Plus Size Fashion At Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, September 2013
Fast forward to the New York Times in September 2013 declaring the Fall shows at the tents which are now at Lincoln Center in NYC, the “season of the quirky model.” Quirky means different, special, unique, unexpected and unusual. My past is now known; I have always been an advocate for beauty at any size, a trailblazer in thinking out-of-the-box and challenging conformists’ attitudes. I am about empowerment because when I stopped trying to be something society wanted me to be and I discovered (well, it discovered me, but that’s another story) plus size modeling and realized I became a role model to women who wanted to feel better about themselves, I was on the path to my own personal destiny. It wasn’t an excuse to rally “come on girls, get as big as you want, we have clothes for you now….” but rather a statement of diversity and inclusion. I am a hippie at heart and I have always been anti-establishment, so bucking the authorities was and is nothing new for me. Be the change you want to see in the world, I’ve always advocated. Be yourself, everyone else is taken….yada yada…we know the adages, I happen to apply them to my profession and practice random acts of kindness and am radical about infusing as much love, tolerance and acceptance into my life as possible. So my soapbox morphed into a runway you might say.
Fall 2013 was an interesting time to be in fashion, that’s for darn sure…and from my perspective the strides are definitely being made and attention is finally being paid to a different definition of beauty. The one-size-fits-none mentality is so fifteen minutes ago. Everyone is tired of the pigeonholing in the fashion business and the money is on the table with the full figured market. With niche markets becoming groundbreaking and profitable, people are finally paying attention. And it just couldn’t be thrown against the wall…it has to be good. There is a standard that needs to be adhered to and the bar must be raised if inclusion is going to mean something and be revolutionary.
I was so proud on Friday, September 6th when Eden Miller and her fabulous line of clothing, Cabiria, made history as the first plus size designer to walk the catwalk under the MBFW tents. It was a shock heard round the world and I was beaming when I received my special invite from the Fashion Law Institute to attend her event. Fashion Law Institute has a series entitled Fashion Law Pop Up Clinics where they match each individual designer with a volunteer attorney who has both fashion experience and expertise related to the question at hand, along with an advanced student studying fashion law for extra assistance. They think of it as a win-win-win situation – Fashion folks have their legal questions answered, lawyers enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise, and students get a chance to learn through observation and experience.
The event was held under the tents, on premises as we say, in “The Box” which is reserved for smaller more unique projects like a pop-up clinic. It was there that we all huddled over croissants and cantaloupe and witnessed history being made. When the director of Fashion Law Institute, Susan Scafidi, made her opening announcements about who was chosen to be in their clinic line up, I hooted, cheered, ne’er I say, whooped from the audience when she announced Cabiria. If the truth be told, Eden’s line got the most applause because a) it was darn beautiful and b) carefully constructed (they chose her because her stuff was well made basically) and c) groundbreaking in its inclusion amongst straight size designers and accessory creators. The powers-that-be even showed some of the gorgeous, super-uber dramatic jewelry on columnar black dresses, but featured a few of the plus models in that segment as well. All in all, that show represented a personal moment of triumph for all of us. Finally! Emme was there and got a chance to interview Eden backstage for E! network. Eden wrote on her Facebook page this week upon getting calls from all over the world, hey good news travels fast. – “MY LIFE HAS DEFINITELY GOTTEN MORE INTERESTINGER.” I love her – well… quirkiness!