So, where was I? Oh, yes, Full Figured Fashion Week, Day Three! A day of educational panels at the Hotel Pennyslvania on 33rd Street. Appropriately, in the heart of the garment district. The panels were held on the top floor, which offered a panoramic view of the city. There was a panel on getting a plus size business started, as well as a panel on plus size modeling.
Your faithful correspondent on was a panel in the afternoon, “The State of The Curvy Community.” My fellow panelists were Erica Watson, actress and creator of the solo show Fat Bitch; Golda Poretsky, founder of Body Love Wellness; Hattie of Plus Size Model Magazine, and Yulilya Raquel, designer of Igigi clothing.
From the FFF Week website (http://fffweek.com/):
This panel discussion addresses the current state of the plus-size community and the significance of Full Figured Fashion Week™, through the eyes of the industry’s leaders, bringing different perspectives from various experiences and points of view.
Call me whatever, but I do love being acknowledged as a leader of the plus size industry. The panel was moderated by Sharon Quinn, who did a marvelous job of fielding questions from the audience and commentary from the panel.
The panel mostly focused on fashion, of course, and what plus-sized women are looking for. We come in all shapes and sizes, and muumuus simply do not cut it any more. I voiced my dissatisfaction with the lack of natural waists in plus size clothing. As Gwen DeVoe had said on the first night, we are ready to vote with our dollars. Many women are tired of seeing the same shapes, the same hideous prints, the same poor quality.
Erica Watson, comedian and creator of Fat Bitch
Yulilya Raquel might well be the most life-affirming person I have ever met, and that is not meant sarcastically. She is full of joy and love for her fellow man/woman, with a contagious enthusiasm that is absolutely genuine. She urged us all to embrace ourselves because every human being is beautiful, that the essence of humanity is beautiful.
Yulilya Raquel, designer for Igigi clothing
As for moi, unfortunately most of what I said escapes me, but I am certain it was pithy. (The panel was recorded, so I hope to get a copy in the near future and refresh my memory.) Ms. Watson managed to get quite a few laughs with jokes I had uttered not a second before; not a surprise that her background is stand-up comedy.
What struck me, sitting there, that despite the pride in ourselves and others, there was an undercurrent of shame, which was accurately blamed on the “diet culture” we live in. Golda Poretsky was quite eloquent on this point.
Golda Poretsky, founder of Body Love Wellness
Many in the audience mentioned wanting to lose weight, or bragged about losing weight (which for obvious reasons was not well-received), or otherwise seemed to feel obligated to mention diet and exercise in some form.
One of the attendees, Sharon Jones, the organizer of FFF Week, told me the next day that I had said “Where is the woman who will stand up and say I don’t exercise and I eat whatever the fuck I want?” I do remember laughing and cheering but if it hadn’t been for Sharon I wouldn’t have remembered a word of it. Probably because of my use of profanity, I had blocked it out.
Afterwards, a group of us went to dinner, including a divine woman who had flown from Paris to be there! As before, I felt a glow at the end of the day that did not come from Sonsi-tinis.
A note: there was some sort of workshop to be held in another room, about how to be a real woman. Each sign was covered with pink feather boas. The women who were going in were all pencil thin, which seemed absolutely unreal after three days of voluptuous curves. If you want to be a real woman, eat an eclair.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog
Last night took place again at Boulevard downtown, and it was truly delightful! The spotlight was on the plus-size model competition. Ten brave and beautiful women took on the challenge. Speaking of brave and beautiful, here I am in purple satin (you cannot see, but I am wearing a black Juliet cap on the back of my head).
First Gwen DeVoe took the stage in a yellow dress with a pearl collar, then yielded to the host of the evening, Ruschell Boone of New York One! There were four judges, and the competition was, shall we say, fierce!
First each contestant came out in a t-shirt she had customized, then in a fancy day outfit, and finally evening wear. Some of the contestants were more confident than others (one lady refused to smile), but it was a tough choice all the same.
Between day wear and evening wear, we were treated to a performance by the Glamazons, a gorgeous trio of women.
Sorry this entry is so hasty, but I have to get down to the Hotel Pennsylvania for the panel on “The State of the Curvy Community.”
Members of the Curvy Collective
The fabulous Marie Denee at center, in gold and black.
Ruschell Boone and moi. She is a fan of this blog!
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog
Last night was the opening of Full Figured Fashion Week! And what an opening night it was! Boulevard, an exclusive club downtown, was filled with creme de la creme of plus-sized fashion. The fabulous Marie Denee (http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com/ ) greeted me at the door, dressed in a black creation by Cha.Nel.Karam (who later presented an AMAZING runway show). Gwen Devoe of Devoe Productions was rushing about getting things ready. When she took the stage, she was stunning in a white bustier and pencil skirt with large white rosettes on the front. And she also made a very entertaining mistress of ceremonies!
You have no idea how validating it can be to be in a nightclub filled with beautiful women, all plus-sized (except, oddly enough, many of the sponsors), dressed in their best. There were feathers, long gowns, short dresses, sequins, maxi dresses, and so much more, worn proudly by women, black, white and Latina. Your faithful correspondent wore her green custom-made gown by Mad Couture. It looked great, but a nightclub filled to bursting with clientele…well let’s just say a lighter dress would have been more appropriate. Sweating is something I avoid at all costs. In honor of Sonsi, the major sponsor for this event, they were serving Sonsi-tinis, a pink cocktail.
I met my fellow members of the Curvy Collective, women who are considered to be important figures in the plus-size industry (I blush, but not really). Stephanie Danforth of Life-Sized Radio; the incomparable Christina from Musings of a Fatshionista; Aimee and Erica from Madison Plus; the author of The Big Girl’s Blog (who prefers to remain anonymous), and several others.
On to the fashion! The runway shows were spectacular, not only because of the clothes, but the confident swagger of the plus sized models. Unlike anorexic fashion models, these women worked it, even smiling! How often do you see that on the runway? There were ten designers in all, but I do not have time to do them all justice. However, more will be written about them in the ensuing days!
The Angel Alternaltive, designed by Angel Meyers, were a series of maxi-dresses. They were all very pretty, but unfortunately the dress worn by Angel herself was so spectacular (a shiny animal print long-sleeved column dress) that her designs suffered slightly in comparison.
And do not forget, tomorrow I will be on a panel, “The State of The Curvy Community,” hosted by television personality Sharon Quinn, along with Erica Watson, Plus Size comedienne
Yuliya Raquel – Founder/Designer, Igigi
Golda Poretsky – Founder of Body Love Wellness
My apologies for the slight time lag, but it was party time this weekend. More than that I shall not say, to spare the feelings of those involved. Suffice to say I am never setting foot outside of New York City or the Hamptons again.
And so, we start the CMT Worst Dressed list with The Paula Deen Death Stare:
“I’m goin’ to rip your spleen out and stuff it down your throat, darlin’.”
There was an embarassment of…er…riches for this list. Our first candidate:
Miss Teen USA!
Can you imagine having to attend events dressed like your own grandmother? This accidentally-vintage 70s-style horror must have been as much fun to wear as it is to look at.
Hayden Panettiereworked two 80s trends, Qiana and black lace by Pucci…this is the unfortunate result.
All I can say about Kimberly Schlapman’s look is: EEEEEAAAAAAAH! I’M BLIND!
To put it in a way country music fans will understand, the pickin’s were mighty slim at the CMT Awards earlier this week. Not quite as much of a snooze fest as the MTV Movie Awards, but there were a few pretties on display.
But before I begin, a question: why is David Spade allowed to live, much less attend the CMT Awards? What does he have to do with country music? Is owning an Ipod really enough?
And he looks so delighted to be there, too.
All right, on to the Best Dressed.
You all know my taste, which inclines toward the classics. However, my favorite outfit of the night belonged to Elizabeth Cook:
This had color, individuality, and for this fashion writer, the sense that a woman with style picked her own clothes. Others may think it bizarre, but I applaud Ms. Cook. More than anything, this ensemble is fun.
Next, we have Faith Hill, in a breezy chiffon creation by J. Mendel that both flatters her figure and projects a secure self-image:
I am not a fan of showing this much sternum, but Ms. Hill actually has something to show, unlike many of the other evening’s participants.
Lady Antebellum singer Hillary Scott worked a little black strapless dress that fit perfectly.
Taylor Swift looked pretty if rather uninspired in this John Galliano dress. Much fuss has been made of the fact that she straightened her hair that evening. This just in: Taylor Swift’s hair announces that it has solution for the Gulf oil disaster!
Jada Pinkett-Smith was the essence of confidence in this blue crushed velvet dress, a mashup of two different Emilio Pucci designs:
My only criticism is that velvet seems to be an awfully warm fabric choice, particularly under the lights.
In the “Close, But No Cigar” category I am sorry to put singer Trisha Yearwood. While I admire her for her womanly shape, why dress it in a black, ill-fitting, unflattering dress that looks like it was made of black garbage bags? There’s a goddess’s figure under there, Ms. Yearwood!
Sarah Buxton’s Empire-waisted dress was nice; sorry, no more interesting word comes to mind, but I rather liked it:
Although she is extremely gaunt, a disturbing trend that is taking speed throughout all of the entertainment industry (yes, I’m talking to you, Jennifer Hudson. Thank you ever so much for letting down thousands of larger women. I cannot wait until you gain it all back and the tabloids go insane).
For the menfolk, my first choice is Trace Adkins, shown her with his lovely wife and daughter. (It is also so refreshing to see real women at these events, even if they are invariably wives.) To me, he looks authentically “country.” Since I do not actually listen to country music, to me Mr. Adkins looks like he gave his outfit some, but not too much, thought.
I loved musician Danny Gokey’s take on the tuxedo (his resemblance to Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t hurt, either.)
That is it for my Best-Dressed list, dahlings. To be honest, I did not think I would be able to make this many choices. Even if some of them were a bit of a stretch.
Worst-Dressed List up soon, and there are, as the common folk used to say, some doozies.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog
Yes, one combed through the multitudes of photographs of various celebrities, hoping for either a sublime dress or a ridiculous outfit. But, the only word for the dresses, jumpsuits and other garb at the MTV Awards is…
Boring. Oh, all right, two other words: dull, uninspired.
I think you can see what I mean by this line-up of the MTV Awards Best Dressed, as presented by http://www.redcarpetawards.com/
Photo courtesy of redcarpetawards
Countless thin young women dressed in variations of the same silhouette, be it slightly puffier on the bottom, or strapless, or with a belt…really, dahlings, who cares? Even Sandra Bullock didn’t bother very much. Naturally, this being a so-called “subversive” award show, one was hoping for glitz, glamor, lunacy! Instead, we got a parade of narcolepsy-inducing fashion.
The only stand-out, in my mind, was Christina Aguilera. She seems to be having an emotional and stylistic meltdown after since the ascent of Lady Gaga. (Where was Gaga, by the way? We could have used her!!) If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I suppose Xtina adores Gaga. Too bad it is such a poor imitation. Even in Versace.
Oh, well, at least it was something different. Let’s hope the next awards show eschews so much quiet good taste.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog