11 February 2014

Go Inside For Your Finest Inspiration; Your Dreams Will Open The Door


It's funny, but until I started blogging, I wasn't really into fashion. Sure, I enjoyed shopping and I dedicated a decent amount of time to cultivating a personal style, as most people do to one extent or the other. But it was through writing about size acceptance and body confidence that fashion became a medium for legit self expression and for attempting to put my mantras of curve love into action. And honestly, I couldn't have found this passion at a better time, when multiple brands are really giving plus-size women more options than they have ever had before -- when plus-size bloggers are becoming known on a global scale that surpasses the prototypical micro celebrity of the 21st century -- when women of different sizes are embracing the features they've been told to believe are flaws. I know there is a long way to go before fashion and let's face it, society as a whole, are as accepting of women over a size 12 as they are of those under it, but with all the advances we're seeing, I can't help but be hopeful.

Since moving to the U.K., I've really become obsessed with Simply Be. From AX Paris Curve to Grazia to Anna Scholz, Simply Be carries over a dozen aesthetically unique, daring and fashion forward designers. But what's more is that they interact with real people. They interact with the women shopping their styles. They interact with the bloggers showcasing their ensembles. They care about human connection, and that makes them more than just another company.

I was thrilled when I was asked to participate in SB's blogger challenge -- an opportunity for a select group of bloggers to build a Fashion Week ensemble from head to toe based solely around items from the latest collection. As you guys know, I bounce back and forth between the U.S. and the U.K. pretty frequently, and Fashion Week is no different. It's NYFW now, British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend this weekend, and London Fashion Week next. So suffice it to say, I'm certainly bouncing. 


I feel like one of the misconceptions of any Fashion Week, whether you're in Manhattan or Sydney or London, is that it's all about going ultra-glam. It's all about the furs and the eccentric makeup and the asymmetrical everything. Though I adore all these things, and have no qualms with incorporating them into my look every so often, I think a huge part of all FWs is the elegant simplicity -- the ability to balance the casual, easy-going aesthetic with that of the budding fashionista. I tend to steer clear of anything super impractical when it comes to my outfits, and FW is no different. I want to look cute, I want to look network-able, I want to stand out, but I also want to be comfortable. 


When I was choosing these pieces, I knew jeggings were going to be an essential. I'm normally a dress and skirt kind of gal, so it was out of my comfort zone and different to what I normally do, but true to my style. Because I am a fan of Peter Pan the boy and Peter Pan the shirt-collar, this flower-print top seemed the perfect match. It's extremely spring/summer, and that was a must considering all the upcoming fashion shows are about the S/S collections. My glam factor came in via this wetlook quilted jacket, which has a "rebel without a cause" feel to it whilst not being super-overwhelmingly-dark-and-broody. And to add my necessary vintage feel, I went for rose kitten heels: retro, girly, cutesy but with a hint of sex appeal (I think?).

 
Obviously Simply Be is known for its clothes, but a huge part of fashion comes in the accessorizing as well. I've been getting really into statement jewelry lately, so this oversize jewel necklace seemed to call my name the moment I saw it. It's definitely a stand-out piece, but goes nicely with the flower combo of the top. And of course, the handbag: a girl's best friend. It had to be a clutch. Clutches are classic. They're stylish. They're practical for lugging around 12-hour days. And the colors of this particular handbag really blended with the overall look. My favorite part of Fashion Week is honestly more the street style than anything else. I love seeing people walking around, whether they're heading to shows, dreamily stalking the shows, or having nothing to do with them at all. And my Simply Be choices, as well as my choice to shoot on an actual street, were an attempt to represent that.


On a photography note, it's time to give a shout out to one of the loveliest ladies I know, both inside and out. Rachel Crittenden, New York and Hudson Valley-based photographer, was an absolute delight to shoot with. I've known Rachel for a few years after meeting at our very first creative writing class at NYU, and I've essentially social-media-stalked her work ever since. I was so drawn to her photography because it has a certain realness that's increasingly hard to find these days. She loves natural light. She loves showing the beauty in people and scenes as they truly are. And that's something I will always appreciate in any art. Genuineness. I say all the time that I'm incredibly awkward around humans, but Rachel has that special ability of making you feel comfortable right from the get go and putting all her care and attention into getting the best shots. I highly recommend this woman for anyone looking for a photographer in the NY-area. For more info, definitely check out her website or email her at rachel.crittenden.photography@gmail.com

Get My Fashion Week Look:
Print Peter Pan Collar Top, Simply Be
Regular Skinny Woven Jeggings, Simply Be
Wetlook Quilted Cropped Jacket, Simply Be
Catwalk Pointy Court Heel, Simply Be
Jewel Necklace, Simply Be
Color Block Clutch Bag, Simply Be

*Nothing/no one says fashion-forward like Madonna, especially circa 1990 when "Vogue" was released for the I'm Breathless album. I mean, for real. Thus this post's featured song.*

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