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Old 23rd June 2011   #1
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default FFFWeek: Ashaki Charles Designs (Kelsey, Lindsey)

[NOTE: The images in this post have been 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 gallery, which can be found here.]

In addition to the numerous American designers who showed at Full-Figured Fashion Week 2011, a Canadian label also made an exciting debut at the event. Ashaki Charles Designs, which is based in Toronto, sent its vintage styles and chic jewellery down the catwalk on two of the world's most gorgeous and popular plus-size models: Kelsey Olson and Lindsey Garbelman.

The Ashaki collection was third in the queue of shows at the FFFWeek finale, and it marked the first-ever appearance of Kelsey Olson on the runway. She glided down the catwalk with all of the poise and sophistication that her elegant gown warranted, her curvaceous figure giving her satiny garment a seductive yet classy shape. Her tresses shone like burnished gold in the runway lights, as if her hair itself were jewellery, adding a quality of richness and affluence to the look.

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Skillfully providing visual options for the still photographers, Kelsey fluidly transitioned between a variety of demeanours during her walk. The following image caught her beaming with happiness, as if she felt like a bona fide goddess in her gown--understandably so, for she surely resembled one. Notice the effective styling detail in the dress: the slit near the bottom, which allowed it to open up at the legs. Thanks to her graceful runway walk, Kelsey induced the gown to unfold in this manner, giving it a wonderful sense of drama.

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If we come in close--very close, as close as possible--to Kelsey's face, we see the pure happiness that radiated from her angelic countenance. This close-up also prompts one to admire the brilliant FFFWeek cosmetics artistry, which gave Miss Olson a silvery illumination around her eyes, drawing attention to their crystalline fairness. Brilliant model that she is, Kelsey did not merely glance upward to express the joy in her heart at that moment, but to achieve a specific modelling effect: to show off her golden earrings (which were also by Ashaki Charles Designs), and to allow the photographers to take a clear snapshot of these accessories. To have the presence of mind to highlight such a feature while maintaining a photogenic expression and a fluid runway walk is no mean feat, but Kelsey made it look effortless.

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The most attractive aspect of Kelsey's Ashaki gown was the fact that it was sleeveless, and thus bared a generous expanse of the wearer's neck-and-shoulder area. On a fair, soft-figured model such as Kelsey, the resulting visual effect was intoxicating, as the dark fabric set off her delicate white skin, effectively framing it. For her end-of-the-runway pose, she adopted one of her signature vulnerable looks, those tender expressions that entrance viewers and involve them emotionally in her persona.

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With her full arms and rounded facial features, Miss Olson exhibited a well-fed opulence that harmonized with the majesty of the gown and the accessories. The Ashaki bracelet enhanced this impression of decorative richness--and observe how Kelsey's hand gesture subtly drew attention to this piece of jewellery. Her fair hair and gentle demeanour gave her the look of a princess. She was the ideal model for this ensemble, without question, and it, in turn, was the perfect attire for her runway debut.

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The true genius of the Ashaki Charles presentation can only be appreciated when one realizes that not only did Kelsey and Lindsey appear in this collection, but they visually bookended it--for whereas Kelsey closed the show, Lindsey opened it; Kelsey was the final model on the Ashaki runway, and Lindsey was the first.

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Miss Garbelman introduced the world to Ashaki Charles Designs in this alluringly fitted dark-grey dress, which conformed to her every succulent curve. As in the case of Kelsey's gown, the elegant simplicity of Lindey's dress allowed the viewer's attention to focus on the ornate Ashaki jewellery--the earrings, necklace, and bracelet. In a vivid testament to the aesthetic superiority of genuinely full-figured models over their faux-plus rivals, observe how the sumptuous fullness of Lindsey's arms and the luscious curve under her chin gave her a look of richness, which harmonized perfectly with the opulence of her accessories. Her lavishly well-fed appearance was the perfect complement to the decorative jewellery.

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This being Lindsey's sophomore outing at FFFWeek, she prowled the runway like a seasoned professional, her walk confident and secure, her every movement smooth and polished, yet with just the right amount of dramatic intensity, as this image demonstrates.

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If we brighten the photograph a little (for the benefit of viewers who are still using cathode-ray monitors rather than flat-screen displays, and thus have lower gamma contrast), we see the robust contours of the model's physique, which the dress lovingly displays. Note too the sensual trace of dimpled flesh on Lindsey's arms--an attractive, natural trait possessed by true plus-size models. Her magnificent tresses flow seductively over her bare shoulders.

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At the end of the runway, Lindsey struck her own signature pose, a contrapposto stance that exuded confidence and self-assurance, qualities that added to her luxurious beauty. One sensed the alluring weight of her physique, so beautifully adorned by the fitted dress and her elegant accessories, which together created the impression of a lady of means who is used to the best that life has to offer.

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Bravo to Tene Charles and Julie Thomson, the co-creators of Ashaki Charles Designs, for fabricating such gorgeous clothes and accessories for full-figured women, and for presenting them on two of the most gorgeous plus-size models in the world. The aristocratic opulence of the models' robust looks harmonized perfectly with the vintage richness of their wardrobe and accessories, epitomizing the maximalist aesthetic at its finest.

Readers can learn more about Ashaki Charles Designs by visiting the company's official web site and Facebook page.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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Old 13th July 2011   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 441
Default Re: FFFWeek: Ashaki Charles Designs (Kelsey, Lindsey)

Kelsey and Lindsey both looks absolutely dazzling on the runway for Ashaki Charles Designs. I especially love the image in which Kelseys gown opens up like a flower at the bottom, while her hair flows back behind her. You can feel the motion in the image. And Lindsey has never had a more stunning figure than now - so curvy . The close-up shows the sensual weight in her face and her shapely, fleshy arms. And the accessories are so opulent - perfect for these sumptuously proportioned models.

At the Les pitreries de Vanoue FB page, I saw the following Ashaki Charles ad, with another gorgeous image of Kelsey from FFFWeek:

She is a living angel. No, in fact, the angels themselves wish that they could be as beautiful as Kelsey.
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Old 24th July 2011   #3
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: FFFWeek: Ashaki Charles Designs (Kelsey, Lindsey)

Shortly after we posted our review of Kelsey and Lindsey's runway turn for Ashaki Charles Designs at Full-Figured Fashion Week 2011, we received a lovely message from Tene Charles (the "Charles" in "Ashaki Charles Designs"), who informed us of the following:

Once we found out we had an opportunity to work with Kelsey and Lindsey, we were ecstatic! Two of the most beautiful women in the industry wearing our debut collection - what more could anyone ask for?

When the designers were asked to select a model to wear one of their garments to the reception on June 15, we responded immediately, asking for Kelsey. While at the event, we learned our speed paid off because many designers requested her, but our email arrived first.

Both Lindsey and Kelsey have already inspired us to start sketching for our next collection. This past week has been an opportunity of a lifetime.

Isn't that fascinating? It turns out that Kelsey was much in demand at FFFWeek--and for good reason. The "many designers" who participated in the event clearly realized that she would be the ideal representative to showcase their fashions to the wider world, and the result was the plus-size-fashion equivalent of a bidding war. But Ashaki Charles got to her first.

It puts one in mind of a historical precedent. In 1955, the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler died, who had been the music director of the world's two greatest orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. Upon learning of the maestro's death, both orchestras immediately dispatched emissaries to the young Herbert von Karajan, who had already acquired a reputation as the finest conductor in the world. Although von Karajan was an Austrian, the Berlin envoy got to him first. As a result, for the next 34 years, Karajan led the Berlin Philharmonic and turned it into the finest orchestra the world has ever known, achieving a level of music-making unequalled before or since. But who knows? If the Vienna Philharmonic had been the first to secure his talents, perhaps the Viennese, and not the Berliners, would have gone down in history as the greatest orchestra of all time.

Likewise, Ashaki Charles recognized Kelsey's beauty and talent, and how much in demand these qualities would make her with the FFFWeek participants. Thus, with lightning speed, they enlisted this goddess's services for themselves. Bravo to both the model and this design team for the beauty of their accomplishments in New York.

Miss Olson looking breathtaking at the June 15th FFFWeek media reception (the event for which Ashaki Charles won the Kelsey "bidding war"), in a photograph from the Ashaki Charles Twitter feed:

Click to enlarge

- Ashaki Charles Designs

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Old 4th September 2011   #4
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Re: FFFWeek: Ashaki Charles Designs (Kelsey, Lindsey)

Just on a whim, I dropped by the Ashaki Charles Designs site today and was delighted to see that the lovely designs from the company's collection at FFFWeek are now available online.

The shopping page features two more photos of Kelsey and Lindsey. Kelsey looks like a delicate angel - but with a sensually curvy figure. No wonder that Ashaki Charles was so excited to have her representing their line.


Lindsey appears especially gorgeous in this photo, which celebrates her opulent figure. She is absolutely at the peak of her beauty right now, and is doing the finest modelling of her career. She has become a lusciously proportioned goddess, with soft arms and alluring fullness at the waist. I love how her hair caresses her cheek.


Ashaki Charles's taste in models is as excellent as its taste in fashion and jewellery. What a remarkable debut for this label, to have been represented by two of the most gorgeous models in the world. Kelsey's and Lindsey's images prove that everything looks more attractive on models with true plus-size bodies.
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Old 27th September 2011   #5
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Posts: 133
Default Re: FFFWeek: Ashaki Charles Designs (Kelsey, Lindsey)

The Ashaki Charles Designs video from FFFWeek has just been released, providing a thrilling look at two of the world's most gorgeous models on the runway.

This label structured its show perfectly, with the Judgment of Paris favourites both opening and closing the presentation. Lindsey is the first model to emerge, while Kelsey's appearance is the grand finale.

Lindsey walks with real aplomb, sashaying down the runway exuding ultra-confidence. The sleeveless design shows off her arms, and its body-conscious fit defines every curve of her figure, especially her full, luscious waist. She tosses her hair at 0:22 is a deliciously flirtatious manner.

Kelsey emerges at 3:38, her hair shining like the sun, her angelic face looking girlish and cherubic. She has that grace in her walk, that fluidity of movement, that makes her appear so elegant. The extra poses that she gives at the end of the runway are exquisite. I remember from an earlier video how quickly she's able to transition from one expression to another, a talent that's visible here.

For all that one can enthuse about FWPS in Brazil, there's no question that FFFWeek is the gold standard when it comes to the curvy catwalk. Most other so-called plus-size fashion shows events only use faux-plus models, so they don't even qualify as true plus-size presentations. But by selecting goddesses who are gorgeous and genuinely full-figured, FFFWeek showcases designer fashions the way they should be seen. And the level of the camera work in these official videos from the show is top-notch professional quality. This is the kind of "fashion television" I want to be seeing on broadcast TV!
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