Archive | July, 2011

Having It All? – Hilary Devey – Telegraph comment

I read with interest yesterday’s Telegraph article in which new Dragon’s Den member Hilary Devey comments “women can never have it all – it’s how God breeds us”. This is actually something I’ve been pondering a lot recently. I was born in the 60s, grew up in the 70s and have never questioned the assumption that women can have it all. The feminist movement, socialist politics and general optimism of those eras really did inspire girls to see their lives as full of unlimited possibilities, which to an extent they were.

I attended a large comprehensive girls school in central London where despite being a single sex school, almost all subjects were available to study. Suddenly the prospect of university education for working class girls was a reality and no longer was the prospect of a House wife’s life considered the norm. However, now in my late 40’s I sadly have to admit that Hilary may be right. Having worked full time all of my adult life, been in a long term relationship and having children I now realise that I haven’t been able to climb to the heights that I expected I would. When it comes down to it, the ultimate responsibility for childcare rests with me and quite honestly that feels right. I never had any ambition to be a career mum and certainly don’t consider myself to be a helicopter mother but childcare is always the first consideration both in terms of how I juggle my time, the employment I take and the salary I accept.

My own parents both worked full time and I remember mum working all day in one factory, rushing home to give us four kids and Dad our tea, then rushing off to work in another factory at night. She did all the shopping, housework, everything. I remember being ill and mum taking me to school and telling me not to tell anyone I felt ill because she had to work. That’s the way it was then and I’m sure mum never felt she had it all – she was too busy and knackered to stop and think of anything like that.
I am a lot more fortunate than she was in many ways and can’t say my life has anything like the slog hers had, but it is extremely difficult trying to carry on working because I enjoy it and achieving anything like what I could have if I didn’t have to spread myself around so much. Of course it’s easier (logistically) for women who are in high paid jobs because they can afford the Nanny, Cleaner, Personal Assistant but is it really about that either?

I can remember being sent to school holiday clubs because mum worked and absolutely hating it, being envious of friends whose mum’s didn’t work and were with them during school holidays. I remember school friends who used to go home for lunch because mum was there to cook for them and sometimes I’d go with them – it was lovely. That’s why I really want to be with my children during school holidays, after school, when they’re ill. Actually I enjoy being with my children and feel that they’re my greatest achievement.

I don’t know if Hilary is right in believing that mother’s feel this way because it’s the way God breeds us. For myself it could be my own childhood experiences or it could be genetics but I suspect it may be a combination of both. Certainly I feel at the age of 48 I am heading for burn out in trying to achieve it all and rather disappointed that it appears to be impossible but I would still encourage young women to try. What do you think? Add a comment reflecting your opinion!

Joanna Davis

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion for Curvy Women Size 16 to 24 | 50% off Summer Sale Now On!

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Plus Size Off White and Brown Tunic Top perfect for a night out on holiday

Tops to Wear on Holiday….

No doubt you are all thinking about holidays, I am too but the weather seems to have deserted us here in Cambridgeshire, though I did see reports on Twitter of sunshine in Cornwall today! So you may be thinking of heading to sunnier climates. Of course, that does bring into question the choice of what to wear! If you are like me you will look through your full wardrobe and find nothing suitable to wear on holiday this year. You explain this to your other half – there is always good value to be had in watching their eyeballs head north in disbelief!

So it is time to do some shopping. Being sensible I mentally tick off three types of top that I might need.

1: Travel.
2: Relaxing – casual.
3: Dinner out.

Below are three tops from niche European designers that fall into this category and they are all suitable for “Curvy” ladies.

1. Bitte Kai Rand Black Top Scoop Neck with Cap Sleeves. Sale price £17.00 (From Vida Moda)

Plus Size Black Top with cap sleeves and fine rib texture

Black Top for travelling

This black scoop neck cap sleeved top is perfect for travel. It is a cotton, viscose and lycra mix which makes it very comfortable to wear. It and has a very fine rib texture so it doesn’t look like a tee shirt. It is stylish and versatile. Prefect for travel and still looks fresh at the end of your journey! Also available in White and cream. It also looks fabulous with our Linen trousers or skirts.

2. Heteroclite Red Scoop Neck Top with 3/4 Length Sleeves. Sale Price £26.00 (From Vida Moda)

Plus Size Red Scoop Neck Top with 3/4 length Sleeves

Red Top for relaxing or seeing the sites...!

This top is my favourite, I love it’s colour, so vibrant, so summer! This is a great top for relaxing or sightseeing. It has an open weave which is perfect to allow your body to breathe. Made from 77% cotton mix that is very comfortable and available in size 16 to size 22.

3. Anathea by Parakian Off White and Brown Handkerchief Tunic Top. Sale Price £67.00 (From Vida Moda)

Plus Size Off White and Brown Tunic Top perfect for a night out on holiday

Perfect for going out to dinner on holiday!

This top is perfect for an evening out, it makes quite a statement and is very stylish. It is light and comfortable to wear, perfect for a late dinner with wine on a terrace somewhere!

These are my holiday selections this week, I hope you like them!

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion for Curvy Women Size 16 to 24 | 50% off Summer Sale Now On!

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Get ready for your beach holiday with Vida Moda!

Holiday time!

“At last”, we all gasp. It’s finally the long awaited School holidays. We look forward to them as the beginning of a well earned break from the panic to make sure all uniforms are laundered and ready for daily wear, sports kits available for those last minute declarations of “it’s football practice today” just as you’re getting in the car, the nagging to get everyone out of bed, breakfasted and dressed ready to leave on time and of course the daily trek to school followed by the car park war.

Get ready for your beach holiday with Vida Moda!

You know it’s going to be round two, in reverse later in the day. A chance to recharge your energy and forget about those daily deadlines to get everyone where they need to be at the right time. The euphoria doesn’t last long as soon the boredom sets in and there doesn’t seem to be anything to do or anywhere to go that doesn’t cost a fortune. The annual family holiday is an exciting prospect and of course having spent a fortune on what you hope is a guaranteed fun packed break, you are in charge of the holiday wardrobes. More expense as everyone has grown out of or worn out last year’s must have casual fashions.

At Vida Moda we’re offering up to 50% off our summer collection of timeless, must have summer chic. Linen trousers for travel, day wear and elegant evening wear. Loose vibrant tunics are must haves for day or evening and keep you cool. Feminine, light dresses make you look and feel radiant. Pretty and lightweight waterfall cardigans for those cooler evenings when you’re savouring the end of a perfect day outside your favourite beach side Bistro. Isn’t it time to slow down and think about you now?

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion for Curvy Women Size 16 to 24

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Plus Size Models on Vogue Italia June 2011 Cover

What Is Plus Size?

What is a Plus Size and why can’t the fashion industry deal with it properly?

This is an area under debate at the moment and some people are clearly struggling with it. They know that plus size is popular and is a hot topic for discussion and they wish to participate and comment on the plus size market. But what is “Plus Size”, what does it mean and how do we view it?

The words “Plus Size” are used to refer to clothing for larger people, there is a wide area of debate around what is considered to be large, where does it start? Size, 10, 12, 14 or 16?. The debate then also becomes associated with health issues as many people consider that larger people are automatically unhealthy (this is untrue). The Fashion Industry is totally focused on how people look and larger people do not figure on mainstream fashion’s radar. This is regrettable as a lot of people are larger than the models generally used by the fashion industry (they are then expected to buy clothes modeled on thinner women). It is interesting that the fashion industry is associated with thinness which itself can also give rise to health issues. It seems that people (both large and thin) slightly outside the “norm” are viewed and treated differently though interestingly in certain circumstances both are perceived as being “unhealthy”

However these perceptions are being challenged somewhat because people are getting larger and what used to be considered “plus size” is now much more common than previously. Dress sizes have become larger over the years but have remained labeled as previously known as “Vanity Sizing” to make customers feel good about themselves. Typically the fashion markets are driven by designers setting trends. Their work is an art form and is displayed in an artistic manner. Ready to wear on the high street takes it’s cues from these trends although you also get designers who set their own trends for their market.

Ready to Wear is worn by much wider age and size groupings than shown on the Couture Catwalks, and a lot of the trends seen on the catwalk do not necessarily transfer well to the normal market. So while the “Plus Size” market may not be “media” popular they represent a good portion of people who shop for clothes.

The term “Plus Size” is commonly used in the USA but is less common here in the UK, it is a commonly used search term on Google but it’s not really that well used here in the UK. Media doesn’t really know how to handle it and this was never more clear when we saw the Vogue Italia cover for June 2011. It features 3 beautiful women photographed in lingerie. These women are plus size models and while it is wonderful that Vogue featured them on their cover is a shame that they felt it necessary to photograph the women semi naked and with one of them posed somewhat inappropriately.

Plus Size Models on Vogue Italia June 2011 Cover

Editor in chief Franca Sozzani launched Vogue Curvy in February and the June Cover of Vogue was aimed at helping promote Vogue’s new affinity with plus size women. It is excellent that Sozzani has a launched Vogue Curvy, is this mainstream fashion recognising that there are lots of women out there who are curvy or plus size and who demand that their fashion needs and desires be catered for? On an equally positive note Sozzani is also campaigning against web sites that actively promote anorexia which the fashion industry has been blamed for encouraging in the past. So well done to her for taking an active stance on this issue. In time perhaps the fashion media will focus on fashion as opposed to the size of the individual wearing it. After all everyone has the potential to be elegant and beautiful regardless of their size.

“The Cut” blog also posted an article “No One Seems To Know What A Plus Size Model Really Is” and they featured some quotes from Madeline Figueroa-Jones editor-in-chief of Plus Model magazine. Interestingly “The Cut” also featured a photograph of one of the covers from Plus Model Magazine and of all the covers they could have chosen they chose a cover with models wearing lingerie and posing provocatively. Plus Model Magazine has plenty of covers showing larger women wearing beautiful clothes. So it was a shame that both of these well traveled web sites chose to somewhat cheapen plus size women by showing them in skimpy lingerie (however well photographed).

Both Vogue and The Cut could have chosen photographs showing plus size women wearing beautiful clothes and illustrating the fact that larger women can look just as fabulous as other women and that fashion should be about fashion and not body size. Designers could also look at the world slightly differently and if they were brave they could view curvy women as presenting them with an opportunity to design clothes that flatter curves and to allow them to make a different and new fashion statement. At Vida Moda we argue that curves are required to wear clothes really well! It is part of our mission to find beautiful clothes for larger women that will flatter and make them feel and look wonderful.

One of the things we’d like to know is what term you use to describe your size when you are shopping for clothes or discussing clothes with friends? Do you use any of the following terms, Plus Size, Curvy, Larger-Size? if not then please tell us what terms you do use. Add a comment here or vote for the terms in the poll on our Facebook page.

Vogue Italia Cover Image June 2011 courtesy of The NewsFeed and Vogue Italia

Designer Fashion Size 16 to 24 From Vida Moda | Stylish European Plus Size Designer Clothing Collections For Ladies | Browse Our Online Store For Clothes For Curvy Women.

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Help us Save the boobies of the world!

This is the engaging tag line of a friend of Vida Moda’s who is organising a charity event tomorrow night July 15th, 7.30pm in Huntingdon to raise money for the fight against Breast Cancer. Hazel Cotterll has been working tirelessly with colleagues from Huntingdons Rotaract Club to organise the event, sell tickets and find sponsorship, no mean task to fit in with her normally busy day! Hazell is hoping to raise £2,000 for the BreakThrough BreastCancer Charity

Breast Cancer as we all know is devastating illness for individuals and their families and is indiscriminate in the age ranges it affects. So if you are in Huntingdonshire or a neighbouring county, village or town and feel like a good night out then get in touch with Hazell and buy a ticket. Tickets are only £10 and she has a fun evening lined up. You can contact Hazel on twitter @HazelLCottrell to talk to her about purchasing tickets or you can look at the facebook page for the event for more details.

At the beginning of July we were in Cambridge shopping and it was Race for Life day in Cambridge. The number of ladies participating in the event was amazing, all generations were represented, often in family groups, grandmothers through to Granddaughters. The were all in pink and there were thousands in the race. It was very inspiring and made us marvel at the power of a collective of people to change something. So while we have our erstwhile politicians grubbing around in the dirt with the powers that be in the media over goulish phone hacking we’ve got real people on the ground taking action and working together to effect change to benefit millions.

Which is more important and more worthwhile?

In our mind the answer is the ordinary person in the street working to do something positive to benefit others. So full marks to Hazel and her colleagues at Hunts Rotaract for organising tomorrows event. We are pleased to be able to sponsor Hazel’s event in a small way with some prizes for the raffle. If you can go tomorrow night then please contact Hazel and support her efforts.

Joanna & Philip (Vida Moda)

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