Tag Archives: plus size dresses
Designer Fashion Plus Size Clothing Patterned Tunic By Vetono

Ladies! you can help choose our designer fashion collections for Autumn Winter 2012

Designer Fashion For Women With Curves

We’re on a mission to bring a choice of designer fashion to ladies with curves and at this time of year we are busy viewing plus size clothing collections that are going to be available later this year in Autumn and Winter. We are looking for well designed fashion that makes a statement, is beautiful, well made AND available in a range of sizes that go well beyond size 16! That is not as easy you might think. As independent retailers we have to choose what we want to stock in the Autumn and Winter and order it now so it can be manufactured in time. This is quite difficult we as retailers are totally dependent on a designers impression of where a trend is going or we could be at the mercy of their artistic whim and as fashion taste is subjective, one person’s heavenly vision might be horrific for someone else!

Designer Fashion Experiment

Because of this dilemma we carried out an experiment last weekend. We attended a large designer fashion trade fair and we posted pictures on our facebook wall of various pieces that caught our attention and we asked for friends/fans/ followers opinions. Plenty of people ventured their opinions and we asked a few more questions about colour, pattern, style etc and again people responded. It was really helpful for us to have a direct live interaction with potential customers to allow us to get a perception of their needs and desires. See below for sample image of the designer fashion pieces that we posted on our facebook wall.

Designer Fashion Plus Size Clothing Patterned Tunic By QueDesigner Fashion Plus Size Clothing Patterned Tunic By VetonoDesigner Fashion Plus Size Clothing Bold Patterned Tunic by Que

We tested our own taste designer fashion choices by including pictures of pieces that we didn’t particularly like (but we didn’t say this on the posts) to see what your opinions were. On the whole we were pleased to see that our tastes largely reflected your tastes. i.e. generally where people indicated (often in volume) they didn’t like something we agreed with them.

Your Feedback About Plus Size Designer Fashion

There were other things we picked up from your feedback too.

1) We need to stock a better range of plus sizes covering a wider selection of pieces in our designer fashion collections (which we want to do), currently we go to size 24.

2) There was a general comment that there is too much grey and people would like to see more colour, including brighter Autumn shades. Our pictures at the these events will always be taken with a cameraphone in lighting that’s not really suitable for photographing designer fashion items. Therefore colours may not be so accurate, browns, beiges, light greys and blues can all turn out “grey” in these type of photographs. Nonetheless it was wonderful to receive this feedback because “grey” is one of standard colors in a fashion designers palette for Autumn and Winter Collections. Because of your feedback we’ll be looking for pieces spanning a wider colour palette this weekend at the next designer fashion trade fair we’re attending.

3) Your also gave us your views on types of pattern, garment shapes and embellishments that you liked or didn’t like which again will help us shape the designer fashion collections we choose for next season.

Maybe it is a little unusual to inform the selection of collections in this way but we think this is particularly useful for us as an online designer fashion retailer as it enables us to engage directly with potential customers. Designer Fashion trade shows and fairs present us with bewildering choices covering all fashion spectrums and make no mistake it is difficult to choose what is right for our customer base. That’s why feedback through a forum like facebook is so helpful.

We face considerable challenges in operating a designer fashion led business, not least because we are relatively new, in a recession and because we are focused on a core market that could be better served by the fashion industry.

Amongst all the challenges we face we’d most like to provide our potential customers with something that appeals to them. If we don’t do that, there is no point to our business. Finding a way to do that at a particular point in time is quite difficult which is why last weekend was so enjoyable, getting your views live on the day and over following days was so helpful and we hope you enjoyed participating too!

Give Us Your Feedback Live This Sunday

So we are going to do a lot more of this to help bring you designer fashion that you’ll love.

We’re attending another show this weekend (on Sunday) and we’ll post “snapshot” pictures of pieces from various designer fashion collections and seek your views on whether you like them or not. We’ll also post questions relating to style, colour, patterns and textures to help us understand what you like.

Look out for us on facebook through much of Sunday. We’ll be delighted if you can join us now and again and comment on the posts and share your views with our community and hopefully encourage some style debate!

Joanna

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

Images ©Vida Moda 2012

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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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Adele – A Down To Earth Celebrity With Plus Size Style

I happened to catch a little of Jonathan Ross’ new chat show on ITV on Saturday, it was exactly the same format as he had on the BBC albeit with a slightly more robust and expensive looking set design! His three guests were Sarah Jessica Parker, Lewis Hamilton and Adele. I didn’t see the interview with Sarah Jessica Parker as I tuned in (such an old fashioned expression!) too late. She did look glamorous but appeared to have extra hair and teeth, and dare I say it very thin, and bear in mind that TV cameras make you look about 10lbs heavier than you actually are. I don’t know a lot about Ms Parker as I never watched her TV Series “Sex in the city” so I can’t really comment further.

Lewis Hamilton seemed like a nice chap but God the interview was shallow and a bit boring, couldn’t “Wossy” have asked him a more probing question or two other than his driving habits when he is in the company of his celebrity girlfriend? Well maybe not, maybe their lives are not that interesting….

The third guest was Adele and what an impression she made! She was like a breath of fresh air. Adele looks to be a size 16 or 18 and she is tall. She was simply dressed in a black velvet dress that suited her perfectly, it was stylish and understated and she made it look glamorous. She combined this simple dress with her big hair and large false eyelashes a la Dusty Springfield to create a powerful but feminine look. Importantly the dress was the correct size for her. She hadn’t tried to pour herself into a size smaller and as result she looked wonderful, to the extent I’m guessing at her dress size. It is amazing how many women think they have to squeeze into a small dress to look small. In actual fact all that does is make them look bigger. One of the key factors key to dressing well if you are a plus sized woman, is to wear the correct size so the item of clothing flows as opposed to being very tight.

Adele might now be a celebrity and according to “Wossy” “Huge in the States” but it doesn’t appear to have affected her too much at all. She was very down to earth, no airs and graces, no celeb simpering or fawning, just honest with a “take me as you find me attitude” an infectious laugh and sense of humour to match. Quite a change from the glitzy, smiley dolly birds we normally see on these sort of television shows. It’s so good to see an honest “projection” of a personality on TV, if that wasn’t her real personality then she is a fine actress.

Mr. Ross did ask Adele a real question or two about her song writing and it was clear she is an artist feeding on her emotions for her artistic output, I’m not convinced we get to see too many of these kinds of artist on television today. More often than not we see “manufactured acts” solely geared to generate money for a record company, ultimately they are a short shelf life product. Adele appears to be the opposite, she is natural, a real musician with soul, who likes performing but doesn’t like touring, such a pleasant change from the female “singers” we normally see promoting an album. She went on to sing and unsurprisingly sounded fabulous. I look forward to hearing her new material and hope that she continues with her successful career for many years, she is truly a rare talent in a sea of mediocrity.

Joanna – Vida Moda | Designer Clothes For Curvy Women

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Plus Size dress (18) from Vida Moda

Will the fashion industry change its manufacturing methods to produce clothes that fit properly?

This is question has never been more relevant than today. The fashion industry is still largely focused on young and trendy consumers and that is what they put in the mainstream media. However people’s body shapes are changing and ultimately the fashion industry will have to change to meet demand from the marketplace. Whether or not we’ll see this change in the way media represents fashion remains to be seen.

Fashion retailers (along with the airline and automotive industries) have funded research into how body shapes are changing. Cornell University in the USA have been collecting anthropometric data by using body scanning to study variations in body size and unsurprisingly the results show wide variations.

Body Scan Image

(Image: Cornell Body Scan Research Group)

It has not been possible for the fashion industry in the past to base their designs or manufacturing processes on anthropometric data simply because it has been too time consuming and difficult to collect. This will probably be different in the future as technology improves, but it does depend on a number of factors.

    • Will people be prepared to have their body scanned to so that clothes can be made to fit properly?
    • Can designers apply their skills to different body forms and still satisfy their artistic desire?
    • Where does the cross over point between artistic intent and function?
    • Does artistic intent cease to matter when designers are faced with designing plus size clothes and does that result in clothes for plus size women that are poorly designed?
    • Can technology be used to create clothes on the fly that are specific to a persons size and shape? (automated tailoring)

Is the fashion industry going to change it’s philosophical approach to designing and producing clothes? Currently fashion houses design based on the target market they trying to reach, usually reflecting a lifestyle and price perspective. They then produce a model based on “regular” sizes, and you can be pretty sure this isn’t a plus size. They take their designs and scale them upwards and downwards to produce their garments in a range of standard sizes. Quite often this does not include plus or petite sizes. Why is this? Either because they don’t want to be associated with plus or petite sizes, those sizes aren’t their target market, OR the designs do not lend themselves to be being manufactured in plus or petite sizes. Designing clothes that work as a design statement across a wide range of sizes is a challenge for designers. Manufacturing variations brings its own cost challenges too.

Luckily there are designers out there today who do recognise the needs of their customers and do make beautiful clothes in plus sizes. They look beautiful and from a design perspective they work across a range of sizes, including plus sizes. They may not always make it to high street chains and they may be more boutique fashion but they are available. The internet is offering more choice if you are prepared to look and over time the internet will level the playing field and provide better choice for clothes that “fit and flatter” for plus size women. This is one of the things we are aiming to do with our online shop http://www.vidamoda.co.uk

However the time is coming where the growing variations in body shape and size will force the industry to change because “standards” won’t work any longer, people are demanding and indeed expecting to have a choice. Considerable variation is occurring in different countries but this is being balanced by emerging and growing markets that the fashion industry can tap into, but we do think things will eventually change.

What are your thoughts?

    1. Do you feel you have adequate choice for fit and size of clothes?
    2. Would you shop in a store that used body scanning and made clothes to fit your shape and size?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think :-)

Information in this post references and is informed by the following article from Cornell University http://www.bodyscan.human.cornell.edu/scene7354.html
Body scan image courtesy of Cornell Body Scan Research Group

Plus Size dress (18) from Vida Moda

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