Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting luxury plus-size designer Anna Scholz at a blogger event she held in collaboration with Simply Be, for whom she also designs a unique collection. They gathered up some of the most stunning yet down-to-earth women I have possibly ever met at Scholz's London offices to show us the Spring/Summer collections for both Simply Be and the independent e-commerce site. Now, I know juxtaposing the terms "luxury designer" and "plus-size" seems to create a paradox -- some kind of inexplicable, impossible thing whose existence may actually make the world explode (or so mainstream culture media would tell us, anyway). But there are actually many incredible, higher-end brands designing with curvy women in mind. Lala Belle, Vince Camuto, Eileen Fisher, Igigi and Marina Rinaldi are just a few to come to mind. And, of course, Anna Scholz.
That would have to be my word of choice for Scholz's designs. See the dress I am wearing in that first photo? It's part of the new Black Label, priced at $627. Scholz and her team let us bloggers try on some of the apparel, and this was the one piece that really stole my heart. The psychedelic butterflies are mesmerizing, and I feel like if I did own it, I would wear it constantly just to have something trippy to look at to get me through mundane days. Most of the high-end collection has a $300-600 range, with the exception of sale items here and there. But I have to tell you, this dress is by far one of the nicest things I have ever worn. Made of 95 percent silk, it is painfully smooth, and the cut-out shoulders are actually really flattering and experimental, which I like.
|Waiting until this mint jacket is released, and definitely splurging on it!|
It's honestly somewhat overwhelming to find a designer who is plus-size herself, who saw the lack in high-quality clothes for fuller-figured women and then did something about it. Sometimes I think it's easy to write about size acceptance and equality in fashion for fuller-figured women, but much harder to make a big impact with it. That may just be my own self-doubt playing up, though. But to me, Scholz is really transforming the way the industry thinks of plus fashion -- and maybe, in turn, the way the mainstream thinks about voluptuous women.
Because I am a blogger, and believe wholeheartedly that bloggers have a huge impact on the world this day in age, I also really appreciated that Scholz's event brought a group of curvy bloggers together for the evening. I finally got to meet some of the ladies I've spent time Tweeting and writing about in the past, like Callie Thorpe of From the Corners of the Curve and Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. But I met new and inspiring ladies as well -- among them, Nancy Whittington of Sugar, Darling?; Ulrike Bartos of Miss Bartos; Isha of An Autumn's Grace; Charlotte of Apple Charlotte; and Gemma Norris of Pink Gemma. Being part of a group of confident, thicker women coming together for the love of one common goal was really moving and quite frankly, humbling. And I'm not trying to be cheesy, here.
This line is everything a quirky, experiment-loving curvy chick could ever want. The patters are bold and unapologetic -- the colors bright and showy. There is no fear in these designs. There is no, "I'm bigger so I need to cover up." Every piece, whether for Simply Be or Anna's independent site, is brave and boisterous and irrevocably stunning.