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Oprah Winfrey’s Handbag Shopping Experience in Switzerland

Oprah’s recent shopping experience in Switzerland…

has opened a can of worms. Once again it raises the question of racism. Reaction in the Daily Mail has been quite negative with most comments on the article from August 14th being directed at Ms Winfrey being a little bit precious about her celebrity status in relation to being denied a look at the $38,000 handbag in question, most comments indicated that people didn’t necessarily feel it was a racism issue.

There are a couple of interesting points. Did the sales assistant recognise Oprah? If so and she deemed the handbag too expensive for her then whose purse is it not too expensive for? If she didn’t recognise her then why did the sales assistant not let Oprah look at the bag?

Cosmopolitan shopping

In Western Europe today we are a pretty cosmopolitan continent and yes racism does still exist but make no mistake we are surrounded by isms, age-ism, fat-ism, racism, immigrant-ism. We are divided by cultures, language and religions and a multitude of other factors. In addition there is a variety of tolerances of these factors. A lot of this lies under the surface and people make judgements every day about other people based on what they see and what they believe regardless of their beliefs being right or wrong.

My incorrect assumption about Oprah’s shopping incident

The reason the article caught my eye was that I initially assumed (incorrectly) that the sales assistant had denied Oprah access to the Jennifer Anniston handbag by Marc Ford on the basis she is a curvy lady and therefore couldn’t afford such an item. It never occurred to me that it might be because of Oprah’s skin colour – in fact my reading of the article suggests that it is Oprah’s opinion rather than a stated fact.

Perceptions and opinions

This is why it is interesting; we all have different perceptions and different readings of the same situation. I’m very tuned into the way larger women get treated in shops, I’m probably overly tuned in to this! But it is quite common, larger people do get treated differently, in shops, at work, in relationships and lets be honest it isn’t often different treatment in a positive fashion.

Our overall opinions and perceptions are very heavily influenced by the media and they constantly peddle their take on beauty and “acceptability”. It’s quite wrong and I for one am really pleased that there lots of bloggers out there promoting a different view, one that isn’t driven by main stream media. We are all human and our background, size, colour and creed should not dictate how we are treated.

It’s why we show all our collections on plus size models. Some people don’t like that but I feel that presentation of the clothing we sell should be reflective of and true to the audience we are serving.

Oprah’s opinin

Oprah is not wrong, she should have been allowed to view the bag and make her own purchasing decision regardless of price and really we don’t know why she was denied the opportunity, only the shop assistant knows. She’s a celebrity and she mentioned the incident and she now wishes she hadn’t, otherwise we’d never know about it, but I’m sure it happens regularly to many people.

Any customer going into a shop should be made to feel welcome and to view the merchandise for sale, otherwise why does the shop exist? Am I wrong?

Joanna


Quality plus size clothing and designer fashion For Women Size 14 – 28

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The Killing Series 3 | Sarah Lund in Blue Sweater

The Killing Series 3

The Killing Series 3

The third series of the killing started last week on BBC four.

We enjoyed series 1 and 2 of The Killing and Sofie Grabol’s character Sarah Lund is a particularly interesting character. Series III looks like it’s going to be just as good as the previous two become off to a good start last night with a double episode.

Apparently they’re not going to make any more after this particular series and I can understand why. The success of any show is due to its repeatability and they’re probably running out of ideas at this point.

The Kiling Series 3 : Sofie Grabol as Sarah Lund wearinh her new sweater

A Successful TV Series Formula

The killing does have a formula and it’s pretty evident as we starting to watch the third series. Series 1 and two have the same forked hyper formula. Effectively they consist of a political plot, a murder, in various happenings England’s personal life. One of the interesting things about the political plot is that generally there appear to be two political protagonists at loggerheads throughout the series right until the end episode. This is perhaps what makes the problem little bit more interesting than some of the traditional detective series we get in the UK.

It’s a bit of an odd quirk you wouldn’t expect to find a political miniseries inside a murder drama on television. In actual fact the political activity usually has very little to do with the murder itself. The political drama inside the series provides a useful break from the investigation of the case. The extra characters keep the interest going and provide more depth than you usually find in detective show.

Story Continuity

The fact that the TV series is a continuing story every week is quite different to what we usually have in UK detective shows. A continuing story of this nature allows the characters to be developed fully, and the lead character in particular we started about some empathy with and that’s quite unique. UK TV shows typically roll around the character of the story each week in the hour-long episodes is generally unrelated the ones previously all going forward.

Our best variation on this is something like the DCI Banks TV series where we get programs with a story that are generally shown over two episodes. This works to send extent but unlike The Killing Series (which has 10 episodes) it doesn’t really allow for the regular characters to be fully developed.

Popularity Despite Subtitles

The killing has been immensely popular in UK and this despite the fact that it’s actually a subtitled show. Another quirk of the show that has caught people’s imagination is the development of the Lund character. Sarah Lund is a mysteriously interesting character, she is distant, generally unemotional and quite curt with her colleagues. Overall she is not that animated and yet we remain fascinated.

Sarah Lund’s character is that of a Maverick this is compounded by the fact that she isn’t the typical stereotyped female character that you could expect to find in such a show. She doesn’t wear dramatic clothing and she never looks like she’s wearing make-up. She’s far from the well turned out female lead you would expect to see in such a show.

The Killing Sweater!

Sarah Lund typically wears a jumper and jeans and some sort of three-quarter length coat for her job throughout the series. In fact the sweaters have become something of a trademark of the show and are followed around the world. We’ll have a further post soon about Sarah Lund’s sweaters and how iconic they’ve become. We can’t help wondering whether or not this was intentional on the part of the producers!

Joanna

Shop at Vida Moda for Knitwear | Quality fashion For Women Size 14 to 28

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Bond Girl Style – James Bond Skyfall

Bond Girl Style – Skyfall Film Premier

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, chances are you’ll have heard about the new James Bond movie hitting the big screen.
Skyfall looks like ticking all the usual 007 boxes – drama, action, witty one liners, clever gadgets, dinner suits and of course, devastatingly glamorous women.

Berenice Marlohe at Skyfall PremiereThe premier was of course an equally glamorous event and we were keen to see the array of fabulous frocks flaunted down the red carpet. Unfortunately, we were left a little disappointed. We wanted glitz, glamour and style, and in most cases we got boring, unflattering or starlet Naomie Harris, just odd. Her Marios Schwabb dress was essentially a sequinned bodice under a mass of sheer black netting. It looked unfinished and out of place, certainly not very bond girl. Tamara Ecclestone’s emerald green frock was a great colour, but opting for showing off your cleavage and your legs is never a good idea, it can end up looking a little cheap. Darcy Bussell almost got it right, in an elegant black fishtail frock, but it was topped with a much too big bow which made it look more Halloween than Hollywood for us.

It wasn’t all bad news though, Kelly Brook looked fabulous in a floor length glittering gold frock which flattered her curves beautifully and Berenice Marlohe looked every inch a bond girl in her stunning scarlet gown.

Skyfall Bond Girl Style Winner

Our style winner though, was the always gorgeous Penelope Cruz. Like Kelly, she opted to glitter in gold with a simply beautiful L’Wren Scott gown. She didn’t want to steal the spotlight from husband Javier Bardem (who plays one of the new villains in the new bond movie), and though she kept the look simple with her chic ponytail, subtle makeup and understated Emilio Pucci clutch, it was difficult not to notice how effortlessly elegant she looked on the red carpet. She could be the perfect bond girl. Penelope Cruz at Skyfall Premiere

If you’ve been inspired to add a little shaken not stirred style glamour to your own wardrobe, allow us to be of not so secret service!

Don’t be afraid of colour

Bond Girl Style Roll Neck Top At Vida ModaBond Girls don’t blend in to the background (unless they’re undercover, of course.) So take your lead from Ms Marlohe and dare to stand out with a pop of colour to ensure you don’t go un-noticed. Our purple roll neck is a great place to start, and is full of secret double agent style too. Team it with black skirt or trousers and heels for a classy evening soiree, or with jeans and boots for a daytime rendezvous. Oh, and if you are going undercover then you can team the black version of the roll neck with a black merino wool skirt to devastating effect. Wear either roll neck with a skirt or black jeans.

Know how to Rock a Frock

Anathea Dress By Parakian at Vida ModaGlamorous parties and elegant engagements are all in a day’s work for a budding bond girl, so you’re going to need a good supply of fabulous frocks. Little black dresses are all well and good, but to really stand out, how about this stunning patterned option by French label Parakian? The lacy texture and unusual pattern combine to create a truly stunning dress that will see you through many a dinner party. Good for everyday wear too. Transform this dress using different footerwear, stylish shoes for an evening party or boots as shown for daywear.

Bond Girl Style – Business

Bitte Kai Rand Designer Top and Skirt at Vida Moda

Alternatively, in a business setting you might opt for this striking combination from Danish designer Bitte Kai Rand. A beautiful patterned top and skirt in a wonderful flowing fabric. The skirt is cut in modern style that is glamourous, eyecatching and very chic, perfect bond girl style.

Embrace Your Curves

The most important key to Bond Girl style is to exude confidence and style. Embrace your curves and love your body, whatever shape it is! If you believe you look amazing, it translates to the way you carry yourself, and to the way other people see you. Don’t focus on trying to hide the parts of yourself you don’t like (perhaps we focus too much on this in the UK). Make the most of the parts you do like, and flaunt them to their full potential just like a Bond Girl!

If you’re blessed with voluptuous cleavage, experiment with v-neck and wrap styles to accentuate your ‘assets’. If you have a tiny waist, define it with a belt. If you have great legs, look for shorter length skirts and up the glamour factor with some fishnet tights.

Finishing Touches – Bond Girl Style

James Bond has Q to supply him with gadget or two. Bond Girls make excellent use of accessories and makeup. A flash of red lipstick or well manicured scarlet nails can be the perfect way to finish off your bond girl look, but experiment and see what works for you. Maybe some extra jewellery to add a little sparkle and detail? A killer pair of heels to elongate your legs and add instant glamour? Or perhaps a super chic little clutch bag to stash your lipstick which also doubles as a spy camera. (The 007 stuff might have gone to our heads there!)

Above all else, have fun with it. Bond girl style glamour is frivolous, flirty and fun. Go for all out glamour, or just add a few touches to your everyday look. Either way, you’ll soon be applying for your bond girl style license to thrill.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Quality fashion For Women Size 14 to 28

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Lisa Riley Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing – Lisa Riley – A New Dance Star

Strictly Come Dancing – It’s more than dancing for Lisa Riley

Strictly Come Dancing is only a few weeks into the latest series and the show continues to capture our imagination. If you haven’t seen the show Lisa Riley is taking part in this series. If you don’t know who Lisa Riley is, she’s a popular british actress well known for her roles in Emmerdale and for presenting “You’ve been framed”.

More recently we’ve seen Lisa portray a dark character in “Scott and Bailey”. This serious role allowed Lisa to display the full extent of her acting skills and proved for me at least that she is an amazing actress. Seeing her on Strictly Come Dancing you wouldn’t believe it is the same person.

Lisa has perhaps taken the Strictly Come Dancing judges and the public by surprise. Lisa Riley is a plus size lady and few people might have rated her as a having a chance to win the competition. But Lisa is a revelation, she dances very well and easily puts to shame the flawed image generally portrayed by the media that being large somehow means being second best.

Comment about Lisa’s look

Lisa has looked amazing in each of the dances she has done so far. Last night’s Hollywood Theme Night was no exception. Lisa danced the Jive with Robin to “Hanky Panky” tune from the Dick Tracy movie. She wore a short, frilly dress with lace sleeves teamed with sequined tights. Lisa had her hair done in a “Big Hair” style that suited her outfit and the dance perfectly.

Lisa Riley’s dancing

Lisa Riley’s dancing last night on strictly come dancing was no different to the first two evenings. It was exceptional and this is probably the one of the things about the show that people may have been most surprised by. Stereotyped perceptions kick in and people probably didn’t expect Lisa to be able to dance particularly well because she is a large lady. On the contrary, Lisa moved very well and is clearly a good dancer, dispelling this notion. She has excellent timing and rhythm and left us in no doubt about her capabilities as a dancer. Lisa and Robin finished third last night with their Jive. On the overall leader board after three weeks they are joint third with 11 points.

Lisa and Robin on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

Lisa and Robin Dancing The Jive

Views of the Strictly Come Dancing Judges

There is one element of the show I find somewhat irritating. Some of the judges comments have been slightly patronising as if they can’t believe a larger lady is capable of dancing and dancing really well. The fact that Lisa Riley is a larger lady is of no consequence whatsoever and the judges should not continue to draw attention to this.

Lisa’s personality

Lisa’s personality is a huge contributing factor to her ability to be a success in a show of this nature. This was clear in the strictly come dancing training session clips. Throughout those clips Lisa was bright and bubbly and having fun while working through the routines. Her positive attitude carries through to the dance floor and last night she performed with a big smile on her face throughout, clearly enjoying herself.

So who is going to win Strictly this year?

I think Lisa Riley has a very good chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing. However there is stiff competition in the form of Louis Smith. An Olympic athlete, no less. Louis and Flavia performed a dance routine from the film Dirty Dancing. The dance contains quite a challenging lift at the end of the routine. In their training clips much was made of this lift prior to Louis and Flavia’s performance. During their performance they executed the lift flawlessly and with apparent ease, as you’d expect from an Olympic gymnast. The BBC probably added a little drama to make their dance a little more interesting than it was. Having said that, technically their overall dance was excellent and probably deserved more than the 30 marks that put them in second place for the evening.

There are a number of weeks to go and there are plenty of other strong competitors in the mix, but wouldn’t it be special if Lisa goes on to win Strictly Come Dancing? I do hope so. Lisa’s positive approach and obvious ability are currently doing much to combat the negative attention that plus size women get in the UK press. So watch Strictly Come Dancing each week and vote for Lisa Riley, her performances thus far have deserved the votes she and Robin have received.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Women Size 14 to 28

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Adele,Vida Moda's favourite Female Artiste!

Adele Sweeps The Grammys With 6 Gongs And The Best Frock!

Fashion statements at The Grammys

While the stars at this year’s BAFTA ceremony largely opted for a more subdued, refined take on glamour and fashion in monochrome and nude styles, across the pond at The Grammys, it was a very different story – bold colours were being splashed about fearlessly, flesh was being flashed, and the fine line between high fashion and just plain bizarre was almost nonexistent! The Grammys seem to attract a more glitzy fashion statement which can be spectacularly successful or which can be a poor choice and end up being a fashion disaster!

Fashion clangers at The Grammys!

In our opinion, there were quite a few clangers – such as Fergie’s bright orange Gaultier gown (We love that she loves her curves – but we’re not sure that a see through lacey/crochet affair with magic pants was the best way to show them off!) and Nicki Minaj in her little red riding hood meets The Pope style Versace ensemble (A little too obviously attention seeking & controversial for the sake of it, for our liking), but there were plenty of hits too.

Bold Fashion at The Grammys!

Katy Perry has divided opinion in the fashion round-ups, but we loved her sparkling Ellie Saab gown in bang on trend pastel blue. The matching hair may have been a step too far, but we think she pulled it off! Kelly Osboure also had dyed hair to blend with her outfit to create a fashion statement. Katy and Kelly both made a bold fashion statement and pretty much carried it off.

Kelly Rowland opted for pastels too and looked great in a beautifully detailed dusky pink column dress by Alberta Ferretti – we give her extra points for embracing her natural hair too – bin the extensions Kelly, it looked gorgeous!

Classic Fashion at The Grammys!

Gwyneth Paltrow & Rhianna dared to bare in classic strappy black gowns by Stella McCartney & Armani – and rather than have a fashion diva strop on seeing their frocks were pretty similar, Gwyneth tweeted a picture of them together - quite classy!

The Fashion winner at The Grammys and The Brit Awards!

Our favourite of the night though, was definitely Adele – not only did she sweep the boards by picking up no less than six awards, but she also looked beautiful in a stunning Giorgio Armani gown.  The classic black shape, a fashion statement in itself, embellished with a mesh overlay and sparkling sequins, looked fabulous.  Timeless elegance with just enough sparkle to mark the occasion. Perfect!

Adele glamorous fashion at The Grammys and the Brit Awards 2012

Adele wore the same dress when she sang at The Brit Awards last night plus a dress by Burberry when collecting one of her two Brit Awards. Despite her surgery she’s had outstanding couple of years and is not only a singing superstar but is also becoming a style ambassador for naturally curvy women. We don’t mean celebrity curvy women, we mean ordinary women, Adele’s body shape reflects that of many women today, not that of the rarified atmosphere of shallow celebrity.

We hope Adele stays true to herself and doesn’t distort her appearance to suit her new stellar status. Adele has a glorious opportunity to be a style ambassador for ordinary women, right now we get the impression she dresses well because she wants to look good for herself and she doesn’t have airs and graces and we hope she never loses that part of her personality.

The media should focus on Adele’s fabulous voice (a gift), her personality and style rather than focus on whether of not she has lost weight. That is her business and should be hers alone, journalists should be talented enough to focus on Adele’s gift. After all we listen to her because she sings beautifully, not because she has gone up or down a dress size.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion and Plus Size Clothing For Women With Curves

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Bitte Kai Rand Chocolate Merino Skirt Vida Moda

Who will be your 2012 television style icon?

Image: nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Behind everyone’s personal style there’s a number of influences. They could be designers, artists, shops, boutiques, celebrities or people we know. However, increasingly it’s television that is the root of our style choices these days.

Traditionally, we’d pick up a copy of Vogue or other glossy mags to see what is at the cutting edge of style but nowadays other mediums are making a bigger impact on what we wear & how. We are more likely to absorb our fashion intake through music videos, movies and television programmes. It’s a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few decades. Who didn’t sport a pair a legwarmers after watching their weekly dose of The Kids from Fame? No one had ever heard of shoulder pads before Dynasty. A week didn’t go by for a hairdresser to be asked for a ‘Rachel’ cut after Friends peaked in popularity. But now there are shows where fashion is an integral part of the plot.

 

When Carrie Bradshaw made large fabric flowers a feature of her wardrobe in the series Sex and the City, women across the world sported them whilst sipping their new found tipple Cosmopolitans. Not to mention the numerous other designers and looks that particular programme boosted, Manolo Blahnick, Jimmy Choo and Roberto Cavalli to name a few. Ugly Betty is unashamedly a cat-walk wrapped around a drama. Even though Absolutely Fabulous poked fun at the industry, there was still a fair amount of showcasing and name dropping going on.

Nostalgia is playing a big part in our style influence of late also. Mad Men, set in a 1960s New York advertising agency was a welcome glamorisation of women’s natural curves. In the UK, The Hour made 1950s prim popular as well as inspiring some of us to dig up the red lipstick again. We really loved The hour and ladies if you have hips you can recreate some of the look yourself by choosing our merino wool skirts by Bitte Kai Rand! Romola Garai who played the Bel Rowley character wore some fantasic dresses and skirts in the series.

Bitte Kai Rand Beige Merino Skirt Vida ModaBitte Kai Rand Black Merino Skirt Vida ModaBitte Kai Rand Brown Merino Skirt Vida Moda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the images above to see full details on each skirt as they are slightly different. Images ©Vida Moda 2011

In a more modern vein on Channel 4, This is England ’86 and ’88 have been playing out a trip down fashion memory lane, from punk to dodgy highlights and dayglo accessories.

What will 2012 have in store? We’ve already had a ultra chic start to the year with the BBC’s We’ll Take Manhattan, a portrayal of Jean Shrimpton and David Bailey’s beginnings at Vogue. You cannot fail to be aroused by the 1960s looks against backdrop of New York City. If anything, that will bring back the pout…..it can only get better from here.

Joanna
Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Women With Curves

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Do You Love or Loathe Red Carpet Opulence?

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Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The film and television industry award season is in full swing. It’s the playground for designers and fashion queens to make a statement and, in some cases, make history with that all important strut down the red carpet. The main event being, whether we like it or not, the Academy Awards, 26th February, 2012.

Everyone remembers an Oscar fashion story. Usually it’s the big mistakes, Björk’s unfortunate swan outfit, Cher’s several attempts to show us she’s defied age and gravity not to mention Helena Bonham-Carter’s apparent lack of a stylist (or at least a good one). There are some important lessons to be learned. But when the stars of the moment get the glamour right, they can define an era and set the high street on fire with replicas. In reality, none of us dress like that every day, some of us only dress like that a few times in our lifetime. So why do some of us subscribe to this extreme theatre of chic? It would be totally unrealistic to get the sewing machine out and sport a floor length chiffon number à la Michelle Williams in the local nightclub but the colour inspired a whole range of orange for Spring/ Summer 2012.

For those of us who are red carpet junkies, it’s not envy making us drool over the conveyor belt of gowns floating down the runway (well maybe a little). It would be totally unrealistic to get the sewing machine out and sport a floor length chiffon number à la Michelle Williams in the local nightclub but the colour inspired a whole range of orange for Spring/ Summer 2012. are the fashion choices the film and television professionals have made in the hope they may be picking up a prize on the world stage. A well crafted, well styled dress and overall look can make careers. Not only for the actress or designer but for stylists, publicists and just about everyone who had a hand in putting together the look. Collectively, these teams of fashionistas are artists in their prime and an insight into their creative world is fascinating. It’s not totally unreasonable to pick up nuances of style for ourselves, things most of us can pull off, a bejewelled clutch bag, nude patent heels, the latest ‘up do’ for our hair.

The trends on the red carpet this year, so far, have been slightly understated. As in Kate Middleton’s style choices, the colours are neutrals or dark, the cut’s simplistic. This is most likely to emulate the precarious economic times we are living in, vulgar displays of luxury would appear distasteful. Which begs the question, what will the Oscars bring? Maybe someone will revive the ‘safety pin’ dress to demonstrate thrift.

Vida Moda
Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Curvy Women

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Dawn French

“The Ones Who Like Chocolate”

Shane Watson’s article in the Sunday Times Style Magazine last Sunday “Wise to the size lies” certainly gave me plenty of food for thought. I agreed with some of what she says – like Dawn French letting down the side having lost weight after years of presenting large women as having a big appetite for life. A newly  slim Dawn French I’m sure Ms French has her reasons for seriously losing weight after all these years and I’ve no doubt it was not easy for her.

The media reports her having lost 4 stone, to be honest I’d say she has lost a lot more than 4 stone. But that does not necessarily mean that all large ladies who decry the media’s obsession with skin and bone are hypocrites or liars.

Ms Watson describes Nigella’s as one size over voluptuous. (sounds a little bitchy!) Can she mean the same Nigella Lawson whom men desire and women admire? I have to disagree with Ms Watson. There are many women who are really happy with their size and shape, oblivious to the media, illusion and the cheap condescending articles in fashion magazines.

A slimmer Nigella Lawson

Larger people do get treated differently and probably much less positively than skinny people. People always state the obvious about size, we all have lots of reasons why we might try to lose weight so it is dangerous to make assumptions about why people are driven to lose weight. There is huge pressure from the media and fashion world about what looks good.

These industries glorify and parade waif like teenagers modelling and selling a look to women buyers a lot older and with vastly different body shapes to the models.

This creates far more peer pressure to “conform” than the odd whimsical reference to chocolate by Dawn French or the enthusiastic beating of something glorious in a mixing bowl and raiding the fridge at midnight by Nigella Lawson. Perhaps you could take this fact into your reasoning next time Ms Watson.

Who am I to comment? I’m not a celebrity, just an ordinary person with a business selling designer fashion for larger women. Like everyone I like to buy clothes that fit me and that I can look good in and that’s the service I’m trying to give to my customers.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Curvy Women

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