Curves, Cats, and Creams

The Curvy Gods Have Answered Our Prayers; Boston Curvy Fashion Week 2015 is Officially on the Books!!!

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Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City is right around the corner and I am ecstatic that I am one of the lucky attendees! I am thrilled to be attending both as a blogger and as the PR manager for Dede Allure, the curvy couture designer who is rapidly becoming known as the “Curvy Coco Chanel” thanks to her timeless, classic designs that never go out of style.

Since New York City and Boston have slightly different attitudes toward fashion (NYC: “Something new? Great! Let’s do it!” Boston: “Something new? No, that’s too risky! Let’s keep doing what we’ve been doing for 20 years; it’s safer!” In other words, Boston has no balls when it comes to fashion!

That is all about to change, my fellow Bostonians! I’m writing this post 5 minutes after hearing the BEST news I’ve heard all year: Boston is finally acknowledging the curvy community and will host the very first Boston Curvy Fashion Week in 2015!!! As of now, the details are still being kept under wraps, although there are many sponsorship opportunities for this historic event, so contact the organizers at sponsor.bostoncurvyfashionweek@gmail.com to ensure that you don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to expand your curvy business.

I promise to keep you updated as new details are added. In the meantime follow the hashtags listed below.

 

Question of the day: Do you think Boston Curvy Fashion Week will be as successful as New York’s Full Figured Fashion Week? Why or why not?

 

‪#‎newenglandevents 

‪#‎boston

#bcfweek 

‪#‎curvy 

‪#‎curvygirls 

‪#‎plussize 

‪#‎effyourbeautystandards

#‎adornyourcurves 

‪#‎styleyourcurves 

‪#‎thickchick 

#‎psblogger 

‪#‎psfashion 

‪#‎syc 

‪#‎sycapproved 

#styleyourcurves 

#‎bostonstylist 

‪#‎bostonblogger

#‎plussizefashion 

#‎plusgirlswithstyle 

#‎celebratemysize 

‪#‎plusmodelmag

#‎plusmodelmagazine 

#‎fashionshow 

‪#‎vendors 

#‎sponsorship

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Brains, Beauty, and Talent Have All Aligned to Create Carmina Suzanne!

For blog Carmina Suzanne plus model

 

Spotted recently on the Parisian catwalk alongside curvy celeb Hayley Hasselhoff during Pulp Fashion Week, Carmina Suzanne is the perfect combination of brains, beauty, and talent. Along with being an editor at Fashion Maniac magazine, she is also a Harvard educated journalist and opera singer and actress. Read on to discover what I did when I interviewed this amazing Renaissance woman.

 

EM: Why did you choose to become a plus size model and what were some of the challenges you faced to achieve your goal?

CS: Well, I chose to become a model, and I am plus sized – so that part was easy. I was scouted in my early 20s by a famous American plus model, but had to stop for 10 years due to health problems. Only when I was in London for my opera career and my health issues had settled down did I try modeling again. And it’s been a dream come true!

Some of the challenges have to do with the industry in general, but the main problem in being plus is getting designers to make garments. It all starts and ends with the designers – all the booking agents, models, stylists, director, agents, scouts, etc, in the world can want to hire curvy models, but if the designers don’t pony up with the clothing, game over. So the more designers who break through their own small-minded prejudices, the faster the industry will move forward.

 

EM: How do you feel that your background as an opera singer and actress has helped your modeling career?

CS: For the most part, it’s been a huge help. Modeling and opera singing are very similar – you’re on stage using your body to tell a story, or sell a product. You need to be aware of every inch of your instrument and be in control to sing or model with correct technique. Also, I consider myself an artist, whether my medium is posing for photography or acting or dancing or singing or styling or cooking… it’s all to the same end. And, of course, fashion is a business, just like music, so you need to be organized, efficient, and on the ball, too.

 

EM: Since, unfortunately, some people still assume that models are beautiful yet stupid, is anyone ever surprised when you tell them you studied at Harvard University? Do you think that has helped or hurt your modeling career? Why?

CS: Yes, sometimes they do! I studied 7 languages, my IQ is in the 150s – and I know other models just as bright. However, some are dumb as rocks and some are in the middle – just like any other facet of life. A fashion marketing executive I knew once said to me “Well, I had brains so I left modeling and went into PR.” I asked her why she believed in that old stereotype… in Latin!

For the most part, it’s helped my career because I use my writing skills for fashion journalism, blogging, PR & marketing, fund raising and other writing-based parts of the industry. Also, since one of my degrees is in Gender Studies, I think about issues of body love and the societal pressures we put on bodies from an academic level.

 

EM: Who is your favorite designer and why?

CS: I really admire Tadashi Shoji because she doesn’t “ghettoize” her line – it starts at size 0 and goes up to size 24. I dislike when designers make a plus line but marginalize it to the side. The larger sizes should be as vibrant and integrated a part of any designer’s main line. Plus, her garments are gorgeous, flattering, and comfortable. Also, I’m a fan of Carmen Marc Valvo, Comme des Garçons, and D&G’s new Sicilian campaign.

 

EM: Why do you think so many designers do not want to create plus size clothes?

CS: Yeah, this is one of the dirty little secrets of the industry. Designers will tell you it’s because plus designs are more expensive to pattern block, or that plus garments are cut on the bias, or that they can’t find any plus mannequins, but that’s mainly nonsense. I have a friend in London who is a top designer, and he told me in confidence the real reason: no size 2 wants to walk down the street and see a “fatty” in the same outfit as her. So, many designers would rather keep their small, rich, thin clientele happy than design for 75% of the population.

 

EM: Having been involved in projects such as Confidence is the Key, do you think they have made an impact on how “beauty” is defined, especially in the modeling industry? Why or why not?

CS: Yes, big changes are happening, more slowly in some places than others. When I left London to return to my hometown of Buffalo, it was like walking backwards 15 years in time, at least as far as diversity in fashion in concerned. In London, I was a diversity advocate, working with The British Fashion Council and some government members to support diversity in fashion (for plus, mature, petite, and disabled models of all colors) but this pugnacious approach doesn’t work in a market that’s not ready for diversity. However, in Paris, plus models are really taking off and I had so much fun participating in one of the top plus shows in the world during Pulp Fashion Week earlier this month. I get letters from people all around the world telling me they hated their bodies, but seeing another model with a similar story really does change minds and hearts. It’s even saved lives in a few cases.

 

EM: What is your main job at Fashion Maniac magazine and what do you like best and least about it?

CS: I am one of the Managing Editors, and so far I’ve been doing collection reviews – most of the other staff are often out of town shooting all the various Fashion Weeks, so I’m one of the main writers right now. Loving it so far! I like to take my passion for fashion, a flair for writing, and a love of research and combine it into fun, clever, and informative fashion articles.

 

EM: Does Fashion Maniac magazine ever feature plus size fashion? Why or why not?

CS: Not specifically, although they do strongly support diversity in fashion and that’s one reason I’m glad to write for them. I am going to do an editorial shoot for Fashion Maniac soon as a model, so that will be great! I also write for Volup2, a high fashion plus magazine out of Paris. They feature curvy models of all sizes and colors, some with disabilities, in a very editorial, high fashion context. We need more of that!

 

EM: What would you say to critics who claim that encouraging women to accept their bodies will add to the obesity epidemic?

CS: Well, first of all, all professional working plus models are healthy. We all work out, we all watch our diets. We have to, that’s the demand of the job. I don’t care what size you are, to hold position on 6-inch stilettos for hours on end, you have to be fit. I do intense Pilates, free weights, tons of squats and lunges, and monitor my diet. So I do not see how that promotes obesity.

Secondly, when faced with this question, here’s what I say, “Can you name one single plus model who died from being obese? No, you can’t. How many thin models have died from anorexia? Here’s a list of 100s…”

That being said, my main concern is health. Not so much size, but shape and proportion. I don’t judge other people’s health from the outside, that’s between them and their doctor. I do think that too big is too big and too small is too small, but I don’t judge what that might be. Here it is; you cannot expect folks to get healthier by hating themselves. Women deserve beautiful, quality, flattering garments in any size. They deserve salespeople who treat them with respect. They deserve to enjoy themselves in the movies, or at the gym, or out dancing without shame and ridicule. When they love and accept themselves, they will become healthier. I think folks have it backwards; I think more self love and acceptance will decrease the obesity epidemic – which I do think is a serious problem, by the way.

 

EM: What are your hopes for yourself and the plus size fashion industry over the next 5 years?

CS: Some of my hopes for the industry are already coming true. I mean, when Robyn Lawley booked the Ralph Lauren campaign not as a plus model but as a model I really was happy! When magazines and designers and agencies start taking models, rather than specialist divisions, I will be pleased. I want to see more plus and curvy models at the top Fashion Weeks, and not just as a gimmick. Same goes for disabled and mature models.

For me personally? I want to book a major national campaign in the US! To get signed with one of the top agencies and to continue being a role model and inspiration for body and self love. With my health problems, I went through just about every kind of body hatred there is. I never ever thought I’d be this happy, confident, and balanced. If I can get there, so can you! I’ve modeled in London, NYC, Miami and Paris… next, Milano?!?

 

Find out more about Carmina through the links below!

 

Web: http://www.modelmayhem.com/1304751

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarminaSuzannePlusModel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarminPlusModel

Instagram: http://instagram.com/carminaplusmodel

 

Photo credit: Stanley Desbas

 

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This Saturday, Escape Image Consulting Crowns The Next Big Thing!

 

The latest and greatest; isn’t that what everyone wants? Well, here it is! Escape Image Consulting is hosting The Next Big Thing pageant this Saturday night in Dorchester and the winner will be crowned “Ms. Curvaceous Boston”.

Nicole Flynt, owner of Escape Image Consulting, explains why she created a pageant for women with curves. “In 2011, I entered into my first pageant, The ‘Ms. Voluptuous’ pageant in Cambridge, MA.  I was the 1st runner up and instantly fell in love with the art of pageantry. It built up my self-esteem and my confidence. Since then I’ve waiting for another pageant to no avail. I then decided, through my business Escape Image Consulting (EIC), to hold The Next Big Thing 2014! Escape Image Consulting will also later be hosting additional pageants that promote size acceptance, positive body imaging, and self-esteem building. “

Conceived in December 2012 by Nicole N. Flynt-Thomas and Danita Lee and located in Boston, MA, Escape Image Consulting understands the struggle of being curvaceous in today’s society. In addition to hosting pageants, Escape Image Consulting provides image consulting services that help women understand how to best dress their body types in the most flattering clothes and how to use makeup to enhance their unique beauty and self-esteem. Another service offered is the monthly “Making of a Diva” seminar that teaches runway walking, posing, makeup, wig skills, and self-worth workshops.

I’m also super excited that Denise Schwartz-Gaeta, the very first Ms. Massachusetts Plus America and the curvy fashion designer Dede Allure, who is quickly becoming known in the industry as the “Curvy Coco Chanel”, is joining forces with Escape Image Consulting to choose the winner of The Next Big Thing.

Denise echoes Nicole’s sentiment, “As Ms. Massachusetts Plus America 2014 and through my fashion brand, Dede Allure, I feel it is so important to support events such as The Next Big Thing that encourage women of all shapes and sizes to recognize their own unique beauty, so I’m very excited to join forces with Nicole and help decide who will be Ms. Curvaceous Boston.” Denise will also be competing for the title of “Ms. Plus America 2014” in Atlanta, GA, on July 4th of this year.

Taking place on Saturday, May 17th, at 7 PM in the Frank G. Russell Auditorium at 70 Talbot Ave in Dorchester, MA, this pageant will feature women with beauty, intelligence, class, and curves. In addition to the coveted title of “Ms. Curvaceous Boston”, the winner will receive prizes such as a modeling contract with TNT Modeling Agency in Yonkers, NY, two photo shoots by Zioneye and INterracial INspirations, the opportunity to walk in couture plus size designer Dede Allure’s upcoming “Runway The Real Way” fashion show in NYC, hosted by Catherine Schuller Enterprises, LLC, while sporting her unique black diamond ring, as well as the privilege of walking in “Rock Your Curvy Style” fashion show in Hollywood, CA, this October produced by curvy celebrity/actress Cher Rue.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Nicole Flynt at (617) 637-6382 and cost $25 before the event and $30 at the door.

 

 

Escape Image Consulting:

Web: http://www.escapeimage.com/#!home/mainPage

Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Escape-Image-Consulting-EIC/414875278609224

Google + at https://plus.google.com/u/0/102682543542983356765/posts

Tumbler at http://escapeimage.tumblr.com/

Dede Allure:

Web: http://www.dedeallure.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DedeAllure

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dede.allure?fref=ts

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/denise-gaeta/14/443/780

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Meet The Face of Full Figured Fashion Week, Bree Woodley!

#FFFWEEK

I was so honored to speak with Bree Woodley, the Face of Full Figured Fashion Week, taking place in New York City from and I quickly realized that she will definitely be someone to shake up the curvy industry. Read on to find out why!

EM: Why did you choose to become a plus size model and what do you like best and least about it?

BW: I am a natural model; I’m not associated with any modeling agencies. I’m just a photographer who enjoys being my own subject; with the exception of my latest modeling work, mostly images of myself, I’ve photographed. I guess a more direct way to answer this question is that I enjoy the freedom of being freelance.

EM: What were some of the challenges you faced when auditioning for Face and who was your biggest supporter?

BW: I didn’t feel much challenge. I believe that this was predestined for me. Everything fell into place accordingly, which made me even more sure that this was my golden opportunity. It happened so organically. It was beautiful working on my audition tape; I wrote and composed the video myself. If I search hard to find the real challenge, it would be conveying a message in a short, sweet 2 minutes.

My support first comes from within, but my family always keeps it real with me and their support is immeasurable. I decided to go out for this competition because I felt so connected to the responsibility and the legacy behind the Face and Full Figured Fashion Week. I’m beyond happy I trusted my intuition.

EM: How do you feel that your studies in media arts and journalism at Long Island University have helped your career?

BW: My classes have definitely enhanced my interpersonal skills and I’ve met some amazing people. No one can teach you how to be uniquely you, but my classes help me understand the layout of my field and I add my special “stardust” in my approach.  I’m a natural extrovert and each day when I encounter people I try to make personal connections, especially in this day and age where things can easily become so impersonal. 

 

EM: What do you hope to do after you graduate from Long Island University?

BW: I look forward to graduating but I’m not necessarily waiting on graduation to accomplish what I set out to accomplish. Every day is a day for me to make power moves and connections. Once I graduate I only hope to be more evolved and better situated.

EM: Who is your favorite designer and why? 

BW: I don’t really have a favorite designer. I love to thrift shop because I love vintage wears. But lately, my eye has been on some upcoming designers. I love the direction in which clothing for plus women is going.  The designers behind Rue 114 and Jibri are so dope. I love their collection this season.

EM: Why do you think so many designers do not want to create plus size clothes?

BW: Sadly, it takes real balls to go against the grain and try something different. That’s why I respect all the innovative designers and pioneers of the game, not only in the plus community but industries in general. The idea of an inclusive community makes me so happy.

EM: What is Fryezone, why did you choose to become involved with it, and what do you hope to achieve through it?

BW: Fyrezone is a nonprofit organization that works with inner city middle school kids, helping them discover expression through music and art. The CEO, Bud Ramsay, is a very close friend of mine and he is extremely committed to this project. Fyrezone acts as a therapeutic outlet, since many of our kids carry heavy burdens in their personal life and the time spent enjoying themselves creatively is a great release. I am so honored to be involved in something so special.

EM: What advice would you give to aspiring plus size models?

BW: To anyone who wants to be noticed, as a model, photographer, etc, my advice to them is just to be sure of yourself. Be ready to not compromise just to fit a set standard if its not befitting to you. Also, never treat any situation as simply the means to an end because you will never get the most out of that situation. Spend time developing yourself mentally, physically, rationally, and emotionally because this industry comes with hard hits and you gotta duck and roll with the punches. I apply this to myself every day.

EM: What would you say to critics who claim that encouraging women to accept their bodies will add to the obesity epidemic?

BW: I’m strong in my promotion of  healthy living. I just don’t like when people become too critical. The encouragement shouldn’t be only getting to size 4/6, it should be in the promotion of self love. I’m not trying to be skinny, I’m trying to be healthy and a size 4 doesn’t necessarily equal good health. We just have to respect our bodies and take care of ourselves.

EM: What are your hopes for yourself and the plus size fashion industry over the next 5 years?

BW: I have high expectations for myself and the industry over the next 5 years. I can go on forever about my plan to bring it… but for now… just stay tuned.. I’m so excited for June!

Find out more about Bree on:

Web: http://fffweek.com/2014/the-face-of-fffweek/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bree-Woodley/288924137932765

To view the schedule and purchase tickets for Full Figured Fashion Week, visit: http://fffweek.com/2014/schedule-tickets/

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Spring, Winter, Spring, Winter; Whichever Way the Wind Blows, Be Prepared With London Fog!

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I have lived in New England all my life and I cannot remember a year in which I was still wearing my winter coat at the end of April. Of course, that was a week after I spent the day outside in a sleeveless top. Clearly, Mother Nature is going through a serious indecisive phase!

Thankfully, London Fog has solved the dilemma of curvy girls dealing with bi-polar weather by creating this chic, fashionable, and versatile trench coat. Available in sizes XS to 3X, this double-breasted, water-resistant, machine washable trench flatters any shape with its removable belt. Best of all, it has a detachable liner to take off when the sun finally starts to shine and to put back on 10 minutes later when the wind throws a hissy fit.

Visit Nordstrom at the link below to save 40% and tell Mother Nature to bring it on!

 

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/london-fog-heritage-trench-with-detachable-liner-plus-size/3559555?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=5000&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_14_D

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