Plus Model Magazine & Just As You Are Present Innovative Coats!


During New York Fashion Week, Plus Model Magazine and AUI Ltd. hosted a plus-size “blogger conference” to introduce their innovative line of plus-size coats, Just As You Are. We met for cocktails at the lavish Hudson Terrace. It was fully equipped with computers for Twittering. In attendance were Marie Denee, the Fat Apple, Curvatude, and other larger lovelies of influence in the curvy community.

From left, Rhea Norman, Maddie Page (executive editrix of PMM), Tulin Reid, organizer of the event, and friend.

Most coats sell in “standardized” sizes, which change from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not only do the sizes vary wildly, there is the issue of “vanity sizing.” I strongly disapprove of this tactic. Why should I be called a Medium? In a misses size a medium might fit around one thigh.

The innovation is that Just As You Are has created a “matching system” that pairs women’s key body measurements directly with those of each coat and jacket. This gives larger lovely a nearly customized fit.

Erica Watson

Tulin with designer Mark

As drinks were sipped, we were treated to a fashion show of simply gorgeous coats. Glamorous Erica Watson, actress and comedian, provided an entertaining running commentary. The designer, Mark, a handsome young man whose first language is decidedly not English, read from descriptions of each garment. Listening to him stumble over words made the event even more enjoyable, for some bizarre reason. What can one say, some of us have a twisted sense of humor. Rhea Norman styled the models impeccably.

The models, all plus size, walked through the crowd, allowing us to paw at the garments. What impressed your loyal epistler the most was the construction details: extra buttons, branded metal zippers, excellent workmanship. AUI Ltd. has been designing and making women’s’ coats for over 50 years. Their expertise showed. Their laudable intention is to bring fine fashion to the great unwashed masses, and they succeeded.

Your faithful correspondent examines a coat.

The Angola coat

The Aurora coat

My personal favorite was the Angola, a zebra striped boiled wool handkerchief hem coat. Alas it is unlined, so it is not for moi. I am violently allergic to wool. However, there was a wealth of velour, down, faux fur, faux leather in various styles. My other favorite was the wool melton Aurora jacket, a modern “mixed media” coat with an assymetrical zip front. Not my usual style. But when something looks that good on moi I am willing to bend my own rules.

After viewing the coats, the designer and Ms. Watson took questions from the audience. We were a vocal lot, and I do hope we were helpful. I know I was, with my vast store of fashion knowledge and superb style of expressing myself.

By far the best part (besides the cocktails) was the racks and racks of coats for us to try on! After the presentation an absolute riot broke out as we rushed to grab our favorites from the racks. I might have body-blocked Marie Denee.

Exhausted from the day, I did not attend the roof-top afterparty. In the elevator, the teenaged operator told me I was beautiful and asked for my number. The rest is silence.

Save for one thing: please visit to discover their selection. Yes, I know you don’t want to take your measurements, but do so, it will be VERY worth your while.





Despite what I wrote yesterday, some events are simply TOO MARVELOUS not to be promoted!!

100s and 100s of items from Movie Set Wardrobe Departments

Christian Louboutin
Cynthia Rowley
Diane von Furstenburg
Jimmy Choo
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Michael Kors
Miu Miu
Ralph Lauren
Yves Saint Laurent
And many, many more
– All items in New or Like-New Condition
– 50% – 70% off retail
– $50 and up

Cash and All Major Credit Cards Accepted

December 9th and 10th
9:00AM to 7:00PM
December 11th
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

60 Vestry Street (at Washington)
Ground Floor

See you there, my dears!!!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Jesus Stops By For Cheese Eggs


Before I finish my coverage of Full Figured Fashion Week, I need to get this off of my ample chest: Jesus can simply drive a woman INSANE!

And now, I don’t mean all of the pointless babbling of the “Jesus freaks,” as they were called back in the day. Jesus himself. You might recall from an earlier blog entry that Jesus stops by occasionally, usually to help himself to a cheese sandwich. Why he simply doesn’t go to Zabars, I do not know. Probably because it might cause a riot. As it is, whenever he shows up, the maid goes berserk and starts speaking in tongues. Most irritating.

This morning, he appeared in my Art Deco breakfast nook and demanded cheese eggs. I told the chef myself, because who knows what the chef would do if he knew who my breakfast guest was? I hadn’t had my coffee yet, but Jesus can be quite selfish. He “doesn’t do caffeine,” but I suppose when you’re all-powerful you don’t need stimulants.

An Interview With Designer Wilbur Pack, The "Black Fashion Dude"


I have mentioned the amazingly talented up and coming designer Wilbur Pack Jr. several times in this blog-thing, and there’s a reason. His clothes are absolutely beautiful: sexy, intricate with couture-level details in unusual fabrics, such as denim and men’s shirting.

In fact, Mr. Pack is creating a dress for moi to wear at Fashion Week Fall 2010. The sketches I have seen so far have made me squeal with delight.

The tall, handsome designer consented to an interview. His blog-thing, “I Am Fabulous: A Black Fashion Dude’s Odyssey” is one of your faithful correspondent’s must-reads. It opens a door on a little-known aspect of the fashion business: the inside details of creating a line, financing it, and all of the other unglamorous details Project Runway leaves out.

In your blog bio, you say you grew up loving the drama of theater and movies. Why become a fashion designer? Why not a costume designer?

I love the theatre. My parents took me to see my first Broadway show when I was 11 years old. It was The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills and it was magical. And the story of Dorothy trying to find her way home still resonates for me after all these years. When I decided to pursue fashion design as a career, I felt like I had found my way home.

Designing fashion is like creating costumes for real life. Every day, through our fashion choices,we have the opportunity to become whatever character we want to be.

Do you think, because you are an African-American male, that makes your struggle harder or easier? Or neither?

I definitely think that it is more difficult being black in the fashion industry. We are almost always undercapitalized and the same opportunities are not usually afforded us as our non-black counterparts.

How do you separate home life from work life?

I am not very successful at it. I am almost ALWAYS working. Luckily, I have someone who understands me and supports my endeavors.

What makes you happy?

My work gives me a lot of joy. I am very dedicated to my family and friends and they definitely make life worth living. A good movie, a good story, New York City, great music, and good theatre all inspire me and make me happy.

Why do you make couture-level clothes, even though it may drive up your price point?

When I started in this business 11 years ago, I didn’t know much about seam finishes and I didn’t always use the finest fabrics. But as I grew in fashion, my tastes evolved and over the years my aesthetic became more & more sophisticated. I am at the point now where I am creating clothes at a higher taste level. And I am really pleased with my progress. For Fall 2010, my team and I are looking to see if we can find a way to offer the well made dress at a price point that is not so exclusive. Because I think that every woman should have access to that.

Who would be the ultimate celebrity for you to dress?

I am more interested in dressing real women. In New York City, I see plenty of ladies who do not have stylists or entourages or ever have the opportunity to walk red carpets. Yet, they are still chic. Those are the women I want to see wearing my clothes. But I do have a soft spot for Hillary Swank. And we are working tirelessly to connect with “Precious” film star Gabourey Sidibe. She just has an incredible story and a wonderful disposition.

Who is your favorite current designer?

I don’t have a favorite designer. I admire the work of so many of my colleagues. I love the luxuriousness & color usage of Oscar De La Renta. Tomas Meier’s work for the Bottega Veneta line is fabulous. I also really appreciate the marketing brilliance of Ralph Lauren.

What is your fashion philosophy?

Tailoring and color are the two most important foundations for a well dressed woman. Something that fits well can make you look thinner and taller. And color can put a bounce in your step and make you stand out in the crowd. I apply these two principles whenever I design – whether it is a t-shirt or a fierce cocktail dress.

What has been the peak experience for you as a designer?

I haven’t yet reached my peak. But when I staged the fashion show on the sidewalk outside of the Bryant Park tents during NY Fashion Week in 2000 with “Sex and the City” as my inspiration, that was pretty awesome.

Your blog has chronicled the struggles and hard times more than the triumphs. Why?

Earlier this year, my business partners convinced me to write a blog. They felt that my followers and supporters really wanted to know more about the man behind the seams. So I went into the project thinking that it was a great way to connect with the people who are interested in my aesthetic.

But I’ve always spoken from the heart and always with honesty. When we read success stories, we never hear about the obstacles and the setbacks. I wanted my readers to know that success takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. I offer them the reality of the business. Yet, I remain fabulously dedicated to my goals.

I hope the blog inspires people. I want my readers to know that finding your purpose and following your dreams is very important. And remaining true to them is essential to living your fullest life. If I die tomorrow, I know I’ve had no regrets and I did what I wanted to.

There is a link to Mr. Pack’s blog on the right, and I strongly suggest you bookmark it. (The blog, not the link.) And here is the link to his design site:

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog