Wednesday, 12 November 2014

How to Poo-Poo on the Plus-Size Movement, by JD Williams.

Since my last rant about The Independant's Chloe Hamilton and her view on Zoella / female role models went down so well with you lot (you obviously love a good vent as much as I do), I thought I'd do another one. 

This isn't something I expected to make a regular thing, but since last time I just keep noticing occurrences in regards to fashion and us ladies that puts an angry bee in my bonnet. 

This week's groan is in relation to that debate-instigating term 'plus-size' and how certain brands are managing to unravel any ounce of positivity that surrounded the term and it's movement. 

Body image and the plus-size figure will always be a topic for discussion, but this particular post comes in the wake of JD William's recent response to Victoria Secret's 'Perfect Body' campaign. 

For those who haven't been following the story, Victoria Secrets recently released their 'Perfect Body' campaign, with this image (see below) 

Now I'm sure I don't have to explain why this campaign and it's title is hugely insulting to so many of us girls out there with 'imperfect bodies.' 

I find it side-splittingly ironic that Victoria Secrets is calling a wide section of their own demographic imperfect since their sizes go up to a UK size 18, yet none of the women featured here seem to be above a size 6, because heaven forbid we should see what real women look like. Good lord no. 

Anyhoo, obviously this sparked outrage and a Twitter backlash was established with the hashtag #iamperfect, and multiple girls trolling Victoria Secrets stores wielding boldly hashtagged signs. 

Since then, Victoria Secrets have scornfully gone back to the drawing board and renamed the campaign 'A Body for Everybody.' So they've gone from a boldly insulting title to an empty, referring-to-no-one-and-nothing-at-all-doesn't-even-make-sense title.

I feel Victoria Secrets have been forced to learn their lesson in this instance. My beef lies with JD Williams and their ridiculous attempt at a retaliation, which is this (see below). 

To add insult to injury, JD William's retaliatory campaign is called 'Perfectly Imperfect'. When I found this out, I did one of those winces we all make when watching the Apprentice as someone makes a very bad, cringe-worthy decision. 

Now JD Williams call themselves 'specialists in the area of larger size womenswear' on their website, and don't get me wrong, this advert by itself as an advertisement for lingerie by any brand is uplifting. It's refreshing to see a fuller-sized figure in a lingerie campaign, and all these women look stunning, 


the fact that neither of these brands understand that the words 'perfect' and 'imperfect' should NOT be thrown around by lingerie or clothing brands AT ALL baffles me. 

Just a heads up to JD William's marketing team, the word 'imperfect' means, and I quote: 'not perfect; faulty or incomplete.' 

Well cheers then JD Williams, because as happy as I am to see buxom beauties heading an underwear campaign, your title is a thorn in my side. I don't look like any of the models in the Victoria Secrets campaign, who are deemed as 'perfect', and I don't look like any of the models in the JD Williams campaign, who according to the brand are perfectly 'faulty and incomplete', whatever that means. 

So what does that make me? Some sort of abnormal, misshapen mutant?

What JD Williams haven't realised is that in an attempt to shame Victoria Secrets, they've shamed themselves by making the same mistake. 

JD William's size range goes from 12 - 30, yet in their campaign the only sizes I see are sitting at the slimmer end of that scale. 

Here's what I would have done. 

A few months ago, Kiss Me Deadly (a vintage inspired, retro lingerie brand) held a fashion show for their latest lingerie collection. Guess who the models were. Their fans. That's right, fans and buyers of the label applied to be models for the show, and those that got through were of a range of shapes and sizes. The show not only proved that the underwear could be worn by anyone, but that us real women who don't look anything like any woman on a lingerie advert can still wear the items and be beautiful, seductive and damn right proud. 

Now I myself still struggle with my own body image and I would not be the best person to lead a campaign of self-love and healthy self-esteem. However JD fricking Williams, on my journey to get to that place I have embraced the subtle yet powerful plus-size movement that has been growing as of late, and I really don't need you categorizing me into the box of  Victor Frankenstein's scraps. 

Rant Over!


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Kiss Me Deadly's Runway and Cabaret Extravaganza

Just last Friday, I was invited to attend Kiss Me Deadly’s Runway and Cabaret Extravaganza at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill.

Now if you’ve never heard of Kiss Me Deadly before, they are a lingerie gem. Based in London, they are an independent retro lingerie brand that takes their inspiration from 40s and 50s fashion.
I’ve loved this brand for a long time now. Their lingerie epitomises the typical 1940s film noir femme fatale, channelling strength, confidence, beauty and seduction. Sultry collections of lace and silk bras, suspender belts, girdles and stockings mimic the styles of classic 40s temptresses Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable, showing us that being naughty can be more fun than being nice.

So you can imagine my excitement when I got invited to the event, and it was such a fantastic evening. The night was dedicated to showcasing Kiss Me Deadly’s current and upcoming collections, but with a twist. This was no ordinary fashion show. Instead of using professional models, KissMe Deadly gave the stage to some of their most dedicated fans in a show choreographed by Irreverant Dance, a LGBTW-friendly, body-positive dance studio.

That wasn’t it though. In-between the amazing runways from the Kiss Me Deadly fans (aka Deadlies) were performances from Tempest Rose and her burlesque beauties from Madame JoJo’s House of Burlesque. All were dressed in Kiss Me Deadly lingerie, Prong Jewellery, Kezia Argue Headpieces and Face Lace (these are incredible. The name is pretty self explanatory, but the designs are so stunning.) From typical burlesque acts seductively undressing behind giant feather fans, to LoLo Brow’s burlesque parody of Nigella Lawson, the entire night was jam packed with sexy, seductive, tongue-and-cheek humour. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am so grateful to the Kiss Me Deadly team for giving me the opportunity to attend.