at least, Oxfords allow me to shake things up a bit in my wardrobe.

These are the styles I'm in love with right now:

Steven by Steve Madden - "Jezebell" Oxfords in Gold/Silver: $99.00

Joan & David - "Zena" Oxfords: $180.00

Forever 21 - Modern Patent Leather Oxfords: $24.80

Steven by Steve Madden - "Melin" Oxfords: $99.00

Maison Martin Margiela Line 22 - Lace-Up Oxford: $660.00
MaisonMartinMargielaLine22_Lace-Up Oxford_Barneys.jpg

Repetteo - Zizi Femme Patent Oxford: $270

Bloch - Wingtip Jazz Shoes: $175.00

Candela NYC - Duel-Tone Oxford: $188
CandelaNYC_ Duel-Tone Oxford_UO.jpg

Love some of these items but sticker shock has got you down? Try and More often than not you can find something similar at a reduced price. All you have to do is enter the designer and product name and it should come up within the search, and from there it should only be a few seconds to find similar items.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Elephant in the Room: How Big is TOO BIG for Fashion?

CocoRocha_DailyNewsCover.jpgIf you have been following NYFW then I am sure you are familiar with the story of Coco Rocha. She is a size 4 model that was set adrift like an old Eskimo due to her desire not to starve herself to fit a sample size. For those not in the know, traditionally the sample size is size 0 or smaller.

She has this to say about her weight "gain":

“If I want a hamburger, I’m going to have one. No 21-year-old should be worrying about whether she fits a sample size.”

And yet this is the country we (well I) live in. Models are not picked for shows because they "balloon" up to size 4 and directors are ejected from airplanes apparently due to safety/comfort concerns involving "customers of size". Obviously there is some sort of disconnect going on here, but alas this is not a posting for the Freakonomics blog on the NYT website.

Now what does this have to do with a blog on plus size fashion you may be asking yourself? In her industry, for lack of a better term, Coco Rocha is plus sized. Think about it this way: the sample size is 0 and most brands only go up to a 10 /12 . Having runway models that are size 4 would essentially be the same as pushing the size range from 10/12 to 14/16. See what I mean now?

When I was having this discussion with my better half about the whole Coco Rocha fiasco, he asked me a really interesting question. How big is too big for fashion? His position was that if you let yourself go past a certain point it obviously indicated a disinterest in yourself and by extension fashion. After all, he said, not everyone can be a victim of medical/genetic issues.

I was stumped at first at how to answer.

Fashion as business is based upon the creation and manipulation of artifice. Simply put, you are invested in how you look because you are using it as a signifier of the characteristics that you want to associate with or represent. Fashion designers essentially create the canvas that breathes life into these characteristics, and as such they demand control as we are treading on their dreams by donning their garments. So, could it possibly be that we are in the wrong to ask them to design in larger sizes?

Fit definitely becomes an issue as waistlines expand and at a certain size it becomes next to impossible to provide a flattering silhouette. Then again designers also rarely design for women anymore and more often than not opt to do so for hangers. This in and of itself explains the proliferation of gamine sprites on the catwalks. So, it is clear that there is room for some middle ground concerning size ranges.

That still, however, does not answer his original question of "how big is too big for fashion". I think we all have our own individual opinions on this subject, and far be it for me to make a decree for everyone out there. I'd love to hear your comments on the subject. Either write something below or e-mail me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grey Skies Got You Down: Find the Pink Lining!

FindthePinkLining.jpgThe weather if you live on the East Coast like me has been absolutely awful these past two days. Snow, ice, and overcast grey cloudy skies. The only way I have been able to cope is to fantasize about a place where the sun actually shines and that roads are spotted with green scenic views instead of gutters full of black sludge. Alas, this is the price one pays to live in New York City.

You would think at this point I would be sick of grey, but for this week's outfit I actually was inspired by New York's overcast cloudy skies. All those different shades swirling together just kept reminding me how wonderful the color grey could be in an ensemble. So, I went to work to create something befitting of all that inspiration.

I also chose grey as the main inspiration for this outfit because it is a fantastic color to use when you want to feature other bolder colors. Bright colors are also key once again this season as 80s nostalgia still runs deep, so this is a great way to sneak some into your wardrobe.

So, I guess you can say with this outfit I found the PINK LINING rather than silver. Ahh puns I wish I could use you more in everyday life.


Earrings: Sabrina Dehoff - Gold Four Feathers Extra Long Single Drop Earring $354

Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff - Zip MAB $635

Dress: Dorothy Perkins - Grey Vintage Crochet Dress (US Sizes: 12-20) $55

Cardigan: Brunello Cucinelli - Cropped Cardigan (Size: 12) $760

Stockings: We Love Colors (1X-4X) - Black - $9.00 - $15.00 We Love Colors

Bettye Muller - Pink $195

Love some of these items but sticker shock has got you down? Try and More often than not you can find something similar at a reduced price. All you have to do is enter the designer and product name and it should come up within the search, and from there it should only be a few seconds to find similar items.