Friday, September 18, 2015

UK Plus Size Fashion Week 2015: My Top Picks



UK Plus Size Fashion week was a total whirl of bloggers, models, industry insiders, clothes and photographers. Held over three days at a gorgeous central London venue, most of the industry's heavy hitters were present.

For me the show was stolen by some of the brave and exciting looks created by a bevvy of talented independent designers. I think retailers should be looking to what is being produced by smaller collections and take inspiration. On the independent front, while it was exciting seeing such a vast quantity of international stuff, as this was UK Plus Size Fashion Week I would have liked to see more from the UK's home grown talent. Maybe the organisers need to look at making it more accesible to next year?

Most exciting to see was how many new retailers have started catering to the plus size market in the past year, and watching the catwalk shows I was glad to see real choice for fatshionistas in this country. I noticed that on the most part fashion seems to be going down a more floaty, less fitted route. While for some that may sound alarms bells of being once more forced into mumus and smocks, I think this just reflects what is going on in mainstream fashion - silhouettes are getting looser and more floaty this season, and so quite a bit of what retailers are offering us reflects that. 

A quick note to apologise - some of my photos are not the best. I need to invest in a decent camera (and stop relying on the iPhone) an a couple of them were taken from awkward angles, so include peoples heads! 

My top picks from the independent show:


Clockwise from far left: Loey Lane Tutu in Navy by Society+, White Mouse Dress by Bombshell Vintage, Gold Sequin dress by Bombshell Vintage, Black Velvet dress by Jane Watson, Kimono dress with Obi Belt by Jane Watson, Structured Blouse and Leather Skirt by Popzen Doll, Turquoise lingerie by NineX

The independent designers at UKPSFW just slayed it on the catwalk. Their designs were fresh and inspired, and far beyond the usual plus size fare. There was loads coming down the runway that I really loved but here are my top picks from the Independent Show:

Bombshell Vintage

I met Kate, the founder and designer from Bombshell Vintage at the press event on Friday, and she talked me through her collection. Kate is a retro fashion lover who originally sold proper vintage clothing, but decided to start making reproductions as plus size vintage finds are hard to come by. Despite having no design training, Kate's collection is high quality, beautifully cut and lovingly made. She talks about her collection with a passion and excitement which is contagious, and I love her mixing of vintage silhouettes and modern fabrics. Everything in the collection can be worn totally OTT, or paired down to like quite casual depending on how your style it. There basically wasn't a single piece in the collection I didn't want to wear. She also adds pockets to pretty much everything - Bonus! And get a load of those head pieces - all made by Kate too! 




I am a total sucker for black and white stripes, and the chevron shape created at the front of the dress makes this dress so much more interesting. I loved it paired with golden rose headdress and gold bomber jacket on the catwalk.



This black chiffon beauty is a bit of gothic perfection. It reminds me of something a grown up Wednesday Addams might wear. And I love the addition of the black velvet sash. I would pair it with a black slip underneath to make it a little more wearable! And this headdress is just perfection - very Queen of Hearts.   


Gold sequin dress by Bombshell Vintage

I love sequins, but for some reason they only ever seem to come in fitted dress form and that is not my style. I was thrilled to see this a sequined dress with a flared skirt. It's a pity it didn't fit the model better - it would have been great to see this accentuate a smoking set of curves instead of hanging on the model. It was just a bit too big, alas.


Loey Lane Collection from Society+







This collection was created by fashion and beauty blogger Loey Lane, and while it contained a broad selection of great pieces, I was just utterly enchanted by the tutus. I got to give them a good fondle the day before the fashion show and they are light and frothy and swishy - just like good tutus should be. I have decided I am going to have to have a couple in my wardrobe - STAT! Loey Lane herself looked absolutely gorgeous in the burgundy version (pictured above - apologies for the rubbish quality, the lighting was terrible). And I love the full length version as it can easily be dressed up or down. 

Popzen Doll




I may be a little biased when it comes to Popzen Doll as the brand is from my home country of South Africa, but I believe their gorgeous African cottons speak for themselves. Designer Lerato has created a collection full of shapes that really accentuate and celebrate the curves of a plus size woman, and paired with these lively fabrics the pieces are real show stoppers. 

Retailers

Clockwise from far left: Red dress - Evans, Top and pleather panelled skirt - Boohoo, Feathered dress - Elvi, Sequined, fringed dress - Elvi, Black and red lace dress - Yours Clothing, Zena Jumpsuit - Studio 8, Black draped sleeveless jacket and pleated maxi skirt - Elvi. 

My top picks from the retailers show:





Red dress - Evans (not yet available)

The magic of this dress is in the sleeves. The shift dress is simple, but the sleeves are  long, floaty, fluttery capes that really come alive with movement and give the dress a really unusual sense of drama. I would probably add a statement necklace and some contrasting heels. I am not sure when this is going to be released but it sure is one watch for when it comes out - I don't imagine they will be around for very long before they are all snapped up. 


Feathered dress - Elvi (not yet available) 

Elvi's new premium collection had some really beautiful party pieces, and this was one of my favourites. Another shift dress, this one has amazing embilishments - the feathered skirt, sheer chiffon sleeves and a low back. This is a little black dress with a helluva of a difference.  


Sequined, fringed dress - Elvi (not yet available) 

Another showstopper from Elvi's new cocktail collection - I love the flapperesque silhouette with the sixties sequined embellishment. This is another dress I would love around the festive season. 




I have been in love with this jumpsuit since I saw it at Studio 8's launch event back in May, and watching the gorgeous Olivia Campbell working it on the runway the crush has just deepened. Perfectly tailored for a curvy figure this look is just fierce! 



Another winner for the party season, this dress has pretty much everything I like in a party frock - black and red, lace, prom shaped, low cut and above the knee. Happiness! I love the fact that this looks great bare legged with heels, but would look fab with leggings and boots too. Totally wearable and super cute I think I need this in my wardrobe. 

It was really great to see some wonderful things happening in plus size fashion, and to see the enthusiasm the industry is filled with - wanting to make beautiful clothes for bigger bodies. There are a lot of things I am looking forward to seeing pop up in stores and online in the coming months, and I think it is safe to say there will be some great options for us for Autumn and Winter. 

So, do you have a favourite piece? What would you like to see more of? Where you there? Let me know...
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11 comments

  1. Oh my word, thank you for bringing Bombshell Vintage into my life! I want all of it! The chevron effect on the black and white dress is a great little twist. The gold sequin dress is divine! I agree with you about the fit of it on the model though, it does look a bit too big, which is a shame.

    Zoe xx

    www.ikiwn.com

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    1. I know - what a pity. Was the case with a few of the pieces for the independent designers. The models weren't big enough. A real pity.

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  2. Bombshell Vintage is honestly just stunning. I cannot get over how much I want everything I've seen from them! I'm also a fan of Loey Lane's collection too, the tutus are cute. I don't know if I'd ever be able to wear them but they still look nice haha. I definitely agree about the gold sequin dress though. It would have looked so much better on a bigger model, rather than hanging like it does in that photo.

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    1. So many gorgeous things to see. My bank account is going to be reeling for months!

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  3. absolutely loved reading through this post! im rather jealous as i would have loved to be there haha... isn't that burgundy tutu so darn cute. i'll certainly be adding your blog to my reading list for the future x

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    1. You must come to the next one! Are you going to Curve Fashion Fest?
      The tutus are just amazing. I want them all!
      x

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