Over 1,500 people are expected to attend Full-Figured Fashion Week, which starts today in New York. A group of ladies dubbed “fatshionistas” hope the event will open retailers’ minds to fashionable plus-size clothes. They say the industry assumes plus-size women only want their clothes to be comfortable and slimming, and that it hardly makes any attempts to design plus-size clothing that might not be those things, but is trendy. Fatshionistas don’t look forward to yearly “shape” issues. They read French Vogue. Their chief concern isn’t looking slim, because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with being big. The Daily Beast talked to fatshionista Rhiannon Gammill, who writes the blog Manolo for the Big Girl.
“I’ll say there are more options now than there used to be, but that’s sort of like saying ‘he doesn’t hit me nearly as often as he used to.’” says Gammill. “I’m fat, I have money. I’m more than willing to give it in quantity to the store who will supply me with beautifully made clothes that don’t make me look like a hooker, a tranny, or someone’s bingo-playing grandma from Duluth. I would love to see Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, a big girl herself, do a ready-to-wear line that extends to the plus-sizes.”
Despite the heightening visibility of fatshionistas and their fashion desires, the industry is hardly embracing the fuller figure. Full-Figured Fashion Week took five years to organize. Beth Ditto is probably the only full-figured fashion icon embraced by the industry at the moment (and even so, after Hamish Bowles witnessed one of her stage dives at a Fendi party, he described the crowd’s reaction as “deeply panicked”). And who could forget what Anna Wintour — the most powerful person in the fashion industry — thought about the residents of Minnesota? But Gammill has a point. If fatshionistas are willing to pay for luxury goods, why won’t the industry make them for them? It’s not like those companies are rolling in it right now. And these women aren’t getting any thinner.
Fat-shionistas Unite! [Daily Beast]