Monday, September 8, 2008

Plus Size Life: UK vs US and Darwin ATTACKS!

After a few weeks living here, I can say that both countries have their pluses and their minuses when it comes to living in them as a plus size person.
I cannot speak for ALL plus size ladies, mostly because I have a very specific taste ( edgy couture) and I am on of those bridgy plus chicks where I can still buy stuff at chez the "God's Choosen" straight sized stores even though they look at me, to quote some people in size acceptance, as if my diet consisted of baby-flavoured doughnuts everytime I walk in one of their upscale hallowed stores.
I think that if my taste leaned more towards the totally alternative or the very conservative, I might have an easier time finding clothes, but the fact that I am contantly looking for size 18 Marc by Marc Jacobs or size 16 McQ or a size XL (and not an idiotic size 10 as XL as per Juicy Couture, but a REAL XL like an 16-18) House of Holland t-shirt makes me at best a dreamer and mostly determined to fill a niche that NO ONE has bothered to address: High End designer contemporary apparel over a size 8. I know that one day I am going to be rich. How come no one but me has given a thought to a "Miss 80" ( Instead of "Miss Sixty')?
Or to Plus DVF? Or yes, even plus size Juicy?
I HAVE CALLED and written all of these companies asking them to do plus lines but they act like I am asking them to have sex with household pets. Yes, I have written AND called Diane Von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs AND Pam and Gella at Juicy and they will make clothes for you if you get knocked up. But if you are fat? Burn bitch and burn in a muumuu.... ARGHHHHHH
So if they don't do it, I will. I will be more than happy to sell my clothes full price and not see thousands of XS garments languish month after month on clearance racks until they end up on the backs of small children in El Salvador and Erithrea.
Which I guess is who they were designed for in the first place.
The buyers at upscale stores make me laugh. They really do. It's like they live in a perpetual state of denial when they they see the XLs and L's sell for full price. The M's go at first markdown and those XS stay there through clearance and past TJ MAXX AND the Goodwill store, until they have to be shipped back to where they came from in a sad cycle of waste.
But they keep stocking 1 XL, 2 L's, 6 M's , 10 Ss and 20 XSs just because they think that because they wish it, we will all shrink on demand.No, not EVERYTHING in Anna Wintour's diabolical agenda moves forward without a hitch...
Most buyers must be fundamentalist Christians, I think. They refuse to accept evolution and that as a species, we are growing bigger and taller with each passing generation. Ok... my grandma: 5'2. My mom: 5'5. Me: 5'8. My daughter: 5'10 and STILL growing? Get the picture? It's NOT an "Obesity Epidemic"... It's fucking evolution. Like MRSA but WAY cuter.
The sad part is the science people are not any better. They know about evolution and yet refuse that it's happening IN HUMANS in front of their eyes. They only acknowledge it when it comes to microorganisms.
They think that we should weight the same as peeps did in the 40's. Since we are taller and stronger and bigger than people were in the 40's and we no longer die of smallpox or polio or work all day in small rural farms, they deem us all not genetically fit and better fed, but "obese". Fuck them and the pocket protector they are wearing. Shit, that would be more sex than most of them get in a year..
And no, most of us who break the BMI commandments do not eat out every meal at a place that serves super sized fries and sit on our ever expanding asses all day.
We just are bigger and taller than average. I walk about 5 miles on a bad day. And I eat like 1500-2000 calories. Usually the same as my skinny compatriots. Sometimes a lot less. Yet they stay skinny and I stay fat. Something in the equation does not compute...
But back to the fashion...
So far I am noticing that a lot less is available as far as specially dedicated plus-size retail outlets.
I have only seen the plus departments at Harrod's ( big but VERY conservative) and Debenham's at Oxford St. ( minuscule and cheesy) and that intriguing little store in Kew.
But other than that zilch. I am being told about this store called Evans. But I have yet to see one anywhere.
In the States I see a Lane Bryant at every mall, and a Torrid every other mall.
In some there's both.
A lot of the brands go up to a size 20 or 22 UK which is like a 16 or 18 and that is what I buy here. Some good ones are Monsoon, the Star line by Julien McDonald at Debenham's
.tr> Black and white checked coat..table> Grey faux fur jacket..table>.tr> .. -->start of product image--> Chocolate animal print dress..table>

and Pink by Thomas Pink.Grey Nelson Women's Silk Luxury Top
Pink Tailored Non Stretch Harlem Stripe Women's Shirt- Double Cuff

One thing I direly miss is a place where I can find plus size, affordable hosiery.
My favourite in the US is Assets by Sarah Blakely ( the chick from Spanx) that I get at Target. It's not super cheap ( around 10 bucks a pair) but it wears well and it fits great.
Here big hose is borderderline impossible to find. The only available thing is the expensive Spanx and some ( very few) models of Wolford. And if you are anything over a size 18 I would not attempt ot because that is how far they stretch,
They deperately need a Target here. And the Right Fit Jeans by LB. I am so freaking happy that I got 2 pairs before I left the US and I snagged some of the new Trouser jeans.
I am going to continue to explore what is available here. I mean I KNOW there is Anna Scholtz and everything but I am looking for more other options and things that are unexpected.
I keep trawlling the charity shops too in search of the unexpected find.
Saturday I was looking for a cover up for the ballet because it is COLD and I had to leave my winter coats behind ( the bloody 30k luggage restrictions and all)... I got a great men's tux jacket for a few pounds and an adorable tiny evening bag because NOTHING looks less graceful than a giant diaper bag-like handbag on an evening out. I do NOT comprehend the giant handbag thing...
I had to limit my handbag allowance to 1 bag for the plane.... I almost died.
But so far I have not unearthed miracles like I used to in Montreal.
If anyone has any suggestions of plus- size retail outlets or designers I should cover please let me know.
I really want to support any stores or designers catering to plus sizes.


lady_beca said...

you know it surprises me that dvf, with her push toward diversification of beauty in the modeling world and her insistance on using "healthy" (ie not skeletal) models, doesn't have more plus size offerings. with all this hooplah over models of color in fashion week, and the letters sent out by dvf and her organization (the name escapes me) calling for more shapes, sizes, and colors in models... i don't get why they would be surprised when women ask them to put their garments where their mouths are. meh... i don't get the industry. but i'm glad your getting settled. we have to discuss a trip to see you for me and the boy.

Milla said...

I think DVF's " push for diversification" goes as far as it has to to not cause negative PR.
This is the exact quote from her PR person when I asked them why they did not make any larger sizes or even made the largest size they make (14) available in more models. She said "Because if we had larger sizes they would put us in another department" i.e women's vs. juniors.
And they think that that would be the kiss of death...
Yah... Nick Verreos wrote last Fashion Week about the dire lack of ANYONE not lilly white on the runways....
I tend to concurr it's getting worst and worst and the fashion industry is no better than big pharma.
About everything.
DVF is president of CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).
You know it's my life dearest wish to put a bunch of juicy women of more flavas than Ben and Jerry's on at Bryant Park, or Paris or London Fashion Week.
How am I going to get there when the day job has be tied up writing about nerdy shit until I cannot see straight... I don't know..
But I am going to do it dude..
Let me know when you wanna come.
I should have my apartment by the end of the month.
Going to Texas next week and Florence in Oct.. so far that is what I know..
Love ya and miss ya,

lady_beca said...

florence... you lucky bit*h. i wanna go to florence. *pout* all in good time, my pretty. all in good time.

as for dvf not wanting to be in the women's department as opposed to the juniors... WTF!?!?!?!? so a lable supposedly designing for women wants to be sold in the department catering to teens? no wonder this incongruety of statement v/s action. apparently dvf is no longer designing women's wear and she just forgot to tell everyone. that make so much more sence now.

Milla said...

I am kind of not stoked about the trip to Florence.
I mean I am. But I am going to be working my bootie off.
Probably not going to see the light of day and will be handcuffed to powerpoint slides throughout.
It's not like I am going to check out the architecture and the Emilio Pucci showroom :-(
But being so close I'll get to go back for fun eventually.
They ALL want to be teen labels. Well the tag exactly is "Contemporary Designer".
It's basically the fastest growing and highest selling segment in fashion and the one with the highest profit margin.
DVF kind of re-invented her label.
She used to do womenswear and eventually she even did plus and then because of excessive licensing the label went off the deep end. Then she re-launched the label as high-end contemporary and re-claimed the exclusivity and cache of her brand...
That is what happened.
I am sure they blame it on making clothes for fat people, not on getting greedy with the success of a label. But marketing fucks are myopic like that.
Making clothes only for "God's Choosen" VSSs ( very small sizes) lends them a fake air of exclusivity...
God forbid you might see a fat chick wearing your same dress...
My idea is doing the reverse...
Making clothes for juicy chicks so cool and hot that the VSSs are going to be on Oreos and Bacon diets to wear them.
Yeah baby... I am going to make them bring back panniers so they can have hips like ours to fit them...LOL