I’ve just spent the last couple of weeks in Melbourne for Melbourne Fashion Week Plus and holy moly, it was an experience and a half! I saw beautiful clothes, I felt a lot of fabric and I met some truly wonderful people. My post-Melbourne blues are setting in, so I thought this would be a good time to share what the MFW+ part of my trip was like. In one word: inspiring.
My Melbourne Fashion Week Plus adventure kicked off on the Tuesday when I was part of a panel with Kath Reed (Fat Heffalump) and Sarah Harry (Fat Yoga), talking about Fashion, Feminism and Fat Bodies. I was super nervous leading up to the panel because quite often I feel like I’m not … academic enough? for some discussions. It went well though, and for me the best part was having that discussion with a group of people who just get it. Once I got into the swing of things, I’m pretty sure we could have talked about things for a lot longer. I’d have loved to have had this panel in the weekend, because I know there were a lot of people who weren’t able to make a mid week event. I’m definitely keen to continue this discussion, so fingers crossed the opportunity comes up again! Check out Suger Coat It’s write up of the panel here.
Once that part of the week was over, we got to enjoy four runway shows over three days. Now, the fashion shows I’m used to are trade shows – they are aimed at buyers and magazine editors rather than people who will go out and buy the clothes. The Melbourne Fashion Week Plus shows were for everyone – I saw bloggers, models, retail staff, buyers, other designers there to support their communities and I saw people like you and me who just love fashion! There was a really great sense of community and it was awesome to see so many people come out to support the designers and the industry.
There were a lot of great designers showing their collections and so many awesome pieces, but I’m only going to show you some of my favourites (because that’s what my blog is about, right? Sharing my favourite things with you!), otherwise we will be here forever. Okay, let’s go…
I’m really loving the prints from Nyata this season, these are definitely my favourite that I’ve seen from them. They are perfect for summer, both the monochrome tiled print and the sunset pink and orange (which reminds me a bit of flamingoes). For those of you that love the sequin detailing often found in Nyata, don’t worry – there are still a few pieces with that shimmer.
I was really excited to see the collection from Estelle Clothing, because earlier in the week I had been in store at Myer trying on a few pieces of their current collection (and yes, a little something may have been purchased!). I loved the soft floaty pieces in their collection and think they will be perfect for those summer days (and nights) when you want to be a bit more dressy.
One of the brands I hadn’t seen before was Alison Dominy Designs – they were classic designs with little modern twists and definitely the kind of clothes that you would wear over and over (you know, when you find something you just love wearing and feel amazing in?). I’m sure those of you who have been here a while will know that I tend to prefer dark colours, so it may come as a surprise that my favourite piece from Alison Dominy Designs was actually this light coloured dress! It’s totally one of those outfits that I would gravitate to in summer because it’s light, comfortable, looks nice and swishy when you’re walking and is just so effortlessly beautiful.
It’s no secret that I am a massive fangirl of 17 Sundays, and I know a lot of you are as well. I shared a bit of their runway show on Snapchat and Instagram; and so many of you took screenshots and asked me when things would be available! The good news is that some things are available now (like the boho dress on the above left and the bone boyfriend joggers in the middle), the bad news is that some things you will have to wait impatiently for. Me? I’m hanging out for the arrow print fit and flare dress, the black and white striped dress, the grey and black striped dress, the grey and gold grid dress … basically I just want all of the dresses. I’ve been ogling 17 Sundays like there is no tomorrow and the runway show just clinched it for me. Sorry not sorry for my obvious obsession with all things 17.
With Hope & Harvest (another long time fave of mine), I found myself drawn to their prints. Both the blue and white graphic print above and the palm prints below just screamed summer to me. I know there have been a lot of you crying out for prints, so it’s awesome to see that H&H have answered that call. I was especially pleased to see that they are offering some of the classic styles that we know and love (like the skirt on the right) in updated prints – the perfect way to update your wardrobe while keeping the style you adore.
I wasn’t very familiar with Embody Denim before coming to MFW+. I’d seen a few pieces, but not a lot, and it was really cool to see such a neat range in their show. I like the classic casual pieces that I expected from Embody Denim, but what really caught my eye was something I didn’t manage to snap a photo of – this stunning jumpsuit. The print, the way it drapes, the confident chic-ness that everyone who wears it seems to exude … *sigh*
Sprinkle was another crowd favourite, and a few of these outfits made me absolutely swoon! I was fully prepared to add them to my wardrobe, but unfortunately they only go up to a size 18. Please oh please, sweet Sprinkle, extend your size range!
UPDATE 26/05/17: I’ve just heard from Sprinkle that they have extended some of the pieces in their range to a size 22. Hurray!
All weekend I’ve been losing my mind over this fat unicorn print. You can get it as leggings or this gorgeous skater style dress, but what’s most important is fat unicorns people. Fat unicorns. Come on. Joolz also does other fun prints, which you can check out here!
I loved seeing Miss Scarlett Did It‘s collection coming down the runway – there were tall babes, short babes, babes with big boobs, babes with small boobs … and the best part was the confidence that they had while they were walking down that runway. Y’all know how much of a fan I am of having lingerie that makes you feel good – it was obvious that this is that kind of lingerie. Plus, it’s super pretty and comes in sizes from B – I cup, in back sizes 8 – 24.
If there is one thing that the plus size world is lacking in, it’s decent activewear, so anytime I see activewear that comes above a size 18 I get really excited! Even more so when it’s a company I already know and trust, like Sonsee Woman, that is taking the plunge into the world of activewear. Their stockings fit really well and are super comfortable, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some of their pieces when they are released.
Still on the topic of activewear, another brand that is killing it with stylish options is Active Truth. I really liked that they have styles that are bright and fun, and that their sizes go from 8-26, because I think that if you want to exercise (or just lounge about in exercise clothes) you should be able to do it in something that you feel good in. I am definitely eyeing up some of their leggings after my friend Sam (the model on the left) let me feel how soft and gorgeous the tights are – I just know they’re going to be great to wear! Especially in that feather print and in the monochrome.
Another thing that people have mentioned is difficult to find is swimwear, so I was really looking forward to what Beyond The Sea had to show us. Basically, they have a whole bunch of cute styles with even cuter prints and the bonus of having so many different styles is that it gives you so much choice when you’re picking your dream suit – I love the striped two piece with the boyleg bottoms.
You know what I liked most about Melbourne Fashion Week Plus? Seeing women of all ages and shapes and sizes rocking the hell out of that catwalk. I had a lot of conversations about diversity while I was in Melbourne and the need for that within fashion. People were telling me that they want to see different ages, different body shapes, different sizes, different races … they want to see a representative view of us as plus size shoppers; and it was cool to see that beginning to come through on the runway.
Phew! That’s it from Melbourne Fashion Week Plus for 2016. Thank you so much to the amazing crew who organised the event for all their hard work and for inviting me along, it was really great to be surrounded by like-minded people who were excited about plus size fashion! I can’t wait for next year’s show, but in the meantime, stay tuned for more of my Melbourne adventures coming to the blog soon.
Which outfits are you loving?