This weekend I have mostly been playing in fashion.
I say playing because I’m not a fashion blogger – I love it, but could hardly consider myself an expert. I know a nice line when I see it, I know what suits me and I know what I like, and if I do say so myself, I can often date a vintage piece, but I don’t really follow designers (except a couple I know personally where it would be rude not to).
This weekend, thanks to those lovely people at Simply Be, I headed to The Curve Fashion Festival. A festival dedicated to plus size ladies, that I visited last year when it was held in Manchester. This year it was over in Liverpool – a perfectly short hop, skip and jump away.
The morning dawned in chaos. My new phone seemingly didn’t understand the importance of alarms (or I didn’t understand the importance of telling it which days) and so the morning run I had planned beforehand disappeared in a puff of fucks, shits, for-the-love-of-gods, and are-you-fucking-kidding-mes.
Somehow, miraculously I managed to throw on clothes, my face and make it to the train with a cup of coffee. I’m still not quite sure how, but I’m certain to reap a big pile of negativity at some point to make up for it. And it turned out I wasn’t alone. Joey, who is a Boohoo brand ambassador was also on the train. And as we sat together and she skilfully applied her make up, it turned out she was having a similar start to her day too.
Thankfully, after only one incident involving some foundation, and a couple of near misses involving a coffee cup, we arriving unscathed in Liverpool, collected another couple of ladies also on their way to Curve and hopped in a cab.
Where security then kept us waiting (impatiently) to get in.
When we did – it was a treasure trove. From Very and their photo booth – allowing us to try on some of their new season clothes and allowing me to fall in love with a fluffy black coat in the plush velvet interior.
The fashion shows that took place throughout the day offered us a look at new ranges from Navabi, Simply Be, Marks & Spencer, Lovedrobe, Yours Clothing and Ebay launched their new Curve Hub (something I’m already trawling as I have my eye on a faux leather skirt – it would go nicely with the faux fur above).
And showcased the collection from Elvi, designed by Hayley Hasselhoff (whose mum sat down next to me on the front row and we bonded over chewing gum, new phones, overfull memory cards and David Gest). The collection was stunningly stark – long lines, nehru collars, rich fabrics that had me longing for a couple of extra inches in height. She also used not only plus size models (though I’d have personally liked a little more variation in size), but also a range of ages – embracing diversity on a different level.
Please can I look this glamorous when my hair goes completely white?
Disappointingly absent were some of the other big brands. No Evans, no Dorothy Perkins, none of the lingerie brands I saw at the Curvy Convention, or even at Curve last year. And there was space for them, which makes it more disappointing. I like my underwear.
In amongst the shows and browsing (or shopping) there were discussion on plus size fashion, culture and clothes, and body positivity, including the very well attended panel discussion from Tess Holliday, Callie Thorpe, and Bishamber Das (hence my dreadful photograph!).
My browsing of course, was somewhat intensive.
Gorgeous snuggly pieces from Studio 8.
Knickers (thank you) and the softest, squishiest jumper from Marks & Spencer that might just have to find it’s way into my winter wardrobe (again back to that faux leather skirt), as well as lots of Percy Pigs to keep us going.
Boohoo had some stunning sheers, that I (and the whole of Instagram) seemed to fall in love with, in particular this dress, which I haven’t found online yet, but you can bet I’m hunting it down.
Oh and I found out where I could also get a calorie top up of a different kind.
Simply Be had a lot of late nineties style Victoriana, including these gorgeous shirts (I’m back to that faux leather skirt again).
And it seems on the catwalk, they had the same idea.
So with my autumn winter wardrobe mentally sorted, and my Prosecco levels topped up, it was time for me to go. My sugar high prompted my cupcakes at the Very stand and sweets everywhere else had crashed hard and reminded me that proper food hadn’t entered my system all day. I’d schmoozed and hugged and kissed, swapped numbers, applauded and tweeted my fingers off. There was only one way to fix it.
Thanks to The Curve Fashion Festival for organising yet another fantastic plus size event, to the brands for bringing the catwalk to life, to the models, bloggers and to everyone who attended.
As someone who has been plus size almost all her life, and who is probably older than most of the plus size bloggers out there, I’m amazed at the selection offered now. Plus size fashion is finally coming into its own, recognising that just because we’re curvy doesn’t mean that we can’t wear, colour, patterns, trends.
Let’s do it all again next year?