Monday, September 21, 2015

UKPSFW - A Quick Recap

Good morning friends!
Two weekends ago, I had the lovely opportunity of attending UK Plus Size Fashion Weekend. I was unable to attend the press day on Friday, but made it into central London for the catwalks happening on Saturday afternoon. I was really looking forward to seeing the global independent plus size brands as well as the everyday brands that I know, to see how plus size fashion is being shaped from the ground up.

The event took place in a great location (Prestige on Northumberland Ave), with plenty of space for everyone and the catwalk looked great. It was also nice to see so many wonderful faces from the USA like Chastity from GarnerStyle and Jessica Kane from Society+ (Cool Gal Blue). It's not often that we get visits from America at events so this was very exciting.

The first catwalk was for the independent designers and I was very impressed - there are some very talented people creating amazing clothing for plus size women out there and I do really hope that UKPSFW has helped to get their name out there. There were so many wonderful cuts, colours and fabrics showing off the incredible variety that we don't often get to see in day to day plus size fashion. Some of the brands that were featured were Eleven60, Popzen Doll, Bombshell Vintage and Society+.

My main disappointment was the size of the models. The girls were beautiful and all had very striking and gorgeous faces, but with exception to Olivia Campbell, most of the girls were far too small for the clothing. For the big brands that showcased, this wasn't as much of an issue as they have the resources to produce clothing on the smaller size scale, like from 12-14 up so it didn't show during the catwalk. However, for the independent brands, it took away from the designs and in my opinion did a massive disservice to the small brands themselves.
Time is spent designing, cutting and creating pieces that sit right and fit well on big hips, wide shoulder, big arms etc. and when you put the garment on a person who is 2-4 sizes smaller, it hangs off, making those special details disappear or look odd. Dresses that had amazing structured seams had nothing to fill them with, and most of the darts were off on the outfits because they weren't the right size.
This comes right back to my previous post about #StyleHasNoSize and how this industry needs to catch up. I have always been told that the fashion industry uses small models because sample sizing runs small, so why is it when sample sizes are produced and clearly require full bodies, that we still see clothing hanging off of them appearing ill-fitting.

Are we so sacred to see weight on the runway that we would rather see clothing not fit? I feel that we are losing the point of fashion here.
I'm not pointing fingers or blaming, because there is very little point, but when is this going to change? When are we going to stop seeing plus size clothing on standard size bodies? Who is this benefitting? In this particular case, it hurt the independent designers the most because those that don't realise that it comes down to size will discount the designer's talent and graft.

I applaud and thank the organisers for putting everything in to the wonderful event that they created, so please don't take this as a critique on your efforts - I know how difficult it is to make something like this happen. The event was a success, but from success comes change, it has to, this is how, as an industry we grow and change.

During the catwalk shows, I looked around the audience to see the most diverse, and beautiful group of people of all shapes and sizes. Bloggers, Vloggers, media, models and so many more, and the majority were a size 20 and up. It was beautiful and it's a shame that this couldn't be mirrored on the runway. Is it just me that thinks a runway full of big women sizes 20-22-24-26-28-30 and up would have made a real splash, caused a stir and an appreciation beyond anything else and of course caught the eye of the media? This seems like a missed opportunity to highlight to big brands what big bodies can do in their clothing and just how many of us are standing at the counter with our cards in hand waiting to throw money at them.
I really enjoyed watching the shows the seeing what the future of plus size fashion holds - it's clear we have work to do, but we are well on our way.
I was really pleased to meet a few inspiring bloggers as you can see below and be immersed in something I love all weekend.

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