Curves, Cats, and Creams

Curves in the Curriculum? Finally!

on March 2, 2014

For blog Cornell University students

As most of you know, I have done several interviews with designers, stylists, models, etc, and have asked them all the same question: why do you think so many designers do not create plus size clothes? Almost across the board, one of the main answers is that design students are simply not taught how to design for a curvier figure.

Thankfully, that has begun to change. A group of design students at Cornell University are celebrating National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb 23 – March 1) by creating “Ruben’s Women”, a clothing line inspired by Peter Paul Ruben, a Baroque painter known for his sexual portrayal of curvy women, which will embrace all shapes and sizes.

Student creators Brandon Wen and Laura Zwangziger even developed their own plus size mannequins to ensure that their clothes would fit correctly since mannequins are usually designed to accommodate the inside of a piece of clothing. “That’s why a lot of clothes don’t fit anybody regardless of their size because they’re not designed for a body, they’re designed for the inside of a woven garment,” Laura said.

“Ruben’s Women” will be a collection of wearable art, more conceptual and artistic than merely functional. Brandon explains “I am more interested in making an art piece and part of it is deciding what that means for this specific niche because there’s a lack of it in plus-sized clothing.”

“Ruben’s Women” will be debuted at Cornell’s fashion show in April of 2014 and will hopefully inspire other design students and (GASP) maybe even entire schools to begin including curves in their curriculum. That would definitely be worthy of an A+!


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