Toccara JonesThey have traditionally been shunned from the world’s catwalks in favour of stick-thin women. But the rise in popularity of plus-size models is gathering pace as New York Fashion Week prepares to host its first show featuring only fuller-figured women. U.S. fashion company will showcase dozens of outfits for larger women on prominent plus-size models including Toccara Jones and Lizzie Miller. The company, which carries British sizes 16 and above, said it wants to take a stand to ‘prove that curvy women are equally as beautiful and as fashionable’ as their thinner counterparts, and that New York Fashion Week was the place to do it. Although next week’s show is not linked to any of the major fashion houses, it is indicative of the growing prominence of plus-size models. Miss Miller was recently pictured in a popular fashion magazine Glamour with her belly hanging out and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks has emerged as the most celebrated example of a woman who can look sexy and curvy at the same time.
Mark Fast fashion show

British Designer Mark Fast sent size 12 and 14 models down the runway in London last year

Several top designers, including Marc Jacobs and Prada, included fuller-figured women in their shows for autumn this year and Mark Fast used size 12 and 14 models.

The mood in New York marks a significant change from London Fashion Week, which was dominated by the debate about ‘size-zero’ models when the organisers refused to ban stick-thin despite huge public outcry. Nutritionists and psychologists have repeatedly complained of the poor example such models set to young women and the damaging effect it can have on their self-esteem.

The OneStopPlus show will take place next Wednesday in the Lincoln Centre in New York, where the rest of the big fashion houses are having their events. It will be hosted by the model Emme, who has become an icon to women with a fuller figure. Zahir Babvani, vice president of design at said: ‘This show is a collaborative effort to provide the extraordinary community of plus-size women with the uncompromising style that they have always deserved but never received. ‘It’s about inclusion and fashion democracy: fashion risk-taking and empowerment. No more seeing what you can’t have; this is a fashion party that invites and inspires everyone.’ Galina Monaco, a designer with the company, added that we are currently living through a ‘new golden age’ of plus-size fashion. ‘Befitting our collection, elements of Belle Epoque are present with touches of feminine lace, rich drapery, decorative florals and, of course, the gilded shine of slight sequin embellishment,’ she said.
Crystal Renn with Jean-Paul Gaultier

Crystal Renn, seen on the catwalk in 2006 with Jean-Paul Gaultier, has modeled for everyone from Evans to Chanel this season

Daily Mail fashion expert Eliza Scarborough remained skeptical about the future of plus-size fashion though. ‘There is definitely something of a Mad Men effect, as we have seen with Crystal Renn who is everywhere at the moment but in the long run I don’t think it will catch on,’ she said. ‘At the highest end of fashion there just are not the clothes for plus-size women. That’s not to say there are not great, fashionable clothes, but at the top level they do not really exist. ‘Only when all the big fashion houses start using plus-size models will we see things really change. Right now it is getting a lot of attention, but it seems more for effect.’

Some 62% of American women are plus size, meaning there is a substantial market for fashion which caters to them. While unlikely to change fashion’s use of stick-thin models, the OneSizePlus show will put pressure on others in the industry to follow the lead of Italy, which has become the first country in the world to ban size zero models from catwalks. A spokeswoman for the British Fashion Council, which organises London Fashion Week said they had never been approached to put on a similar show. She said: ‘We would be open to the idea but nobody has come forward to suggest it yet’. Article by *     *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *       *       *      *      *      * My friend Lauren sent this article to me and it made my day! I’m happy that NYFW is finally getting some diversity, even if it is in its own separate show. It is just one step closer. I’m really surprised that the British Fashion Council has never been approached with a plus-size fashion show before, but delighted that they’d consider it. This means it’s up to the designers to adjust their clothing, because more and more people are opening their minds! It’s crazy to think that 62% of the women’s market has been ignored and underrepresented. It just doesn’t make any sense that designers would keep making clothing exclusively for a demographic that less than half of the population represents. They can’t say there’s no market for this anymore. So I disagree with Eliza Scarborough prediction that this plus-size attention is a phase. Let’s face it – people are always going to be different sizes and need clothes to wear. The industry is missing a serious opportunity by ignoring this market. More than anything, I hope that OneStopPlus’ initiative gets lots of attention and encourages other fashion houses to do the same. Come on, Marc Jacobs! And check out what other awesome thing Jean-Paul Gaultier did:
Jean-Paul Gaultier plus size

Clearly more of a size 20 than the controversial model Size 0, this voluptuous woman proved big is beautiful as she strutted down the runway at Gaultier’s 30th anniversary show in Paris