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

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.

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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.

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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

 

The myths of plus-size fashion dispelled…

Not a day goes by that I don’t see or hear a comment or post about what plus-size women “Should” wear.  It never ceases to amaze me how we get so caught up in the opinions of others and hold ourselves back from trying something that might actually work for us, if only we could see how we might make it work for us.  Way back in 2012 I worked on this project where I blew apart the all time top 12 myths applied to plus-size figures.  The styles may have changed a little in 4 years, but the tips still apply.

Bust a myth today and…

Love your shape!  Janine x

The myths of plus-size fashion dispelled…

How should I dress my body shape? Where do I go to buy clothes? How do I know what to wear? No, I can’t wear stripes! Oh no, not floral prints! No way, I’m not wearing a form fitting dress!

These are some of the questions and statements posed to me every day in my work as a stylist on my mission to empower the curvy women of Australia. With the change of season comes an opportunity to revamp your wardrobe and turn over a new leaf. It’s my philosophy that dressing a curvy figure is an art, not a science as some believe. Let’s face it, time and time again I prove that the standard, generic formulas given to us by the image and fashion industry don’t take into consideration the MOST important part of dressing a woman’s figure – how she FEELS when she’s dressed.

Take me, I’m 40, I’m a Australian dress-size 20.  I’m not tall, but I’m not short and I’m a curvy woman and LOVE to look and feel great.  I am NOT a model, I am an everyday woman off the street, a mum, a wife. These photos are untouched, I don’t believe in retouching – full stop. I advocate realistic & identifiable representation of garments on a body they were made for.

There is no doubt that Blush Photography are fantastic photographers (all images below by Blush Photography), and that with the help of beautiful lighting and lovely makeup I look more glamorous, but this is ME, everyday me, untouched.

What do you see when you view these photos? Can you identify with the body and how the clothes might look on you?

I see a woman with confidence, style, great body image AND a woman who feels great in the skin she’s in!

Let’s bust some of the myths I hear every day….

Myth No. 1 – There’s nowhere to shop in Australia for plus-size clothing

As you will discover with this style piece, there are so many options in Australia. I am passionate about not only plus-size garments that are made for our curves, but also positive customer service with passion and I’m proud to support Australian businesses. The labels referenced in this article are a small selection of what is on offer, but a great representation.

There is no doubt that the Australian Plus-size Industry requires some maturing. It is no secret that presently overseas suppliers often provide more choice or sometimes better quality. I work every day with passionate Australian business owners and designers who are striving to meet your needs and are doing so passionately and diligently.

My challenge to you is to SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN businesses, the more we support and show them we are serious about how we look and the money we spend, the more likely they are to move forward and rise to the challenge of meeting our needs more fully.

Myth No. 2 – Never Wear Horizontal Stripes – It makes you look bigger
Myth No. 3 – Don’t wear too much black
Myth No. 4 – Heels – they’re uncomfortable and you’ll walk like a duck

Horizontal stripes look fantastic if styled appropriately. In this case worn with a black base, it adds zest to the outfit, the bling embellishment on the singlet is awesome as is teaming it with a killer pair of red suede boots WITH a heel! These boots are THE most comfortable pair of heels I’ve ever worn, in fact I’ve been wearing them with everything – seriously these are a MUST have for anyone who has given up heels… you feel like you’re walking on air pockets AND they look incredible. Heels also add height and thus elongate the body, and feel so feminine. Basic blacks in the form of well fitted tailored pants (with a boot leg to balance out my shape) and a gorgeous fitted cardigan that accents the waist.

Black&Bling2

Stockists:
Cardigan, Dress Pants, Embellished Singlet, Bracelet City Chic
Ring Volupture
Red Boots Ziera Shoes

Myth No. 5 – No Floral Prints!

Being large busted and “older”, my waist is becoming harder and harder to define, but when I saw this gorgeous dress, I knew it was for me. Not only does it accentuate all the GREAT parts of my figure, it cleverly covers the ones I don’t want to draw attention to (my upper arms and tummy). This classic wrap looks and feels fantastic, and worn with my favourite wide calf boots and a shapewear slip dress to mould my curves, I am ready to go in minutes. The ruching over the tummy and the cross-over tie front, along with the ¾ arms and collar are all flattering. I LOVE the loud floral print, but does it knock you over or scream “big woman” because it’s floral? – no, the art is all in the accessories and attitude……….. don’t you think?

WhoSaidICantWearFloral

Stockists:
Evette Dress – Styled By Marie
Jessica Boots – Pergoni Boots
Shapewear Dress – my own
(Note: These two brands are no longer trading)

Myth No. 6 – Corporate Wear can only be black suits for plus-size women

Having worked in corporate offices for 15 years of my career, I understand the pressures and challenge to look good and present professionally. It does appear on the surface that Australian plus-size manufacturers only offer the basic black (and if you’re lucky navy blue) suiting, and at best it’s in some pretty scary fabrics and don’t get me started on sizing.

For me, colour is the new black in the office. I’m not afraid to stand out from the rest with my bold colours. If you build from a black foundation it’s easy to inject pattern or colour to change the look altogether. My preference for winter is my comfortable and stylish wide-calf boots, but if you’re a shoe girl, team with a great pair of tights or stockings from We Love Colors – incredible choice in plus-size realistic sizings. It’s ok to wear all black, but I always ensure I add great accessories to add value to the outfit and keep it punchy.

Corporate2

Stockists:
Orange Photo:
Skirt – TS14+
Tank – Autograph
Jacket – Big In Black
Jessica wide-calf boot – Pergoni Boots (no longer trading)
Belt – Coussinet
Corporate1
 
 
 
 
 
 
Green photo:
Skirt, Vest & long sleeve T – TS14+
Louvre Wide-calf boot – Bennetts Boots (no longer trading)

Myth No.7 – Plus-size women should hide under tents and never wear belts
Myth No.8 – Never mix patterns in the same outfit

Belts, belts and more belts, that’s my motto! It is getting easier and easier to source great plus-size belts in varying lengths and styles. A belt is your best friend – it can make or break an outfit and take sizes off your figure.

Experiment with a belt for your shape, sometimes it’s better to hang it loosely as in the image on the left, if the belt was cinched at my waist it would accentuate my hips & tummy, but draped loosely it adds an interesting texture to my outfit and flatters my trouble spots and MORE importantly it feels fantastic!

In winter, layering basic T’s or tanks is a great way to keep warm and add texture and tone to your outfit. In the image on the right a pair of skinny leg jeans tucked into my “to die for” boots and belted at the waist with a flattering soft cardy is just perfect. Again the belt adds definition to the figure whilst the cardy flatters softly over the “no” spots and promotes the “yes” spots!

Mixing patterns, textures and colours is an integral part of building a great outfit. In this case a subtle zebra print in the leather of my boot is played down with the tones of these garments, and introduced to stripes in the jersey cardigan – I love the feel of the clash of these patterns which are minimised with the blending of the tones.

virtu DressWarm&Stylish1

Stockists:

Dress Photo:
Dress – virtu
Belt – my own
Boots – Bennetts Boots (no longer trading)

 
 
 
 
  
 
Jeans Photo:
Belt, Jeans, Layering Tanks, Jersey Striped Cardigan – Autograph
Zebra Print Boots – Boots For Broads

Myth No. 9: You should always dress your age

It’s so important to go with how you’re feeling, some days I feel like I’m ready to go back to my teens and paint my nails black, put on my industrial shoes and project a bit of attitude whilst rocking out to my favourite Soundgarden tune… on day’s like that I pull on my trusted military boots and style away with black, black and black. This sensational dress from Australian designers 17 Sundays is just so versatile, it looks amazing here in a rock theme with coloured leggings and military style boots, but looks equally fantastic with my Ascension clothing slip dress with red lace detail (from another designer, not pictured) and funky black wedges for a great summer day (not pictured). Clothing that is versatile is a MUST for your wardrobe, go with your mood on the day and be creative.

ConcertAnyone Yeah
Stockists:
Dress & leggings – 17 Sundays
Boots – Ziera Shoes

Myth No. 10: Avoid oversized garments – they make you look bigger

Some days it’s just a must to have loose fitting but stylish and flattering garments to wear. The trick is to choose colours, textures and styles to suit you. I absolutely adore this outfit, it’s comfortable and as easy to wear as my tracksuit, yet looks a million dollars! It’s flattering to my figure and each piece is so versatile, wear it all together and it’s fabulous! For those “I just don’t know what to wear” or “I just can’t be bothered trying” days, this is MY ideal outfit. Every woman needs one of those in her wardrobe!

ThatGreatFeeling2 ThatGreatFeeling1

 
Stockists:
Pants, Frilled T, Cardigan – virtu
Shoes & Accessories – My Own

Myth No. 11: Maxi Dresses Hide Your Shape

My most favourite items in my winter wardrobe are two maxi dresses – these would have to be THE most versatile garments and take me from day to night in the blink of an eye!

Shout it from the rooftops – this is MY favourite dress, designed by the very talented Australian duo Hope&Harvest, this gorgeous grey maxi is just PERFECT with a lot of chunky jewellery and teemed with my Zebra print boots – comfortable, flattering and guaranteed to create a stir every time I wear it. What more could a girl want!  Dress it up or dress it down, it’s all THAT.

Hope&Harvest Dress
Stockist:
Grey Dress – Hope & Harvest
Zebra Print Boots – Boots For Broads

I am a real vest girl (the 2nd most perfect accessory to “make” a waist – more on that another time), so my staple Igigi Claire De Lune maxi wrap dress is a great choice for those days when I need to go from casual/dressy day wear to a more dressy/evening – during the day add the vest and chunky jewellery, a great pair of boots and off you go… then transform it for the evening with a sexy pair of killer heels and a beautiful slip dress with coloured detail………. Stunning, versatile and so simple.

BlackDressResized

Stockists:
Evening styled:
Black Igigi Claire De Lune Dress – Volupture
Slip Dress with Lace Detail – Ascension Clothing
DressCasual1Shoes – My Own
 
 
 
  
Casually Styled:
Jewellery – My own
Black Igigi Claire De Lune Dress 
Denim Vest – Autograph
Boots – Pergoni Boots
Shoes – My Own

Myth No. 12 – You have to spend big $’s to look great

Want to look great on a budget? Would you believe this outfit cost $65 (excluding shoes & hat). Who says curvy women can’t look great on a budget!

I live in my jeans, dress them up, dress them down… the key again is in the correct style for YOU. For me, to balance out my figure I love boot leg jeans. I wear jeans autumn/winter/spring/summer. Based in Melbourne we are used to 4 seasons in one day and the key to dressing for Melbourne weather is layers! These gorgeous boot leg jeans (a steal for $19 a pair at KMART!!) are great wearing and fit my curves beautifully. Teamed with a long-sleeved pink/red T, and chunky knit I was ready to go. Oh and if you’re having a bad hair day, or you’re like me and the foggy cool weather makes your hair frizz, team your outfit with your favourite hat & scarf– a winner every time!

ThoseCoolDays2

Stockists:
Jeans, Long Sleeve T & Chunky Knit – KMart
Boots – Ziera Shoes
Hat & Scarf – My Own

When purchasing jeans, it’s important to have a selection in your wardrobe. Short boots or heels look great in boot leg, but when wanting to tuck your jeans into your boots, it’s essential that you select “skinny” leg jeans – no unsightly bulges at the ankle from stuffing too much material into your boots.

P.S. Remember those incredibly comfortable heeled boots I was raving about earlier, here they are again!

SNUGGLE TIP for AUTUMN/WINTER: Natural Fabrics

In winter I want to be warm but not restricted, I personally am not a fan of 2 piece PJs, so for me this gorgeous and comfy heavy cotton nightie is perfect for the cooler weather, grab your teddy and snuggle up – colour adds life!

Sleep2

Available from Jacaranda Lane.

So there you have it, 12 Myths busted – and so simply.

Want to know more?… let me help you… Book your own personal style session with me, email me janine@janinemison.com.au or phone 0405-319-691

(This review was done in 2012)

Why a curvy girl NEEDS jeans in her wardrobe…

If I had a dollar for every time I get told by a curvy girl that she can’t wear jeans because she is too big, I could buy that island in the Pacific I’ve had my eye on and go live on it! Seriously, why can’t a curvy girl wear jeans?

The secret to jeans is finding a pair that fit just right for you. Sourcing a good pair of jeans is not an easy task, I understand that, but if you go with the attitude that you “mustn’t be seen in jeans” then you have no hope of being open to the wonders of a staple that SHOULD be in your wardrobe.

I LIVE in jeans! They are my go-to item. I’m lucky enough to have the flexibility of being able to wear jeans in my work. Years ago when I was working in the Corporate World jeans just weren’t an option, BUT they were always in my wardrobe and always my first choice when I wasn’t working.

Jeans. How do you find the perfect pair of jeans for you? Well I could bang on for ages about the science behind finding the right fitting pair of jeans for your body shape, but as you know I’m not about the science. I take this into consideration when recommending garments for my customers, but for me, when I’m working with a curvy customer or my own body shape, I look for how the garment fits, how it feels, how it makes me feel, and what I want to wear it with. Sounds pretty simple right? Well my colleague Marie, The Curvy Fashionista wrote a great blog post about the “science” behind the fit, style, denim etc.  here’s a link over to her post, she did it so well I didn’t want to re-create the wheel (oh and show her some love, if you’re not already you should be following her, she’s ace!).

So with this “science” in mind, you should always be looking for quality and fit. It’s fine to drop $10 on a pair of jeans at your local Department Store, but I warn you,  be careful about what dyes/fabrics they are using – ouch 🙁

You should invest in jeans:

  • Invest in your time to find the RIGHT pair for YOU!
  • Invest in quality – don’t buy because they fit your budget, buy because they ARE the right jeans
  • Invest in a few pairs – if you find THE right pair – buy 2!

For me, being a size 20 in plus-sizings, and standing at 169cm –  I’m not tall, and I’m not short, but I need to work on elongating my body. I LOVE to wear boots, but sometimes ankle or wide-calf over a straight-leg pair of jeans, and sometimes bootleg jeans, depending on my mood and shoe choice.

When I attended the Curvy Couture Roadshow recently, the usual  “what should I wear?” flashed through my mind as I started to plan my schedule for the weekend’s events. Here’s what I wore…

Bloggers Breakfast – dressed up jeans

Jeans & Kimono by Autograph

Boots by Ziera

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Saturday night eventcalls for something slightly dressier than jeans 

Sunday morning market – Casual jeans!

Jeans & Shirt (Vintage – from years ago!) by Autograph

Vest by Lily & Lou

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Working from home today – casual jeans! Yep, same jeans, but I’ve turned the cuffs up and teamed them with my canvas runners and a comfy t-shirt, hair up and make-up free 🙂

I go through stages of which pair of jeans are my favourite, for now, my current favourites are the Black Secret Boot Leg Jean from Autograph – they are so comfy, they have stretch without the saggy baggy that can come from bad quality denims, the length in the “regular” size are perfect for me and the waist fits just right without the sometimes gap that I get when I need more space for my tummy – you know what I mean! I love how there’s two buttons at the waistband, it sits flat and feels comfortable. They have a good rise – super comfy.

Autograph Black Secret Boot Leg Jean – $79.99 – LOVE!

I’m not sure what I’d do without my go-to jeans. I have a wardrobe full of jeans, they range in style and in retailer, but include NYDJ, Autograph, Embody Denim, Crazy4Jeans, 17Sundays and at least another 2 pairs of NYDJ!

So, step out of your comfort zone, and make sure you include a well fitted pair of jeans. If you need some styling help, just let me know!

Love your shape!

Janine x

This is not a sponsored post, I spoke to Autograph about this post and wanted to help them promote this style. This is my personal review of my favourite pair. 

The Curvy Couture Roadshow 2015

Did you hear it? The thunderous applause emanating from the ACMI lightwell at Federation Square on Saturday night? Or perhaps you heard the excited chatter of guests as they queued up at the steps of the Collingwood Town Hall to gain entry to the designer market on Sunday morning.  I’m guessing if none of the above your newsfeed on Facebook and Instagram has been humming with all the goss, images and video feeds of the weekend.

The weekend began for me at the Bloggers Brunch. 11 lovely ladies met at a café in the CBD, excited and ready to go. Jess & Erin from CCR hosted our brunch and we were given an outline of the events over the weekend, invited to come backstage to meet the designers and models as they prepped and rehearsed that afternoon, and of course to stand in the media pit, front & centre at the show. The bloggers brunch gave me an opportunity to finally meet some of my fellow writers, we were a merry bunch and all bring something different to the Industry. Thanks for the opportunity to meet and chat about the event prior to the show, it was fantastic, and so was the smashed avocado & feta toast, coffee and fresh juice – LOVE

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There was much debate on social media about what everyone was going to wear. I chose my comfy Autograph Jeans and kimono with a blast of Red with my favourite boots.

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Organisers Erin & Jess chatting to the bloggers over brunch about the event.

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Our Media passes and the yummy juice!

Bloggers

(Left-right) Erin, Jess, Me, Melissa, Lily, Natalie, Omega, Ashley, Olivia, Elyse, Sam, Hayley

The Curvy Couture Roadshow blew us all out of the water this past weekend. You may remember me writing about the 1st Roadshow that was held in Perth in 2013, it was my wedding weekend, and although I was in Perth I couldn’t make it 🙁 Last year I was overseas and missed it again, so this year I was determined to be front and centre, and boy am I glad I didn’t miss it. By all accounts this year was bigger and better than ever.

You’ve heard me banging on for over 6 years now about “realistic & identifiable” representation of plus-size garments and how ONLY doing this will truly sell to the target market. The CCR proved this point – ten fold!

From the minute you entered via the red carpet out the front, the excitement was undeniable.

Sarah & I

Sarah & I

I was lucky enough to be gifted a ticket and invited Sarah from Body Positive Australia as my guest for the evening, we loved the chance to grab a photo together before we entered the venue. I was proud to wear my beautiful kaftan by Kaftans by Annalisa, a Melbourne designer, I love it, I felt comfortable all night, but also felt fabulous! (Wish I could say the same about my shoes, my feet were killing me! but hey they looked nice right?!)

MissScarlet

Miss Scarlet Did It

The catwalk show began with a BANG – BOOM Suzie the gorgeous red-head stormed out of the curtains to begin the show in Miss Scarlet Did It lingerie, followed closely behind by a bevy of beauties of all shapes and sizes – not one body shape was missed – everyone in the room could identify with at least one of the models. To start the show with lingerie was a stroke of brilliance, it proved to the crowd that CCR is serious about making their mark, and more importantly making the point that plus-size fashion is relevant, it’s now, it’s shaking and that curvy women love their bodies and want to wear sexy clothes. It wasn’t only the catwalk that was full of body positive women, the room was full of incredibly beautiful women, inside & out.

The next 2 1/2 hours were a mesmerizing plethora of designs, I loved that each brand represented had something unique to offer, they all had their own unique spin on representing their garments, and the passion of the designers, the quality of the designs and fabrics made you want to run so far away from what I call “The Usual Suspects” (you know, the brands that are available in the shopping centres) that it wasn’t funny. In fact, the CCR was a chance to be convinced (If you weren’t already that is) that spending your money at any store BUT these designers was just, well, it’s just crazy!

Being a preacher of “love your shape!” and a firm believer of identifying your own personal style and dressing for YOU, it only makes sense to buy from these brands, not only to support local Australian businesses, but to take advantage of some seriously amazing garment options. I have a “must buy list” that is a mile long (and will take me years to afford), but the fact that I have a list now, is just sensational. I can’t remember the last time I went shopping and wanted to buy EVERYTHING!

My personal favourite was Hope & Harvest, this label is on fire! The H&H anorak and animal print bomber jacket just begged me to buy them, but seriously EVERYTHING that came out on those amazing models, and to the beat of the jungle theme just wooed me in 🙂 The styling and choreography was brilliant, H&H are already a front runner in realistically & identifiably representing their garments in all their marketing, and this flowed on through their segment with streets models wearing all their designs. BRAVO!

Hope & Harvest

Hope & Harvest

Hope & Harvest

Hope & Harvest

Meri by Design/Eder+Berk were amazing, stylish, stylish, stylish. The cape jacket will be mine! This seasons’ range is a serious option for those of you who are looking for great options for corporate attire too, I only wish they were around when I was in the corporate field years ago. Sigh.

Meri By Design

Meri By Design

I hadn’t seen Lisa Kerr’s range before the night, my first reaction was LOVE for their marketing, the models came out with signs “I am Inspirational (which is a size 18-20) and another “I am Confident” which translates to a Size 14/16 – their Measurement guide is wonderful and brilliant marketing to me, their target market. The designs were chic and fun with great accessories. This is a label I want to know more about.

Lisa Kerr

Lisa Kerr

huudaverti appealed to my gypsy side, my need to look and feel unique & extraordinary. Whilst one of the designs I felt belonged in my kitchen (I just can’t get my mind around a dress that looks like an apron), all the other designs blew me away! The fabrics are incredible, so unique, just like the designs, and although the styling was more “unique” than I would style them, the beauty was I could see lots of key pieces I could incorporate into my own wardrobe that would not only suit my style, but finally allow me to express it more, as there truly isn’t another label that is coming at fashion from this angle in the plus-size market. The Designers (3 sisters) behind this brand are so fantastic, and I loved how they acknowledged their mum in the front row beaming proudly at them at the end of their segment.

huudaverti

huudaverti

I love the quirkiness of Misty Belvidere, her show made a big impression with bold colours and fun, exciting patterns. This is a brand to watch!

Misty Belvidere

Misty Belvidere

Bombshell Vintage opened with the incredible green emerald dress, I can still see the luxury of the colour and fabric in my mind, and teamed with the gorgeous red tresses of model Suzie with her smooth moves on the catwalk, I was in love! Vintage isn’t my thing, but if it’s yours, you NEED to visit Bombshell Vintage.

Bombshell Vintage

Bombshell Vintage

Harlow, it struck me is a true Melbourne brand as us Melbournites are known for our love of wearing black. Harlow didn’t disappoint with some great styles in black, monochrome and deep reds with some pretty cool accessories.

Harlow

Harlow

Oh my goodness I could just go on forever about each brand that showed on Saturday night, but I just can’t fit it all in!, so here’s of list of the other incredible brands that showed, please show them some love by clicking on the link and subscribing to their mailing lists to stay up to date.

Seraphim, Pho Sizzle, Nyata, Camilla Jayne, Big Blossom PJs, Icelandic Blue, The Professors Daughter

Sonsee Woman made a huge impression too, suddenly out strutted models in their underwear, tights and crop Sonsee T-shirts – full of confidence and fierceness! It was an incredibly empowering segment of the event. I personally own a couple of pairs of Sonsee, and wrote a post about them last winter, if you haven’t tried them yet – get on it! They are the ONLY tights I will ever wear again!

Sonsee Woman

Sonsee Woman

Beyond The Sea, I wish I had seen this range before my recent Bali trip – I would have found my new swimsuit straight away! LOVE that Beyond The Sea not only understands design, but offers fantastic quality fabric in DESIGNS! Yep, not just plain old black. Loved the fun presentation of this brand on the catwalk.

Beyond The Sea

Beyond The Sea

The reaction from the crowd during the show was fantastic, there was clapping, cheering, gasps, squeals, you name it, it kept coming as thick and fast as the realistic models pounding the catwalk. The buzz during the intermission was so great, and the show finished with a bang, with one look from every brand represented on the catwalk which was greeted with thunderous applause. And then it was over. Sigh.

I was lucky enough to head upstairs to the after party where I got to talk some more with the other bloggers, meet some of the models and speak to the designers. It was hard to sleep that night, the buzz of excitement was infectious and kept my mind and body going for hours and hours. Sunday was the Curvy Couture Designer Market at the Collingwood Town Hall where as a Media VIP I got to meet and greet all the designers with a glass of champagne in hand an hour before the general public arrived. I took full advantage of that hour to scoot around and see as many people as possible, I made it half way before the doors opened and the stalls & designers were inundated with people eager to do the same!

The VIP guest for the Runway and Market this year was Tess Holliday, an inspirational woman who has made history this year by being the first plus size model to be signed to Milk Management Agency. Tess was front and centre with her man at the Runway, she was clearly enthralled by the brands on show and hugely supportive. She was so humble and generous, happy to pose with guests for photos and speaking with them. I finally got the chance to say hi to Tess myself at the Market, and I bought one of her fantastic t-shirts with #effyourbeautystandards on it! I wore it for 3 days straight, I just LOVE it and what it stands for. My 11 year old son said to me on Tuesday morning when I pulled it on over my jeans to do the school run “Mum, you really love that t-shirt don’t you!?” LOL

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I think my only criticism (for want of a better word) in relation to this event was that there was no MC. I wanted to hear a welcome, an introduction, someone to work with the excitement and anticipation that was building in the room as we waited for the event to start – to bring it for us and at the end, after the fantastic finale walk by all the models and brands, I wanted someone to thank us for being there, and to tell us to mark our calendars for next years event. That was missing for me.

I’d like to take a moment to congratulate the organisers of this years event, it was fantastic! Congratulations to Jess, Erin, Kate, Teresa & Karyn. I know the huge hours and effort that it takes to pull something like this together, and you should be congratulated. Thank you for raising the visibility of our Australian Designers, for giving them an important platform to showcase to their target market and to the public in general. I just know that this event will go from strength to strength as it is an important vehicle for fashion for curvy women of Australia.

Congratulations to the designers who put in a huge effort to have incredible & show- stopping designs to showcase, for all the long hours you put in to be there all weekend and for being so welcoming and sharing your brand with us. You did us so proud! I hope that you’ve felt the love and pride from all of us, your customers.

BRAVO to the models, the Industry Models from Bella Model Management, and to the street models who worked hard to practise, practise, practise to ensure a smooth performance. It wasn’t just smooth – it was AWESOME!

BUY AUSTRALIAN, SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN, we have so much to offer.

LOVE YOUR SHAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Janine x

Jewel in the crown of a hustle & bustle market

Living in the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne I’m really lucky as I am within range of five sensational fresh fruit & vegie markets. My favourite would have to be the Dandenong Market. It’s so multi-cultural, I can buy my fruit & vegies and enjoy the thrill of chasing down the best produce for the best price, amongst the hustle & bustle of so many different cultures all mingling and enjoying the experience. Everyone is happy, and I love hearing the vendors call out their specials in loud confident voices whilst trying to grab your attention away from the other enthusiastic vendor next door.

Dresses Dandenong MarketThis morning I was walking through the selection of stalls offering clothing, technology, homewares etc. when I spotted a stand that had dresses in Indian Cotton. For years I have coveted Indian Cotton clothing, it feels so nice on your skin, especially in the warm months we experience here in Australia, but it is also the most beautiful quality. I love the random patterns, and my most favourite is the patchwork fabrics bringing so many opportunities to accessorise a dress differently each time you wear it.

I was warmly welcomed by Amin, who told me I was his lucky 1st customer of the day! (reminds me of my trips to Bali where that indicates that they’ll bargain fairly with you). Amin is from Afghanistan and came to our country 16 years ago. He is really passionate about offering “something different to everyone else”. I was admiring a couple of the dresses when he pointed to a pile of bags on the ground that he was busy unpacking when I walked into his stall. Out of the bags he pulled at least 8 different designs of maxi dresses that were made of the most incredible Indian Cotton. LOVE at first sight!

Indian Cotton Fabric 2Indian Cotton Dress Fabric

I fell in love with one dress in particular – this one – oooooh! Unfortunately it was too tight around my arm, so Amin reassured me that he had “lots more at home” and that he will be bringing more over the next few days and there is definitely one larger there. This one was noticeably smaller in cut than the other maxi dresses (typical of me to pick the one that isn’t in stock!) so I’m hanging out for a call from Amin to come in and try on the other ones in the next few days. Oh and did I mention the prices? The dresses in the pic at the top are $30 each or 2 for $50! And the one I’m after below, $35! WOW, quality & affordable 🙂

Indian Cotton Patch Dress

While I was there at least 4 other curvy ladies popped in to have a look. It was clear that Amin’s mission is to make his customers happy, and they were 🙂

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you drop in and have a look. The store is called “Plus Size Outfit & Bollywood Fashion”. The sizing goes up to 6XL. You won’t be disappointed, and Amin’s customer service is top notch – please tell him I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x