It really is them, not you.

To my dearest readers plus size and otherwise,

I am choosing to use this week as a “think-it-over” week for all of you out there who like myself have difficulties in the fashion world. It really doesn’t matter what size you are. Size 0-32, we all have difficulty finding comfort in our own skin. The fashion industry is a weird place. Some of it wrecks our self-image unintentionally and some of it purposefully puts before us unobtainable standards in order to get us to buy more stuff. It’s a constant push toward something we will never attain. Why? Because we keep giving them our money.

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I don’t want to completely soap box you, but with the photo shop machine it’s hard for some to accept that Barbie sets an incredible high standard for human beings. She’s just a doll after all. I myself have been feeling rather bummed lately, and I think it’s time to have a nice reminder that there really are people working against you and we should all learn to embrace our bodies and encourage each other. I’m not saying let’s all go get bikini’s and bare all, I’m just saying give yourself a little body love!

You only have one remember?

My very good friend in Colorado sent me this great article about someone who has been studying in-depth the issues of plus size women and the fashion industry. It’s a good thought-provoking read, maybe a bit subversive, but it gets the wheels turning.

How Fat Bodies Queer Fashion

Keep your heads up! We all have something awesome to bring to the table. The fashion industry is too big to let one faction of it get us down.

❤ Evelynlouise

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If looks could kill… they would

There is some debate on when the term “fashion” really started to apply to how we seek and view clothing today. Like any good origin story people remember key points, but get fuzzy on the details. Some believe that fashion was a means to separate the aristocracy from the poor from as far back as clothing was worn for more than just physical protection. Did cave men have a hierarchy in the types of pelts they wore? No one really knows the answer to that. Others believe that fashion as it exists today, with the need to show off wealth with luxurious duds started during the Italian Rennaisance. Some people are adamant that fashion as we know it doesn’t start until the Baroque era, but in my humble opinion this is way late to finally acknowledge a burgeoning profession.

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Whenever Fashion as we know it arrived, both Men and Women have been doing absolutely absurd things to their bodies throughout history just to keep up with the times. From busks, corsets, cod pieces, stays, farthingales, bum rolls, crinolines, high heels, mercury lined hats, and arsnic based dyes to hair plucking, shaving, tanning, piercing, dieting, we’re all part of the large wheel that is a societal need to fit in.

So you say okay, duh, get on with it. Well this super awesome, The Bata Museum has put together a little exhibit called Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century. It follows some of the crazy things people wore and did to themselves back in the turn of the 20th century. You can see the video by clicking the photo below.

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Here’s another article about this amazing exhibit!

Arsnic in gowns, crinoline’s that led to many women being burned alive, mercury in hats, the list is astounding and we may read this with a sense of piety that “at least we have come a long way an know better than to do some of these things now.”

The truth is, that the FDA and other governmental agencies make sure that things like arsnic dyes don’t make their way into your house anymore, and that your children’s toys aren’t full of lead. But are the dangers really gone from fashion?

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Think about it! We still cultivate dangerous fashion trends all the time. Anorexia was a huge deal in the fashion industry and for a brief stint in the 90’s was encouraged. Then you have Models like Isabelle Caro (seen above), who actually died due to complications because of her anorexia. It’s why we ended up with a million PSA’s about eating and not stuffing designer drugs up your nose.  (Don’t get me wrong, some women, are naturally this thin, it’s usually linked to some health problems. So don’t just assume because you see a very skinny woman she is anorexic. I think this is just as rude as someone assuming you eat too much because you have a big behind.)

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We have tanning, which is a huge debate among those who love to keep a tan all year round and those who are very concerned with the potential it has for causing skin cancer. The dangers of too much tanning have even been subject to court litigation and law making. In response to this need for a deeper complexion, many have turned to safer alternatives such as bronzers and spray tans. A  similar path has been taken with smoking cigarettes. It used to be an image, a fashionable pastime, and now we see it’s juxtaposition to the types of health issues it causes. In efforts to get rid of tobacco millions of dollars are poorer into anti-smoking campaigns. So fashionably smokers have responded by moving to e-cigarettes.

I think that these are all immediate things that come to mind when we think of deadly habits in fashion, however, not all of our bad fashion habits are in your face and not all of them are deadly. But think about it, how many times have you crammed you feet into uncomfortable shoes because they complemented an outfit. Have you ever gotten an eye infection from wearing your contacts too long? What about the need to have a smooth figure? Do you own spanx?

Just some food for thought. In the end, fashion is driven by consumers and designers. It is generally intended to be a means of self expression for the wearer. You should do what makes you happiest and most comfortable. But the next time you poke yourself in the eye with a mascara brush, or cut yourself while shaving, remember that these “deadly fashions” aren’t as far away as they seem.

Love always,

Evelynlouise

A Portfolio… A process

Hello my darling fashion lovers and lovely curvy ladies of the internet. I know that I mentioned in my bio about my experiences in fashion so far and my hopes and dreams of reaching more curvaceous ladies such as myself with wonderful comfortable fashions that make them feel good about themselves. However, in posting words, words, words on the internet, I find that sometimes I wonder more about the people who write these crazy blogs.

I am a sucker for magazines that profile artists and allow you to invade their home spaces and look at the creative energy of their every day lives. I recently acquired the Moly Makes DIY Fashion magazine and haven’t stopped obsessing over some of these artists amazing lives in fashion and even more their gorgeous studio spaces. In addition to this you see snippets of the work they do in the spaces it was created. If you like that sort of thing and crafting and can get your hands on a copy, this was a truly wonderful issue!

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So in the interest of opening up my creative process and in general the journey my art and fashion has taken through the years I thought I would share some snippets of my portfolio for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy.

You’ll notice I am quite obsessed with history of costume and have been for a very long time. It’s probably good I love the subject so much I teach it.

n 2005 I began college. My goal was to have a MFA by the time I was finished with school. By my sophomore year I was still taking art classes, but the work I was producing was more along the lines of textile based pieces and well things like this piece above. This is one board in a series of 4 showing the skeletal muscular systems as well as the skeletal muscular systems of fashion. This piece is from the Fall of 2006, the medium is matte board and colored pencil.

n 2005 I began college. My goal was to have a MFA by the time I was finished with school. By my sophomore year I was still taking art classes, but the work I was producing was more along the lines of textile based pieces and well things like this piece above. This is one board in a series of 4 showing the skeletal muscular systems as well as the skeletal muscular systems of fashion. This piece is from the Fall of 2006, the medium is matte board and colored pencil.

Most of these drawings came from spring of 2007.  Media Marker and colored pencil.

Most of these drawings came from spring of 2007.
Media Marker and colored pencil.

I spent a lot of time using fashion magazine pictures for drawing practice.

I spent a lot of time using fashion magazine pictures for drawing practice. Media #2 Pencil

Media, Cut Paper.

Media, Cut Paper.

This is a second hand jacket re-design from 2004. the patch is hand painted.

This is a second hand jacket re-design from 2004. the patch is hand painted.

A Historical Costume piece I designed for Minnetrista's historical house tour guides. 2008.

A Historical Costume piece I designed for Minnetrista’s historical house tour guides. 2008.

The second of two pieces designed and made for Minnetrista's historical tours.

The second of two pieces designed and made for Minnetrista’s historical tours.

graphic design 2009.

graphic design 2009.

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2012

2012

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Wedding dress for a friend 2013

Wedding dress for a friend 2013

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Thank you for perusing some of my work, This is just a scattering of pieces. As I pulled pieces of my work I realized my more recent pieces are not pictured.

Thank you for perusing some of my work, This is just a scattering of pieces. As I pulled pieces of my work I realized my more recent pieces are not pictured.

2014 dress

2014 dress

My New Favorite skirt.

So, I started making skirts about 3 months ago for the summer season. Gathered lightweight fabrics into a straight waistband. I wanted some nice airy skirts for the summer season. I started sewing some for my lovely beach vacation, but found myself running out of time. So, after a frustrating evening of shopping last minute (I know, I should know better), I stumbled upon a beacon of light in Target.skirt

 

At First glance this skirt looks a bit odd, and admittedly the product photography is not the best, However, It’s one of those garments that you don’t fall in love with until you take it off the rack and try it on.

Now, this style of skirt is popular in many stores right now, but what appeals to me for plus size ladies you may as?

  • It has a flat waist band at the front of the skirt that gives a defined waist without the restriction of a belt.
  • it has an elastic waistband in back, which allows the skirt to move with you throughout your day and is not restrictive, this is  also easily concealed by sweaters or shrugs.
  • Because of the elastic waist band the skirt can be worn at any of the body points, but most importantly at the natural waist. The elastic in the back allows for variation in waist height and size without causing the skirt to become uncomfortable, and the flat waist at the front gives a nipped in waist that flatters most figures.
  • The A- line shape of the skirt as well as the slight gather in the waist band gives the skirt an overall shape that is flattering to most figures. The gathering in the front isn’t enough to accentuate large rolls or lumps and bumps, the a-line means there isn’t too much fabric  in any area of the skirt, but the flare balances larger hips and thighs.
  • It’s a maxi length that doesn’t drag the floor and is perfect for showing off wicked shoes.
  • AND THE BEST PART: It has pockets. pretty reasonably sized pockets.

For just $30, and 2 different prints and 2 different colors to choose from. They come in sizes 1x-4x targets suggested size range 14-28. They are machine washable, It’s an awesome buy, in fact, I bought two. The black skirt looks amazing over many of my t-shirts and I also style it over some of my tube shaped dresses to change up the look of my more slender dresses.

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I’ve seen similar skirts at several locations in an array of colors. I can see these skirts making a comfortable transition into the Fall and Spring as well, as they are made out of a dressier polyester fabric. I have not only worn these skirts to the office, but also to a day at the beach! Target carries all the way up to a 4x. Give them a wear! Tell me what you think!

Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

This week I am soaking up some sun on a sunny Beach on the East coast. It’s the first vacation I’ve been on in over 4 years.  So in the mean time what fashion advice do I have to impart to you this week?

No advice really, just an introduction to some killer bathing suits that have come out this season. These awesome two piece swimming styles are pretty flattering for a two piece on a larger figure. I know that two piece swim suits aren’t for everyone, and while choosing a swimsuit style it is important that whatever you choose that you find something you feel both comfortable and confident in. The great news is tummy smoothing technology has come a long way and curvier ladies are no longer reduced to wearing just a swim dress or blousy tankini. I personally am an aficionado of  one piece 1950’s marylin monroe style bathing suits like this one. In fact I own this swimsuit below in a mint color.

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But while I enjoy soaking in the vitamin D and lounging on the sand, please enjoy these awesome new high waisted two piece bikinis. The great thing about the bottoms is that by being high waisted and including a tummy smoother, it softens any lumps and bumps showing off just enough of that smooth stomach in the middle. I didn’t think I would like them, when I recently when bathing suit shopping, but Forever 21 had some styles that looked pretty spectacular. If you find yourself envious and in want of one of these lovely suits, go to google and search plus size two piece swimsuits. Google has a new tab for shopping avenues. If you need to try one on, I have seen them in Forever 21 and Torrid.

Enjoy my fabulous readership!

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