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Old 21st June 2011   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default FFFWeek: Lane Bryant (Kelsey, Lindsey, Katherine)

[NOTE: The images in this post have been professionally licensed from Mr. Richard Lew, the official FFFWeek photographer. Their appearance here does not sanction any further distribution beyond this site. Any Web logs or publications seeking Mr. Lew's FFFWeek images must obtain them from his Web site, which can be found here.]

Just as every mountain has its summit and every story has its climax, every fashion show has its zenith.

At Full-Figured Fashion Week 2011, that unsurpassable moment was provided by none other than Lane Bryant.

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It is fitting that this should have been the case, and not just because Lane Bryant is part of the Charming Shoppes family--the same company that owns Sonsi and thus makes FFFWeek possible. The history of Lane Bryant's relationship to runway shows charts the vicissitudes in the plus-size industry as a whole, particularly in terms of the central question of model size.

Between 2000 and 2003, Lane Bryant staged four annual, highly publicized Cacique lingerie shows in New York City. The first, in 2000, had a sophisticated look, but the model choice was rather disappointing: too many faux-plus girls and a glaring dearth of fan favourites (no Shannon Marie, no Barbara Brickner). The 2002 show had flash and pizzaz, but could not longer even legitimately be called a plus-size runway show, as the models were disappointingly toned 10/12s.

Earlier this year, Lane Bryant made a celebrated return to the runway in Las Vegas, in a show that displayed high production values and captivating visual elements. However, while it was a marked improvement over the faux-plus catwalk extravaganzas of the early 2000s in terms of model size, it still offered considerable room for improvement.

Last Saturday, at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, Lane Bryant finally staged the runway presentation that its customers have been waiting their whole lives to see. At FFFWeek 2011, Lane Bryant finally got catwalk shows right--and not just right, but well-nigh perfect.

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When Kelsey Olson walked out in her Cacique intimate apparel, the audience gasped in a mixture of awe and delight. They could hardly believe what they were seeing. Here, at last, was a visibly full-figured model with a natural, soft physique walking a fashion runway and proving, once and for all, that Classically curvaceous figures are more beautiful than those of any skeletal waifs or over-toned, faux-plus androgynes. Kelsey's luscious, 39" waist was fully on view, and thanks to the soft fullness of that celebrated figure feature, she was more sensually alluring than any lingerie model in the history of women's fashion.

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Kelsey even displayed a comely trace of dimpled flesh on her legs, which added to her soft, feminine beauty. For her poses, she flew through a variety of different demeanours, each more enticing than the last, from bemusement, to powerful confidence, to graceful poise, to open-hearted earnestness.

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Kelsey saved her best look for last--a pose that displayed her signature gentleness, a kind demeanour that is the truest expression of her own personality, a delicate vulnerability with childlike innocence that belied the high-temperature seductiveness of the outfit. No other model could have convincingly generated such a look--and truly, it was the finest expression that Kelsey could have selected for this daring attire. Too bold, and she would have been intimidating; too raw, and it would have been risqué; but by softening the effect with such tender sweetness, she made herself rapturously beautiful.

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In fact, with this pose and expression, Kelsey single-handedly defined the plus-size aesthetic, giving full-figured models a look of their own, incarnating a quality of gentle sensuality that no minus-size catwalk cadaver could ever embody. With a physique as soft as nature intended women to possess and a celestial radiance shining from her round, heavenly face, the effect was transcendent. Thought this may have been the most daring outfit that any model wore all evening, no other girl appeared as pure and wholesome as Kelsey did at this moment.

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Turning from angelic radiance to vixenish seductiveness, Lindsey Garbelman presented the metaphysical opposite to Kelsey's fair innocence. Though Lindsey was as covered-up in her outfit as Kelsey was unclothed in hers, it was Miss Garbelman's look that appeared more hauntingly dangerous. A mysterious darkness shadowed Lindsey, from her midnight tresses to her animal-hide jacket to her black top, leggings, and shoes, while her deep, ruby-red skirt displayed a print that resembled glowing embers, like charcoal in the nethermost of all pits.

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What struck one immediately upon seeing her was how much more beautiful Lindsey is now than she was even one year ago. The touch of extra fullness has rounded her facial features. The silhouette of her physique, as defined by this outfit, appeared decadently generous, with the skirt drawing attention to her womanly hips.

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Whereas Kelsey appeared vulnerable and in need of protection, Lindsey exuded a wicked undercurrent of menace, with fiery passions smouldering within her. If the animal print of Miss Olson's lingerie suggested kittenishness, the pattern of Lindsey's skirt betokened red-blooded carnality. She resembled a panther on the prowl, rapacious, eager to satisfy her carnivorous appetites.

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With angelic Kelsey occupying the celestial empyreum and mysterious Lindsey prowling the dark of night, what was left for Katherine Roll but to inhabit our own Middle Earth, perched on this terrestrial sphere between heaven and the underworld, a being of terra firma.

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Her earthy attire, with its fur-lined collar and tiger blouse, made a different impression than Kelsey's and Lindsey's prints, something warmer, more welcoming. While the ensemble may not have had the fireworks of the other two models' outfits, Katherine endowed it with just as much seductiveness, thanks to her dramatic posing abilities and her sumptuous figure. This image, for example, shows how the close fit of the pants defined her luscious thighs and acknowledged the swell of her hips,

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while a closer view displays that most alluring of all facial features, an opulent curve under the chin.

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Katherine selected just the right expressions to harmonize with her attire: sunny smiles, which were as perfect for this outfit as Kelsey's innocence was for hers and Lindsey's predatoriness was for hers. However, Miss Roll infused her grins with her uniquely vivacious personality, putting a twinkle of mischief in her eyes.

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Where Katherine truly wowed the audience, and took full advantage of the benefits that her goddesslike physique gives her, was in a daring sideways turn, self-assuredly displaying her reverse-view curves, letting her golden tresses tumble wildly down her back, and casting a saucy glance at the camera, seemingly saying, "You know I'm irresistible." No meagre anorexic, nor even any lesser plus-size model, could have generated such excitement with this outfit. Katherine's intoxicating figure and delicious self-adoration enables her to make even casual attire utterly thrilling.

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This was the most appealing presentation of plus-size fashion that Lane Bryant has ever presented, in any form. The still images from this show are better promotions for the brand's fashions than any current print or television advertising from the venerable retailer.

Let us hope that Lane Bryant realizes how stunning its clothing looks when it is displayed on models who are genuinely full-figured--models who are gorgeous size 18s, not half-hearted 12/14s. This is the kind of imagery that Lane Bryant's customers have been requesting for years. The proof is here, right before the company's eyes, if only it would deign to look.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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Old 28th June 2011   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Re: FFFWeek: Lane Bryant (Kelsey, Lindsey, Katherine)

Every single image that has come out of this year's Full-Figured Fashion Week has been beautiful and empowering, but none more so than Kelsey's stunning appearance on the runway in intimate apparel.

It seems so perfect that Kelsey would walk in lingerie in the Lane Bryant show specifically, because it was Lane Bryant's Cacique shows back in the early 2000s that specifically disappointed full-figured women so badly, due to the pathetic skinniness of the models who walked in them. Even the Las Vegas show by Lane Bryant earlier this year was only a marginal improvement, but still felt tentative.

But now, at last, in this runway show, with these models, Lane Bryant has finally embraced size celebration. These are the kinds of models that the company's customers have been asking to see for years: gorgeous size 16s, 18s, 20s. And all of the clothing looks fantastic on them. I would never have given that dark jacket and animal-print skirt a second look on a faux-plus model, but on Lindsey it looks fantastic. Same with Kelsey's lingerie; same with Katherine's outfit. No mere size-12 model could have made that ensemble look as good as Katherine did, with her gorgeous figure.

This, to me, is aspirational -- the right kind of aspiration; aspirational in terms of a beautiful presentation of clothing, but on truly plus-size bodies. These models prove how good curvy women can look. They show full-figured girls that they can spend money on fashion and look fabulous, rather than spending it on diet-starvation and gym-torture to make themselves miserable.

I wish Lane Bryant would simply book these models, right now, and put them in their print ads and catalogs. Katherine, Kelsey, and Lindsey would look far more beautiful and appealing in LB's promos than their current faux-plus girls do. FFFWeek has proven the superiority of the pro-curvy aesthetic, once and for all.
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Old 9th July 2011   #3
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Join Date: June 2011
Posts: 105
Default Re: FFFWeek: Lane Bryant (Kelsey, Lindsey, Katherine)

I agree with Meredith. If there was ever a case where the curvier models proved, once and for all, that every type of apparel looks better on fuller figures than on the thin frames of the faux-plus girls, this is it. Here, in this fashion show, you had the most gorgeous size-18 models in the world, in every type of clothing -- from lingerie to club attire to daywear -- and in all three cases, they completely outshone the thinner plus-size models, the kind I see in ads all the time. Seeing the clothes on these models' bodies makes me want these outfits for myself. I can trust that if something looks good on them, it can look good on me too -- and everything looks good on them.

This show also proved that to stage a plus-size fashion show, you don't need gimmicks, you don't need celebrities, and you don't need rock bands. The most important thing is to have models on the runway who are truly and visibly full-figured, and who are also gorgeous. That's it. Anything else is extra. But above all else, the models must be plus-size, and they must be beautiful -- as Kelsey, Katherine, and Lindsey so vividly are.

When I open an ad from a full-figure retailer, or when I go into a plus-size store in a mall, these are the kinds of models I want representing me.
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Old 27th September 2011   #4
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Re: FFFWeek: Lane Bryant (Kelsey, Lindsey, Katherine)

Here it is at last! The first official runway-show video from FFFWeek 2011.

And oh, what a show to begin with! This video presents the Lane Bryant show, which featured all three Judgment of Paris favourites: Kelsey Olson, Katherine Roll, and Lindsey Garbelman.

The opening of the show is incredible: a one-two combination of Katherine followed by Kelsey. Katherine radiates her confidence and self-assurance and walks like a pure professional, effortlessly graceful, with a walk that would put any runway waif's to shame. She engages in some clever business with her fur-lined jacket and gives and extra over-the-shoulder pose at the end of the runway.

Next, Kelsey looks oh-my-god-gorgeous in her lingerie ensemble - the high point of FFFWeek 2011. I love how she gives an extra-sexy forward lean at the end of the catwalk, at 0:39, just before she turns and walks back. This is what the famous Lane Bryant runway shows of the early 2000s should have been - presentations of genuinely full-figured, gorgeous models looking softly curvaceous and wickedly seductive in daring intimate apparel.

Lindsey appears at 1:45 in the video, looking darkly alluring in her midnight-red ensemble. She has a special mystery about her in this ensemble, and her figure shapes her apparel into a sensually curvy form.

No matter how phenomenal the still photos from the runway show have been, there's something extra special in seeing these goddesses walk the runway in living motion, dressed in curve-flattering (and in Kelsey's case, curve-revealing!) attire.

No other runway show in the world can compare to FFFWeek as a presentation of true plus-size beauty.
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