British Plus Size Fashion Weekend – is it just a gimmick?
That’s probably the last thing you might expect a plus size blogger to say, but to be honest, I’m not so sure it’s making much of a difference.According to a poll of 1000 women conducted by Dove, seven in ten British women are still ashamed of their bodies. One in five of them admitted to cutting out the labels in their clothes because they believed there was a stigma to being a size 16. Hell, I know plenty of women who would be happy to be a size 16, and many who are…For the third year in a row, on 14th – 15th February the British Plus Size Fashion Weekend took place in London. Cleverly timed to run alongside London Fashion Week, I don’t think there was a great deal of media attention this year, compared to 2013, although I might be wrong. I spotted the obligatory article in the Daily Mail with the predictable comments about how unhealthy all the models were (because you can tell someone’s health by looking at them, obviously.)Caryn Franklin was in attendance, championing the cause and Tweeting about the event being a ‘delicious change’ from everyday catwalk shows, but I think BFSFW is always going to be relegated to a ‘novelty’ rather than accepted by the fashion great and good as a part of the British fashion industry, and that’s a real shame. Can you imagine how fabulous it would be to have Anna Wintour, Victoria Beckham and Ellie Goulding turn up at a plus size fashion event, just because it was a part of the main week? Wouldn’t it be amazing if world-famous mainstream designers started offering larger sizes? Imagine how great they could make bigger women look if they put a bit of effort into learning how to dress us?I’m pleased that there are events like this, showcasing designers and retailers that cater for plus size women, but is marginalising us even further actually going to help? I’d love to see plus size models strutting their stuff up there with the rest of them on the catwalk, but that’s not going to happen is it? I’ve long thought that standard designers avoid designing in sizes above an 8 because they just weren’t taught how to accommodate curves and nuances in figures of women who aren’t straight up and down, basically they are great at designing for mannequins but for women – not so much. You’ve got to give it to plus size designers; when they get it right, they do a fantastic job, and the sheer diversity of body shapes in plus size women must make it even harder.I got a last minute blogger invitation to BPSFW last week and I was totally up for going until I realised that because I was a blogger I was only invited to the preview, would only get to see a ‘taster’ fashion show and would have only got two hours there. Not really an enticing prospect given the train journeys there are back were almost six hours in total and the weather forecasters were advising people not to go out (again).Maybe I’m doing BPSFW a disservice, but I decided not to go. What do you think? Do you think plus size fashion will ever really go mainstream?Who’s your favourite designer of mainstream fashion, and what would you love to see them design in a plus size?