On November 12, Curvy Magazine attended the Indie Designer Fashion show hosted by Re/ Boutique. Re/Dress is a premiere vintage and resale clothing boutique specializing in sizes 14 and up (vintage 10 and up). This is their 2nd year of operation and the 2nd Indie Designer Trunk show. The fashion show is one of many activities taking place November 12-14 as part of the annual event. The weekend was filled with opportunities for customers to meet the designers and purchase items at the boutique. The goal was to meet plus size consumers’ demand by making fashion more accessible.
The event was kicked off by acoustic soul artist Celisse Henderson, who coincidentally, was one of the very first Re/Dress shoppers! She belted out 2 very soulful tunes that captivated the audience. After the great performance, everyone remembered that we were there for a Fashion Show!
The event showcased five design houses ranging from ready-to-wear to jewelry to outerwear. There were notable guests in attendance including Gwen Devoe, creator of Full Figured Fashion Week; Mia Amber, Plus Size Model; Madeline Figueroa Jones, Editor of PLUS Model Magazine and Anjula and Shuchi of Material Thangs Styling Group. The industry support displayed was critical for this iconic event. Each designer had a clear and distinct point of view on what works for today’s plus size woman:
Size Queen Clothing by Bertha Pearl
The first designer, Bertha Pearl was born in Brooklyn, NY but currently resides in Oregon. The line was the perfect opener because it was filled with retro whimsy energy. With a focus on techniques to flatter the plus sized woman’s body, Bertha was inspired by sparkle and vintage fabric. Think 50’s housewife, but way more fly. There was an item to suit every personality type and occasion, but the must have piece was the hot pink metallic cocktail dress. The line was very colorful and offered a wide range of items – from a dress that looked like an apron paired with plaid hot pants to a matching red tweed pencil skirt with hooded cape. It was clear that the pieces were made to be seen; “Fat visibility is the idea of feeling proud about who your are. Fat is ok.” remarked Bertha. You can catch her adding more sparkle to her pieces while working on a collection of bathing suits and bikinis.
La’Dans Closet by Latresa Harper and Danyelle Freeland
Next up was dynamic designing duo Latresa Harper and Danyale Freeland, creators of La’Dan’s Closet. They have been in business for a year and joined forces to address a void in the plus size market: outerwear. Color and fit are the focal point of their designs, which are offered in sizes 12-32. Their line was a clear crowd pleaser. The styles were classically chic and offered in bold and exciting colors. We saw a long camel cape with armholes and tie-waist belt, a short blue swing jacket, bright yellow wrap waist ¾ trench and many more! The item to remember was the military influenced jacket with detachable shoulder capelet and sweater sleeves – it offers convertibility, which is always a bonus for outerwear. With the Fall just settling in, this was a great presentation that proved that outerwear can be sexy too! Look out for a full clothing line from these ladies in February 2011. It will be vintage inspired but maintain the chic quality that the brand has used to differentiate itself. If the outerwear line is any indication, the full line will definitely be a winner!
Fennimas Jewelry by Rachel Fennimore and JESSICA PRITCHETT Shoes by Jessica Pritchett
The next pairing was interesting because it showcased 2 designers at once; Rachel Fennimore and Jessica Pritchett. Accessories can make or break an outfit, so it was refreshing that the folks at Re/Dress included these designers in the show. Their designs were a perfect complement to each other and were paired with LBDs (little black dresses) from the current Re/Dress inventory.
Rachel designs a couture costume jewelry line; Fennimas Jewelry. Pieces from all three of her collections – Jungle Love, Vegas Glam and Brotherly Love (the new men’s collection) – came down the runway. Her craftsmanship was impeccable and evidenced by her selection of materials; rich gold chains, handmade ribbon, and macramé plated metals were just a few. The inspiration for each piece also stood out. Most notably with the Pharaoh necklace; its elephant adornment was regal and breathtaking at the same time. Since the women’s collections have been out for a year, Rachel is focusing on promoting the men’s brand as well as adding headbands and belts to the collections. She also offered Curvy Magazine an exclusive update; she has aspirations of creating a children’s jewelry line and hopes to launch in 2012. Remember you heard it here first!
Jessica, a former music industry mover and shaker, has loved shoes all her life but began her foray into shoe design in 2009. She offers a wide range of styles and sizes – 6-13W to be exact! The shoes are manufactured in Portugal so craftsmanship is of the utmost importance to the self-professed shoe fanatic. The shoes were beautiful in an array of rich, metallic jewel tones. All of the shoes we saw were made of patent leather, which added to their futuristic feel. These are the shoes Jane Jetson would wear if she was a real person! Where else can you find a sling-back, cutout shoe boot? For the Spring 2011 line, you can expect to see a reflection of what customers want infused with current trends. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @JP_Footwear!
Cupcake & Cuddlebunny by Rachel Kacenjar
This finale line embodied its name perfectly, each garment is named after candy or a sweet confection and makes you feel yummy inside! The figure hugging designs came in animal print, polka dot and sleek satin. The subdued pieces mixed with fantasy projected a feminine edginess that is new and exciting. Rachel struck a tender balance of retro and couture to help make the garments feel timeless. She showed that black does not have to be boring with her LBD. The dress had horizontal stripes down the front that helped to contour the body and military inspired gold chains on the shoulders. The gasps were unanimous when this garment came down the runway. The crowd definitely left wanting more Cupcake & Cuddlebunny; we can not wait to see what else this line has to offer!
This show truly had something for everyone. Whether a size 10 or 32, these indie designers proved that the plus market is ready for more high end fashion. Re/Dress owner, Deb Malkin, hopes that events like this will help influence major brands and stressed the importance of supporting emerging plus designers “For the designers, it is important to bring them together with customers to interact in order for them to sell clothes and execute their creativity.” Next year, she hopes to add more designers and with her dream of expanding regionally, watch out for a plus indie trunk show in a city near you!