Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Filling a Gap: Studio 8 Launch

I recently had the good fortune of being invited along to the launch of Studio 8, a new high end plus size collection in sizes 16 to 24.



Studio 8 is a sister brand of Phase Eight, and they are looking to create a high end high street label which consists of well-cut pieces in quality fabrics. I was pretty excited to hear about this as there are very few retailers currently in this space, and a big demand for it. 

To be honest I expected a few pieces - a tentative feeler into the plus size market in much the same way other brands have launched. However, this is no half arsed capsule collection, but a fully-fledged brand with a very definite direction and aesthetic. What I found upon arrival was six racks of well rounded, beautifully integrated mini collections that all work together but all have a distinctive flavour.

The team are absolutely passionate about what they have created. Speaking to both the buyer and the designer their excitement about the project was palpable and they were thrilled to be describing the realisation of their vision. Darting from rail to rail they urged me to touch the fine fabrics and inspect the different styles.


What struck me most was the variety. One of my major complaints is that plus size fashion retailers so often assume that all plus size bodies are the same. That we all carry our weight in the same places and that all us fat girls will look good in one style (anyone for a hanky hem? Urg!). And so you frequently find collections that are entirely made up of skater dresses, or tunics, or harem pants without any variation of type. Here there were dresses cut in a myriad of ways for different shapes, just like a straight size collection. 



A lot of the collection resonated with me. For starters it feels like a collection for grown ups. Fashion conscious modern women with a taste for fine things. It is also versatile - there are many dresses I would be comfortable wearing to work and out after for drinks or on a date, which is great because I like more wardrobe to work hard, and I don't have that much of division between what I use my clothes for. 



My thoughts about the collection in general is that it is incredibly well thought out. There are some key staples included like jeans, a beautifully fitted cropped black jacket, some statement LBDs, and there are some show stopping pieces. There are dresses that you will wear year in and year out, and there are a few with definite nods to current trends (gorgeous 70s print dress for example). The palette is beautiful - lots of jewel tones, bold prints, photographic florals. And most of the pieces will happily see you through both autumn and winter. 

The only disappointing part for me was the casual collection. I am, as we know, not very good with casual clothes anyway, but it just felt a bit safe and mumsy to me. But again I will hold my hands up and say I am not the expert on these things. 

Back onto the positives, I have detailed some of my favourites below. 



My very favourite piece has to be this green dress. It has a fabulous fifties silhouette which makes my little vintage heart sing, the colour is made for red heads and the net lace overlay has stretch meaning it would be incredibly comfortable to wear. I have a wedding this summer it would be perfect for! 



I am very partial to the navy jumpsuit. Jumpsuits and I have a love hate relationship. When I am slimmer they look absolutely killer on me, but at my current weight it feels like there is just nowhere to hide my tummy (which is a very big deal for me). This one has a swathe of loose-ish fabric in the waist which I think might just do the trick, so that's very exciting. 



I am really excited about a particular black parka in the collection with a black fur collar. It is the first parka I have ever seen that I can actually imagine myself wearing, and this London girl seriously needs a waterproof coat of some description. 




Perhaps the most exciting was the occasion wear. I just love the idea of being able to walk into a shop and try on a beaded evening dress, and I hope this is something they expand in coming collections because there is just such a demand for good quality, well fitting evening wear for plus size women and I draw a blank when I try to think of a stockist that is not solely online. 

The prices are very much in line with Phase Eight pricing. You'll be paying more than you're used to on the high street, but then almost everything I picked up I could see would have longevity in my wardrobe and for pieces like that I think it's worth it. 

All in all I think this is a very exciting collection. It has promise and big ambitions but it's what a lot of women have been crying out for. I can't wait to get in a fitting room with some of these pieces, and I am looking forward to what more the team at Studio 8 might have in store for us. 

(Apologies for the rubbish pictures - my iPhone was not behaving and so I have had to rely on taking photos mainly of pages in the look book. Bad blogger!)
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6 comments

  1. There are some gorgeous items in there! The green dress really would look stunning on you, dying to see more of their collection

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  2. Really lovely items there, I like the look of the multi coloured dress on the hanger. Shame the sizing stops at the 24 though.

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    1. I know, it is rather. However hopefully once they are established they will expand the size range

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  3. I'm really excited about this range - I love Phase Eight and always pop in there when looking for a special piece or a fantastic dress for work so can't wait to play with some of the Studio 8 items!

    C xx
    http://curvygirlthin.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. As they stop at size 18 this is the first time in a long time I've had a chance to get into anything by them. Looking forward to trying everything on when the collection is launched!

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