Customised dresses – game-changer!

How often have you found a dress that’s “almost” perfect – where you’ve loved the shape but wished that the neckline was different or it had sleeves? Often!

That is now over – I’ve found my perfect dress and I want to share it with you. Marketing Banner Camilla Jayne

Camilla Jayne Couture is an Australian plus-size designer who has a lovely shop in Dubbo NSW where she stocks her own label amongst others up to size 28.

In my work in United Curves Wholesale Fashion Agency specialising in sizes 12-28+ I am often asked about special occasion wear and dresses for corporate wear.  Whilst many of the labels that I carry have one-off garments that fit the bill, I struggled to find the perfect option, until now.

Camilla Jayne Couture uniquely offers you the ability to customise their classic 1950’s inspired dress range. Each design offers superior fit and elegance with a range of feminine prints or classic colours to choose from. These styles are available in sizes 12-28.

Enjoy the flexibility to choose what you know is going to work best for you, choose from classic plain colours, or dabble in a feminine floral or print – these dresses cater to the customer who is talk short, wants a sleeve, or doesn’t want a sleeve – likes a deep neckline, or a high neckline – it’s never been easier to choose your perfect style.

FULLY CUSTOMISABLE – colour/print, neckline, back, length and sleeve.

Round Neckline V Neckline

Back

All Camilla Jayne designs are MADE IN AUSTRALIA from quality Ponte and Cotton Sateen.

Recommended Retail Price $149.95-$239.95 (depending on level of customisation).

I’m so happy with my dress – it’s my go to for business, special occasion and pleasure. It’s so easy to wear, feels amazing as it hugs my curves in all the right places and is simple to dress up or dress down.  I selected the Elizabeth Style with pleated skirt in plain black with deep V neckline, plain cap sleeve  and added length customisation (hits to mid-calf – perfect!).  Here’s a pic I took just before I did a wholesale showing in Adelaide recently.

Janine Final

I highly recommend you jump onto the Camilla Jayne Couture website and take a look at how you too can design your very own perfect dress.

To receive 20% OFF your perfect dress, simply enter the code AUTUMNSALE when ordering to receive your discount valid until the 20th April, 2017.

SHOP CAMILLA JAYNE NOW

I’d love to hear from you about your perfect dress.

Love your shape!

Janine x

MonochromeBanner

A WIN for Australian plus-size Designers

Finally I can spill the beans, I’ve been working hard and holding onto a secret for so long. But today I can share with you that three deserving Australian plus-size designer brands are available online at Autograph!

week_49_wednesday_2_01

H&H on Autograph ADD on Autograph

You may be asking yourself why is this such major news? Let me tell you.

In March 2015 I began a Wholesale Agency, United Curves specialising in Labels that cater to the size 12-26+ market.  My passion has always been in supporting the Australian plus-size designer Labels, and what better way to do that than to work with them on expanding the opportunities in our local market here in Australia, and beyond. Word spread quickly about United Curves, and before I could blink the telephone was ringing and enquiries were coming in thick and fast. It was such a surprise to receive an enquiry via the Hope & Harvest Website from Autograph who were enquiring about the H&H range for an upcoming project they were working on.  I picked up the phone and called Justine, who is managing the project.  She explained that she had been tasked with launching a “Brand Store” on the Autograph website to offer more choice for the Autograph customer.  Justine invited me to visit with her in Sydney and bring some samples of the Hope & Harvest collection with me.  Justine asked if I could recommend any other brands, and when I explained that I also represented other plus-size Australian designers, she encouraged me to bring samples from all the Labels.

There was a great effort from the brands to provide me with the sales tools I needed for this important meeting. I boarded a flight to Sydney with two suitcases of samples and landed on the doorstep of Specialty Fashion Group.

Our meeting began at 10am on a sunny Sydney day, and I was greeted by Justine – a gorgeous woman with an amazing smile. I was ushered into the meeting room where it was immediately clear that a lot of work and research had gone into this moment. Justine was so passionate about plus-size clothing and so very excited to be leading the Brand Store Project.

During my years of working in the plus-size Industry I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in a lot of offices and boardrooms talking with major retailers about what’s missing for the curvy consumer. I’ve often felt that my well researched and qualified opinions and suggestions have fallen on deaf ears, and that there is always an excuse for why something can’t change or can’t be done. I’ve felt that there is a disconnect with major retailers and the customers, not understanding their wants and needs.  With you, my loyal readers help, I’ve collected data, comments and images to back up my opinions and suggestions – this has helped immensely – thank you! I am so familiar with the same old responses that I was taken aback when I discovered the meeting room I was sitting in was covered in survey data and comments from a very well thought out survey that was sent to all Autograph customers a few months before.

Out of the data that they collected,  one of the key points was that the Autograph customer was looking for more choice and styles than sits within the usual offering from Autograph. The data also gave the team a broader understanding of their customer and her needs and wants.  The survey is a credit to the Marketing team who compiled the questions, I read through the survey when it landed in my inbox and remember being impressed that finally here was a survey that was serious about understanding the customer.

The meeting that day went until 5pm! I had the pleasure of meeting the team of people behind the scenes that make things tick, from the buyers to the marketing team, brand manager and so much more.  The work we all did that day was historical as it opened up an opportunity that has previously been out of reach for the smaller independent labels.

(L-R) Justine, Vanessa (Sonsee), Alexa, Lisa Lunch with the Autograph Team during one of our visits to Sydney

The initial opportunity to stock Sonsee Woman in Autograph happened quickly. First with the Hosiery range, and shortly thereafter with the incredible Seamless Intimates Range.  The Autograph customer was thrilled with the Sonsee range and we will shortly be launching a premium active wear range by Sonsee Active available with the accurate Sonsee fit for sizes 14-28.

Sonsee on Autograph

The opportunity for the other brands has taken a little longer to negotiate. In fact it’s taken just on 12 months of negotiating & planning the deal. It’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs and a huge learning curve for myself and brands to position ourselves to meet the needs of a large retailer.

I’m so proud and thrilled to share that today the amazing Australian plus-size designer brands Hope & Harvest and Alison Dominy Designs also went live on the Autograph Brand Store. We are all so proud and happy to be part of this opportunity and want to thank the team at Autograph who made it possible sincerely for their efforts.  I want to thank Justine who has worked tirelessly and passionately to smooth the path to this point, bravo!

It’s time to crack open the champagne. It’s now over to you – YOU the curvy customer who is deserving of great designer fashion.  We’ve worked hard to make it more accessible and it’s important that you support these initiatives to ensure their longevity and success.  This is just the beginning.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Love your shape!

Janine x 

 

Curvy Girl follows her dream…

Two weeks ago in a café in inner Melbourne, I had the pleasure of meeting two amazing women, Kelsey and her mum Sue.  The purpose of their visit to the “big smoke” was to source amazing garments for their customers and to tap into some Industry knowledge.  Over a cup of coffee we sat chatting about their business plan.

Kelsey is a 20 year old who knows what she wants and is willing to work hard for it.  It was such a pleasure to see her excitement and passion.  Kelsey has graduated from High School and has been running the local Royal Hotel Euston Pub Kitchen.  Her dream to run her own boutique has been brewing for quite some time.  She knows the pain of trying to find  great fitting garments to flatter her curves, and especially being in a rural setting, this becomes an even more difficult undertaking.  She loves her job running the kitchen, but there was more.. she talked about it for months, dared to dream and then decided to act.  Sue, Kelsey’s mum is a vibrant woman with curves who is clearly as passionate as Kelsey about her daughter’s dream. So much so that she’s thrown herself into the project with gusto.  Equally, Kelsey’s sister Juscinda was behind the dream too.  What happens when you have a dream, and you have all the love and support you could imagine – dreams come true, and the hard work begins!

So over coffee, In my usual style, I was more than happy to flood them with information on all things curvy fashion and curvy business and Kelsey soaked up the advice and added it to her bag of magic.

Flash forward a week and a half, and the KJSista’s doors opened for the first time late last week.

12645142_845933975533743_3391695490182566663_n

How gorgeous are these two sisters?! The name KJSista came from K=Kelsey (owner) and J=Juscinda her sister.  Clever!  Decked out on opening day in gorgeous 17 Sundays, the two girls were inundated with locals who couldn’t wait to check out what was on offer and the flow of customers hasn’t stopped since.

It’s so amazing to see girls so young KNOW what they want, and go out and get it.  At 20 I was travelling the world, and I was learning to love my shape. It took me a lot longer than 20 to do that and realise there was a way to work and love what I do.

Congratulations Kelsey, and congratulations to your mum Sue and sister Juscinda for backing you and your dream.

IMG_0242 Sonsee Woman seamless bra and anti-chaffing shorts available at KJSista

KJSista stocks a range of labels available in sizes 8-26 including:

  • 17 Sundays – Boutique Plus-size Designer Fashion Label – Sizes 14-26
  • Hope & Harvest – Engineered for Curves Plus-Size Designer Fashion Label – Sizes 12-28
  • Love Your Wardrobe – On-Trend plus-size fashion – Sizes 14-24
  • Sonsee Woman – Ultra Stretch Hosiery & Seamless Intimates Range for the Curvy Figure – Sizes 14-28
  • Teaberry – sizes 8-16

You can find KJSista at 9 Perrin Street, Robinvale Vic 3549.

Opening Hours:

Tues-Fri:  9:00am-5:00pm

Sat:          9:00am-12:00pm

Also stocking a fantastic selection of accessories including beautiful jewellery and handbags.

12705776_852239128236561_984782416721916424_n

Click on the image above to follow KJSISTA on Instagram.

Shop local and support Australian designers.

Please tell Kelsey I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Merry Christmas, what a great year 2015 has been…

What a sensational year it’s been. 2015 has certainly delivered a plethora of opportunities and I’ve embraced them with both hands.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my journey into the Wholesaling side of fashion with the inception of United Curves. We’ve kicked some huge goals, opening many doors and encouraging change amongst retailers. I am so passionate about supporting plus-size designer fashion.  We have big plans to further expand the opportunities into 2016 and beyond.

Styling sessions and Wardrobes revamps were popular, as were my Skype consultations for those unable to meet with me face to face, all of these kept me busy throughout the year. I LOVE working with so many beautiful women from across our nation.  ChristmasPostMy work as a Consultant to the Industry has been so fulfilling with the opportunity to work with same major players and advise and guide them on how to better appeal to their target market. Some of the changes are already obvious, but there is still lots to come, so stay tuned. Equally working with start-ups on Business Coaching has been incredibly exciting, and watching you evolve and grow has been a pleasure.

And then there’s YOU my readers whom I enjoy interacting with via social media, my blog and across so many other platforms. I even set up an Instagram account this year! I love our interactions and support of each other, and I sincerely appreciate your efforts and commitment to completing my surveys during the year which have added significant value to my ability to push the boundaries and create more opportunity to improve the plus-size offerings here in Australia, for YOU and for me!

THANK YOU for a fantastic 2015.

Wishing you all a safe & happy Festive Season and all the best for 2016.

Love your shape!

Janine x 

 

Classic Designs that tick all the boxes…

There’s 3 things you should always consider when choosing garments:

  1. Does it fit and flatter my shape?
  2. Is it versatile?
  3. Is it going to last (more than one wash?!)?

If you can answer YES to 2 out of the 3 questions above, a garment is definitely worth investing in.

Early last month I published a realistic & identifiable garment review which generated a lot of interest and sales of that beautiful dress, in fact many readers commented that the review had helped them see how the dress could work for them on their body shape and helped them purchase where they otherwise might not have taken the punt.

Many retailers and brands offer online reviews of garments to compliment the images provided of each garment, usually on a mannequin and/or garment model.  Of course as we all know, most advertising of garments is done in the “sample” size on a “sample” model (in the plus-sizes a sample size is usually a 14-16 and occasionally an 18) that often doesn’t give us a good indication of how it will actually look on our own figures.  Now you may argue that this is true for all garments, and I would agree, but for a curvy figure things can get a little complicated when trying to determine if in fact a garment is going to work for you with just a “sample” image to decide upon. It gets even more complicated when you are shopping online (but that’s another post!).

I invested the help of my readers and put the call out for interested ladies to submit their interest in “road-testing” a designer garment via my Facebook page, as usual this generated a huge response.

Rachel responded ” I’m a full time stay at home mum and a casual TV/Movie Extra. I’m passionate about fashion and spend my days trawling the Internet for stylish clothing and fashion inspiration. I would love to be part of this project as I love fashion and have slowly developed a love for my shape and knowledge on how to dress it. I’m also keen on new fashion labels that are on the rise. I’ve never been one to put myself out there but since turning 40 I’ve turned a corner 😀. I’m sure you’ve had a huge response and I wish you the best on your search, Rachel”.

I packaged up the beautiful Cleo dress from Alison Dominy Designs, a dress I knew from Rachels’ measurements and photos she submitted of her body shape, would work for her shape.  I had the pleasure of spending some time with Rachel over a Skype styling consultation, and enjoyed hearing about her thoughts and ideas on the dress. Thanks Rachel, you did a fantastic job, and I was thrilled that you had already considered and come up with the options I was going to suggest during our styling session, great work and you look fantastic.

AD113-Black

Here’s Rachel’s review of the Cleo Dress:

As like any girl, I love to receive little surprise especially if they come in the form of clothing.  Upon receiving my Cleo Shirt Dress I was not to sure on what to make of it at first as it is not really my style and it reminded me of business attire or even a uniform. The material felt divine and the quality was there, so I quickly tried it on.  To my surprise it fit really well and felt lovely on!.  I was very impressed with the press stud in between the buttons to stop gaping (this showed high quality and attention to design detail). I however was challenged on how I would style this dress as it is grey/charcoal in colour and not a colour I have owned before.

My first though was to brighten it up with what I already own. So I went with the bold yellow rope necklace and yellow shoes, after all it is spring. I used the sash belt that comes with it and also a slim black belt.

Rachel3Then I felt inspired to use it like a trench  paired with white top, white jeans and a long necklace in silver, I just tied the sash belt at the back as you would a trench. This was my favorite look for the Cleo dress and more like me.

Rachel2After playing with ideas I ended up very happy to receive the Cleo Shirt Dress as you can style it in a number of different ways. Would I buy it? Not in this colour but I have however jumped on to Alison Dominy website and Instagram so I can follow this designer and love that this dress comes in a lighter colour.  The price is on point for the quality and cut of this dress and the Australian market. I love that I got to be a part of this project and now have another Australian designer I can look out for.

Rachel, Berwick, VIC

As you can see, the Cleo Shirt Dress ticks all the boxes I listed above, it fits & flatters, is versatile and is made of premium hard-wearing fabric that will last.

Jaylene responded: Having been a plus size gal my whole life I totally get the frustrations of finding awesome clothes that fit and make you feel great, so I am 100% for supporting new ranges/designers in getting their work out there. I myself run an awesome little shop on Sydney rd, Brunswick selling independent/local clothing and jewellery. I totally embrace fashion that is young/fresh/fun and really unique and love coming to work just so I can dress up. I often photograph the new clothes in store on myself, to share on our Instagram and Facebook pages, not because I think I’m a model, far from it, but I think I represent the average Aussie plus size Gal and my customers love seeing the clothes on real people. Ordinary everyday girl next door. Someone they can relate to, who gives them a real idea of what it would look like on them. So that’s why I would to trial the new range. To support a new designer, to share fashion that fits on real people and of course because it’s all so much fun”.

I selected the packaged up the beautiful Emily Cotton Sateen Pants which I felt suited Jaylene’s body shape from the measurements and photos she submitted of her body shape.  Once she’d received her package we enjoyed a lovely Video Skype Styling Session to discuss the review.

AD110-Black

Here’s Jaylene’s review of the Emily Pants:

A  few weeks back Janine put the call out for any size 18’s interested in reviewing a garment from a new Australian plus size designer. There were a few things that appealed to me in that call out. I’m a size 18, body positive plus size gal and someone who actively strives to support Australian designers. So of course I expressed my interest in a heartbeat.

I am such an advocate for plus size fashion, working in both design and retail myself and I happily spend money on clothes that make me look and feel good today, because you only live once! The item I received for reviewing was the ‘Emily cigarette pant’.

Sadly the 18 was just too small and we had to organize one size bigger.

Alison capri pant 2

There is always an uncertainty ordering a garment online as to how it’s going to fit and knowing these are a pant with a fitted waistline I should have really taken my measurements to compare against the size chart when choosing.

Sometimes you can get away with a few cm’s here or there, when you are shopping for a t-shirt or dress made out stretch fabric, but the ‘Emily’ pant has no give around the waist, so you need to make sure you find a measuring tape and get the right size.

I carry my weight around the middle and found that I was in between sizes on the chart.

I needed a 20 for the waist and an 18 for the hips. So in this situation, and quite often when shopping for a fitted garment I need to decide if I’m going to squeeze myself into the smaller size and risk a muffin top or go bigger for ease around my waist at the expense of it being not so figure hugging on the hips and thigh.

Alison capri pant 7 Alison capri pant 1Personally I prefer a pant to be shaped but not hugging, so I opted for the size 20. The ‘Emily’ pant is a medium weight cotton sateen. A little thicker than your average work pant and with a lovely soft sheen making it suitable to wear at the office and for a night out on the town. The pockets are fully lined and the darts and shaping at back give it a really nice definition. The waistband is an optimum thickness, so it doesn’t cut in or fold over, sorta holds its own.

I would usually wear my tops out loose over my waist, but the tailored finish of these pants deserve to be seen so I went for a belt and tucked in top, to show them off.

On me they sat just above the ankle which I find is the perfect length for Spring/Summer. They were so easy and comfortable to wear and I can see me living in them, not just for work, but on weekends too.
Alison capri pant 4

How great would they be with sandals and a tee for a casual look, out to coffee with friends.

Alison capri pant 5

These are such a versatile pant, an absolute classic style that every girl needs in her wardrobe.

I’m delighted to have a pair of my own.

Jaylene, Reservoir, VIC

There you have it, realistic & identifiable clothing reviews of an Australian plus-size designer brand that ticks all the boxes.  THANKS to all the ladies who took the time to submit their interest in being part of the review. There will be more review opportunities coming.  If you are a brand that would benefit from my help, or would like to tap into my incredible readership of ladies size 16+, please contact me.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Realistic & Identifiable Garment Review

In my mission to empower curvy women to love their shape, I have the pleasure of working with some amazing Australian plus-size Independent designer brands. Recently, Alison Dominy Designs entered the market offering classic cuts with premium fabrics. Alison and I were chatting about the challenges of being visible to her target market of women size 14-24. I recommended to Alison that we put a call-out online and choose 3 deserving ladies to receive a garment to review, and keep!  The call-out generated over 50 responses and it was certainly difficult to choose (those of you weren’t selected this time, fear not – there are more of these opportunities coming your way soon!).

I spent some time working through the personal information and photos that the applicants had submitted, and selected what I felt was the best garment for their body shape. Of course, this is a challenge when you’re not working with a customer face to face, but I blitzed it 🙂

Three packages were sent out to the reviewers and I then scheduled styling sessions with each of them via skype to work on the review.

The purpose of the review is to give realistic and identifiable information to you the potential customer, to help you see how a garment looks and feels on a non-model body.  It is clear from my data that women want to see and hear how garments “really” fit and feel, and it’s our mission to engage you on this level.

 AlisonDominyLogo

 

 

BRAND & ASTHETIC

Alison Dominy, founder of Alison Dominy Designs Pty Ltd, made her fashion debut in March 2015 with a collection of classically edged designs with an understated elegance attached. In December 2014, Alison Dominy was selected and attended the PURE London tradeshow in February 2015 and was the first dedicated plus size designer to ever be accepted to the show. Alison has also been accepted to show case her designs this year at the UK Plus Size fashion week in September. Alison’s main focus however is to sell and become known in Australia as she feels there is a real lack of classic clothes in the plus size field. Coming from a Human Resource background, she only knows how hard it is to find premium, hard wearing attire that can be taken from the office to night and struggled to find appropriate professional wear.

THE DESIGNER & HER TEAM

From an early age Alison has drawn and sewn. In approx. 2009, Alison starting learning from Margaret Adam’s Sewing School. Margaret is an ex TAFE fashion design Teacher, and Alison had the privilege of working one on one with Margaret and subsequently learnt as much as a studying student.  Alison also studying fashion design on-line.

Alison has a dedicated team behind her with a pattern maker and garment consultant based in Brisbane. She pays particular attention to grading for plus size and curvy women.

Selling on her own website and www.hardtofind.com, Alison has a 100% success rate with 0 returns and or exchanges. Alison puts this down the cut of the garment and quality of the fabric. Alison strongly feels her customer get what they paid for and more as her ethos is that these items should last 10+ years.

Alison knows her garments well and understands her customer has a keen eye for detail and who will incorporate her tasteful designs into their daily life. Alison doesn’t like to state or ‘box in’ the age of the woman that will wear her clothes, however when appealing to the more mature market she feels her garments would suit as well as women from their mid 20s.

“Fashion is about feeling confident in the skin you’re in. My vision is for every woman of all shape and curve to feel compowered by what they wear.” Always be your best self.

Alison Dominy

CUSTOMER REVIEW:

Garment Reviewed: The Angel Dress – RRP$149.00

Alison Dominy 3/4 sleeve, mid-length dress. An effortlessly elegant and sophisticated dress designed to flatter your curvy inner Goddess. This dress has been designed to perfection with beautiful draping around the bust and asymmetrical neck detailing; it can be left to flow loosely over the body or belted to accentuate your waist. So soft you will never want to take it off, so make it your own personal statement by accessorising, pairing with strappy or pointed heels.

  • Colour – Grape
  • Pull-on style
  • Cool wash, dry flat
  • 92% Modal, 8% Elastane

AD102

 

Hello Janine,

I’m Jo (short for Johanna), I’ve been around for 30 years, and wear anything from 16-20 (my measurements are 45-39-48).

By day I am a clinical audiologist and PhD student who is trying to launch a biotech startup with a couple of friends. By night I am a board game enthusiast who sings soprano with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic. I have three cats, and a dozen beleaguered houseplants.

My interest in plus-size fashion stems from a firm belief that fat visibility is incredibly important. To be beautifully, unapologetically fat is a fiercely political act, and we can’t do that without access to fashions that we are happy wearing. I’m so glad that we’ve come very far from limited, shapeless options (see: Curvy Couture Roadshow!), but you and I both know how much further we have to go on the fatshion front. Jo.

 

Johanna received her package and spent 30 minutes via Skype with me relaying her thoughts and showing me the fit of the dress on her shape. I asked Johnanna to put together a review in her own words and here it is:

I love receiving packages, particularly if they hold the promise of a lovely new dress. When this one spilled out into my hands, I let out an involuntary gasp: the fabric felt like it was made of spun butter. I couldn’t wait to try it on.

I slipped into it the moment I got home, and bounded excitedly out of my bedroom to show it to a friend. “Oooh no. No no no no no,” he said, “you can see all your belly rolls.”

I looked down, dismayed. He was right. The lovely soft drape of the fabric meant that it skimmed each of my bumps and furrows. Worse, the unstructured fit meant that I looked both shapeless and lumpy. Still, the feel of it against my skin was so wonderful that I kept it on for the whole evening. Afterall, we were just watching the latest Project Runway on the couch.

Staring down the barrel of a long day the following morning, I decided to give the dress another go – I wanted to carry the comfort of the fabric with me. I fastened a narrow belt around my waist and suddenly the dress was transformed. The belt gave me a defined waist, prevented the fabric from weighing itself down and against my belly, and made my hips pop. When my friend saw me again, he asked if it was the same dress, because he was now happy to be seen in public with me. With friends like these…

JohannaTan1

Now that I know how to make the dress work for me, I have to say that it is my new go-to piece for just about everything. The drape-y detail across the chest is flattering, even though I have a rather ample bosom. The asymmetrical neckline is a bit sexy (evokes an off-the-shoulder silhouette, even though it’s not really), yet completely work-appropriate. Above all, it feels fantastic. I’ve worn it nearly every day since I’ve received it, and I’m looking forward to wearing it on the plane this Friday for an 8 hour flight (without the belt, it’s practically a nightgown).

JohannaTan2

I am very enamoured with this dress. It is versatile (work to evening transition depends on the choice of shoes and earrings), skims the curves (mid-section aside, it makes my bum look fantastic), and oh, the fabric! I’ve not worn anything that feels this good that isn’t fancy pyjamas.

Johanna Tan

So there you have it, a realistic and identifiable review. To shop Alison Dominy Designs simply click the link here.

Love your shape!

Janine x