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On Saturday I attended the Curve Fashion Festival in Liverpool thanks to the lovely Chloe, from Chloe in Curve, and Navabi. Whilst I have been blogging about plus size fashion for a little while now, I live so remotely that this was the first event of this kind I have been able to attend, and I learned so much! Whilst it was incredible (and a tad overwhelming) to meet so many people at once, my favourite part of the festival was of course the clothes. Based on your comments and requests I made it my business to pick out some of the best pieces from the stands and shows, as well as chats with the lovely ladies from RI Plus and a couple of new to me brands.
Throughout the day I shared my very favourite pieces from the stands with my followers on Snapchat and grouping them all together like this I can see themes emerging in my taste!
I was desperate for a leopard print coat last year and this year I seem spoilt for choice as they are everywhere.. Also floral prints, tapestry / embroidery prints and sparkle are pretty ubiquitous too. In general, fashion does seem to be going maximal right now with its luxurious prints, fabrics and colours (as it always tends to do in economically difficult times).
For those minimalist fans though, there’s no need to fear as there is still a strong minimal edge, Hayley Hasselhoff for Elvi is a good example of plus size minimal done very well indeed.
Of my best pieces from the stands the following are available to buy right now:
The remainder are sneaky peeks of upcoming collections, so for the purple shimmer sequin mermaid skirt keep your eye on Simply Be‘s new releases. The embroidered red dress is coming to Lovedrobe in the next couple of weeks and the same with the red and black tapestry effect Studio 8 skirt. The pink/green/gold/black sparkly pencil skirt is by Anna Scholz and will be available soon too, I’m keeping my ear to the ground for this one in particular because I’m in love with it!
The catwalk at this years event was… well, a mixed bag to be honest. As well as seeing the new pieces from some of my firm favourites I also enjoyed seeing Want That Trend’s new plus sizes / Holly Hagan collaboration. But there was one catwalk collection that everyone seemed to be absolutely buzzing about and that was Hayley Hasselhoff’s new Elvi collaboration. All clean lines and thoughtful design, this collection is the perfect minimal response to the fussiness of AW16 overall. It really was a privilege to see the exclusive launch.
I had two of the most wonderful, positive and encouraging conversations with brands at the festival and it would be remiss of me not to share.
Firstly: River Island were the most refreshing breath of fresh air and sorely needed at the moment. Their passion for bringing a great, cohesive and fashion forward plus range is almost palpable. They are introducing wide fit footwear, extending their sizes to a UK28 and they are pushing for the size range to be increased even more. They seem to fully understand the plus size consumer, their own team are comprised of a range of sizes and honestly when you have plus sized people involved in plus size ranges… it shows.
I also had a lovely conversation with one of my all time favourite designers, Anna Scholz. Anna’s personable nature and love of what she does comes across immediately, everything in her collection is completely exquisite and the attention to detail is a wonder. Anna is her brand, and that personal touch is in every piece. Another example of the huge difference in attitude, design and respect that comes when brands have plus sized people on their team and at their core. It was a joy to speak with her.
Some special mentions must go to a couple of ‘new to me’ brands that I encountered on the day. Firstly, Coral & Co Australia who’s stand was a total riot of colour in a sea of autumn hues everywhere else, the ladies there were absolutely lovely and it was so nice to chat with them. Check them out for soft luxe holiday accessories such as sarongs and kaftans. If I’m ever a rich widow holidaying 10 months out of every year, I know where I’m heading for my beach cover ups!
Secondly, Emmy Design is a super, super femme Swedish brand with more than a little vintage influence. All you plus size retro fans are going to love them! Check them out for beautiful design and a great use of colour with a retro flavour.
The Goody Bag
The goody bag for VIP ticket holders was a lovely little extra and it included some great little gifts including a big tartan wrap from Yours Clothing, a necklace from Simply Be and one from Studio 8, some gadgets and gizmos from eBay (that portable charger came in so handy!), and tons of money off vouchers. I’m really excited to try out the make up bits too, especially those falsies from Doll Lash as I have never worn false eyelashes before.
The Final Roundup
Overall, it was a fun day surrounded by amazing fat, thriving people and being able to chat with brands both old and new to get a feel for their ethos was wonderful. The Navabi stand was definitely the place to be and along with RI Plus, Simply Be and M&S they cemented their place in my heart. EBay’s new Curve hub sounds like such an exciting venture too and it was really great to see the buzz around the new online community for all things plus size, She Might Be, which launches tomorrow!
Next time: I’ll be posting all about my outfit including a gorgeous, affordable red maxi dress and the earrings that one of the very queens of plus size design said she loved!