Archive | August, 2011
"Big Sexy" plus size reality TV show

A “Big Sexy” Date For Your Diary

"Big Sexy" plus size reality TV showOn August 30th TLC channel launches a new reality TV show which follows the lives of five plus size ladies trying to break into the fashion industry. The objective is for the five belles (all New Yorkers) to alter the preconceptions of the size obsessed fashion world, challenge stereotypes and make plus size sexiness more mainstream. The show is also balanced with a look into the their personal lives and examines their relationships as plus size women.
At this stage of course it’s impossible to comment on the show as I’ve not seen it yet, but I am interested to see whether it will go anywhere near to achieving it’s objectives and to reading your opinions. Even if it doesn’t, well done to those ladies and the programme executives for taking on the challenge.

Joanna

Don’t forget it is the last few days of the summer sale at Vida Moda – If you are a “curvy bird” we’ve got a designer bargain for you! – Click Here to view our sale items.

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Does Dress Size Matter?

Does Dress Size Matter?

A recent survey using three-dimensional computerised body scanners of more than 11,000 volunteers aged 16 to 95 (male and female) found that the typical British woman is 5’4.5” tall and weighs 143.5 lbs. The average bust size is 38.5”, the typical waist is 34” and average hip size is 40.5”. Researchers at the London College of Fashion concluded that 38% of women are overweight and 12% are underweight. Although British women have become heavier in the last 50 years, we still have a way to go to catch up with American women.

The study was supported by the Dept. of Trade and Industry and retailers including John Lewis, M&S and House of Fraser. Shops that have been using the data have found a fall in the number of returned clothes and some have made adjustments to the size labeling of their clothes. This explains a lot. I have often looked at slim women and judged them to be a size 10 to 12 only for them to declare they are a size 0 – what is that? No such size ever existed before. Or likewise, judging someone to be a size 18 to 20 for them to declare themselves a size 14 to 16.

Manufacturer and retailer sizing systems vary and the only reliable way of finding your size is to know your measurements and trust that the labeling accurately reflects the garment’s dimensions. Generally, many of us tend to stick with brands whose fit and sizing we trust in relation to our own size and shape although the sizing may not strictly fall within the calibration for the generic size 12, 14, 16, 18…….. Of course, we all quote our size according to the most flattering sizing system.

So what happens when you are out shopping and you are between sizes when you find something you like. Do you buy the smaller size and promise yourself you’ll lose a couple of pounds and fit into it? Or do you buy the bigger size? I’d love to know! Add a comment with your view and share it.

At Vida Moda I take care to measure the clothes we stock because each brand is different and their designers interpret sizes differently. We publish the measures and size interpretations for each of the brands we carry so you can buy with confidence. I also comment on the general fit of each brand in our sizing guide.

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Mary_Porta

Are Leather Trousers Strictly For The Young?

I read with some interest in today’s “Femail” Janet Street-Porter’s view that leather trousers should not be worn by the over 40s.

Janet_Street_Porter

She describes Mary Portas’s legs as looking like “badly packed black puddings”. Well then, this begs the question: at what age should one wear leather trousers? Is there a statutory age?
Surely, age does not come into this. Any item of clothing can look wrong on any person of any age if not worn with the right combination, not suited to the body shape, a poor fit or inferior quality fabric.

Mary_Portas_Leather_Trousers

Mary has got it right. The leather trousers are part of the package and her look is actually very stylish and dynamic. Elle McPherson, Sharon Stone and Carol Vorderman also look fabulous in their leather trousers. They wouldn’t look so good in knee length polyester pleated skirts, twin sets, American tan tights and sensible shoes (to perpetuate the age stereotyping). It’s all about making the most of what you have and projecting an image that you’re comfortable with, whatever your age or indeed shape.

That’s what we are doing with Vida Moda, we are aiming to give larger women a better choice of clothing, shouldn’t we have the same opportunity to dress stylishly?

Joanna

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Lightening strike

The perils of hosting in the Cloud

Dear readers

We’ve had a bit of a horrendous week so far. Our eCommerce engine, the software gubbins that runs our online shop lives in the “Cloud”. This bit of “Cloud” is owned by Amazon and is their European Data Centre, based in Dublin Ireland. Apparently it is huge (we’ve never seen it, bit think it is a big shed of some sort). Anyway on Sunday a nearby transformer (not from the movie) got hit by lightening and exploded and caught fire cutting the power supply to both Microsoft’s and Amazon’s Data Centres.

Amazon Web Services

For some reason that is too complicated for me to be even interested in Amazon’s generators didn’t work so all the hundreds of thousands of servers living in the shed switched themselves off in a huff. Apparently servers switching themselves off in a huff makes techie people have sharp intakes of breath.

So it took clever electricity people and Amazon people a 4 to 5 hours to restore power to the Datecentre. Then they started switching on the servers so customers could restart their applications. However some of the servers that switched themselves off in a huff were grumpy and did not want to play (including hours). (The technical term for this is “corrupt”). Amazon told our eCommerce partner (a different company) to leave it with them and they’d try to jolly the servers along.

Over 24 hours later Amazon contacted our eCommerce partner and told them the servers couldn’t be jollied along and needed the equivalent of a visit to The Priory for a full detox and series of spa sessions to restore them to full vigor. (I’m paraphrasing madly here because the techie explanation is just too exciting).

Upon arrival at the Spa all the servers were booked in and ready for their treatments. It then transpired that the all the treatment lotions were rancid. They were rancid because the spa had mistakenly started adding extra ingredients to the lotions and so they couldn’t be used. Now these lotions are uniquely formulated for each customer (server) and absolutely essential for the successful treatment of general dishevelment and grumpiness in servers.

There was only one thing to be done. New batches of lotion would have to be made by hand from a fiddly set of ingredients. This process takes a very long time. Days in fact. It nearly 2 days to make the batches of lotion and treat the grumpy servers, before they could be pressed back into service.

The effect on us has been traumatic. We’ve consumed quantities of cake, tea and alcohol, even a bottle of Grandmothers Sherry has come under threat of consumption.

So what’s the lesson? Well for us it is still that the Cloud is good, it is the inevitable future for provision of technical services. When it’s on song it is excellent. However the caveat is that support systems and emergency plans need to be so much better because the consequences of a failure on this scale are enormous and correspondingly very difficult and time consuming to recover from.

Ironically Amazon experienced a similar failure in the US in April, clearly they didn’t learn anything from it. So come on Mr Jeff Bezos, take your head out of your kindle ebook thingy, get your DataCentre emergency systems sorted out because businesses like ours that depend on the service you provide and need it to work reliably, plain and simple. You are no longer just selling books, you are playing with the economy and peoples’ livelihoods.

This does not take away from the efforts of the people on the ground at Amazon and at our eCommerce partner who worked tirelessly over the last 3 days to restore service. They kept us informed and while that is important and useful it does hide the fact that 3 days of “no existence” for any business is not good business.

Our site http://www.vidamoda.co.uk providing designer fashion for plus size ladies is live once again don’t forget our 50% off summer sale is still running so come along and have a browse!

Thanks for your patience and we are really sorry our store has not been available to you over the last 3 days.

Joanna Davis

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

Models wearing fat suits, this is crazy!

Models wearing fat suits:

This week there was an article in the Daily mail which we found disturbing and to be honest irritating. The Daily Mail reported that Saffi Karina a 27 year old size 12 model, yes size 12 is classified as a plus size in the modelling world went on an assignment and was advised that they needed someone a couple of sizes larger. She was advised (the article doesn’t say who by) to get a padded garment made to add inches to her bust, waist and hips, the article then goes on to label the item as a “fat suit”.

Marquita Pring who is also a model and is size 12 to 14 has also worn these suits and said ‘It’s better for me because I can still be healthy and work out and have the body I want. It’s a little bit of model magic.’ . Well good for you Miss Pring but really you should be aware that just because people are larger it doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy or unfit!

Why on earth is this necessary? There plenty of beautiful women around who are larger and indeed a good portion of the population is size 16 and over. We wish the media would wake up to this fact and stop insulting people who are over a size 10! This is really disturbing, one of the other points about these “fat suits” is that they don’t help the body look natural, they won’t move properly and therefore clothes won’t flow around the body properly.

The models we’ve used on Vida Moda, our online store are size 16 and 18 respectively. They are beautiful and shapely and healthy and they made our products look wonderful! They didn’t have to wear fat suits and we didn’t use an airbrush to re-touch their shape. Browse our site and have a look! Our models are shown 100% naturally to reflect the nature of the real women (size 16 and upwards) who are our customers.

Quotes courtesy of the Daily Mail online article from 01 August 2011

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Is There a Real Women Revolution?

The Real Women Revolution

Garnier Logo

It’s interesting to see the advertising watchdog came down on Garnier last week for misrepresenting the effects of their products by using computer enhancements. Could this be the beginning of a new revolution to depict women in a realistic light? Are we supposed to believe that wearing a particular garment will make us look like the model and is that look really achievable? How about the mascara adverts where in small print under the advert it states that false lashes were worn, or hair products where extensions were used to show flowing, glossy locks? It seems that women are in many cases striving to attain a look that actually doesn’t exist because it’s computer generated or prosthetics have been used to create the effects.

One can accept that, for the sake of selling, aesthetics, vanity etc the use of make up, hairdressing, styling are, in most cases essential, but where does the illusion end? Is it so terrible to show a bit of a double chin, laughter lines, larger midriffs – this list is not exhaustive. Let’s face it we all know that as we put on the years we also tend to develop different physical characteristics and we’re not so gullible as to believe that any cosmetic product or garment is going to change that. Or are we?

Representations of women as paper thin, both computer enhanced and sadly self inflicted, has had a devastating effect on girls and young women in recent years and it’s questionable whether the image can now be re-balanced. If it can, then something powerful is needed to help effect that change – like the Media. But then again isn’t the Media one of the main instigators of these unrealistic images?

What do you think? add your comment and let me know!

Joanna Davis

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

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