"Guess what's back in style? Your body!"
(Originally posted on The Judgment of Paris Forum, November 27, 2003, in response to a post from Viv.)
What Viv says is so true. Plus-size fashion can be elegant and stylish--and exciting, too.
This is yet another example of how plus-size beauty demands a total rethink of every shred of the received wisdom that permeates mainstream fashion. Why is it that (with rare exceptions) the fashion industry keeps reviving the styles of the past few decades? Time and again, the Conde Nast glossies trumpet the return of '60s styles, or '40s, or '70s--nothing but an endless reclycing of 20th-century thought. It is a closed loop, and with one notable exception (the peasant/gypsy/romantic movement that hit fashion with the force of a stray comet last year, and was so desperately resisted by the fashion elites), the fashion industry never, ever looks back to the styles that preceded the 1920s, i.e., the fashions that predated the imposition of the anorex-chic aesthetic.
The reason for this is readily apparent. Straight lines and flat surfaces suit androgynous physiques quite well, and silently oppress curvaceous women. But folkloric styles, fashions that grew organically over time--not as a result of a the deviant vision of a few fashion designers, but naturally, as a result of generation after generation of women wearing clothing that looked pretty, and set off their charms to best advantage--such fashions adorn opulent figures very well, and leave thinner frames looking . . . hollow.
That is why the historical aspect of plus-size styling is particularly significant. Full-figured apparel that is inspired by the look of women's clothing from the time before Modernism reshaped all of the arts (fashion included) is the exact opposite of "old fashioned." In fact, those timeless pieces are the most exciting and revolutionary garments that full-figured women can choose for themselves, because they accentuate the very same feminine curves that the modern media tries so desperately to hide from public view.
Here is another example of terrific full-fashion styling (on Kelsey, from Wilhelmina, with Caravaggio-like Bizzaro photography). This shot is devoted to Shey, Renata, Melanie, and any other girl who has ever been told not to show off her "womanly tummy." Love your body--and show others just how much you love it, too. Your attitude could help change the world.
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