As a fat woman who wears size 26/28 and sometimes 30/32, it’s disappointing when clothes are promised to be for “all women” but the size charts belie that promise. It’s a topic I’ve written on several times before when Old Navy, Kelly Osbourne and Melissa McCarthy launched collections that did not fit all bodies.
I’m also disappointed when plus size designers and retailers don’t show what their clothes look like on an array of bodies… another topic I touched on before. So when Mallorie Dunn, of SmartGlamour, came along not only offering hand made clothes in sizes from XS – 6X (or made to measure for anyone) but also displays her collections on bodies of varying shapes, sizes, heights, weights, abilities, ethnicities, ages and gender identities, I sat up and took notice. Actually, I sat up and cheered.
Unlike designers and retailers that use body positivity as a sales gimmick with size 14/16 models, Mallorie believes in inclusivity and that belief is evident in her runway shows and ad campaigns. This year she started a project called #AllMeansAll to “highlight those who are marginalized”. The first campaign featured trans feminine, gender fluid, and non binary femmes as models.
When Mallorie put out a casting call for the projects’s second campaign to feature women who wear sizes over 24, I wanted to be part of it. Much to my delight I was picked and, yesterday, took part in a photo shoot with 5 other lovely ladies… Kristie, Yaneeka, Zaida, Abby and Christina. We chatted and laughed like we’ve known each other for years which is one of the wonderful things about being in a truly body positive environment.
Mallorie selected outfits for us in bright, bold prints and colors because plus size retailers usually feature dark colors to hide or disguise our bodies . For me she chose the Jamie Wrap Skirt and Virgie Scoop Neck Tee. I was thrilled to find out that the tee is named after Virgie Tovar, an amazing author and fat acceptance activist who’s one of my inspirations. Normally I don’t wear skirts but, after Mallorie helped get mine properly wrapped and tied, I had to admit that it looked great!!! I’ll be wearing it again soon. Another comfort zone crashed!
Other outfits modeled include the Valentina Racerback Dress (I love that dress SO much that I now have 3 of them!), Keriann Maxi Dress, Marilyn Convertible Top with Allison Pencil Skirt and the Lindy Sheath & Ruffle and Substantia Scoop Tank dresses names which were respectively named after the fabulous, influential ladies Lindy West (author, feminist and fat acceptance activist) and Substantia Jones (photographer and founder of the Adipositivity Project)
I hope other designers and retailers also sit up and take notice. We bigger ladies need clothes and representation too.
(Disclaimer: I kept the outfit I modeled but was not otherwise compensated for this post. My opinion of SmartGlamour is honest.)