Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/big/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Couture | Manolo for the Big Girl
Archive - Couture RSS Feed

Support Your Fellow Big Girl! Cabiria Style

So. I am always, always hearing my plus size sisters complaining they can’t get Nice Things To Wear, that it’s all terribly constructed sweat shop rags with glitter and tragic silkscreens and those dreaded flaccid ruffles.

Well, time to put your money where your mouth is. You want variety? You want high-quality, ethically made garments? You want clothes that are constructed as well as any top notch straight-sized line? Here you go.


Support award-winning designer Eden Miller get her Cabiria Style line into stores.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I probably wouldn’t wear any of these dresses, with perhaps the exception of the silk jersey Valentina, but that’s just because this collection’s particular variety of whimsy isn’t one to which I’m typically drawn.

I would serve this so hard Venus Williams would blush

I’m going to support Eden not because I love what she’s offering today, but because I want to see what she’ll do next season and the season after that (maybe something with more of a sleeve? Please? Not everyone wants to jam out with their hams out. Also, if you don’t tell me where you got those emerald green cowboy boots I will die a thousand deaths and then never be able to buy your collection.)

Where DID she get those boots?

Since there seems to be a whole lotta Fellini happening in and around Cabiria Style (Nights of Cabiria, my second favorite Fellini flick, inspired the line’s name), I’m going to guess the Valentina dress is named after the luminous Valentina Cortese, who is featured prominently in my favorite Fellini film, Juliet of the Spirits.

What Miss Plumcake is…

Hello my little marshmallow peeps, how’s every little thing? Me? I’m fine. I got exactly zero sleep last night so I’ve got my flawlessly tailored crabby pants on, but it’s Tuesday which means it’s time to find out

What Miss Plumcake is…
(more…)

Thoughts on Capital F Fashion

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the exclusivity of fashion and I’ve decided I just don’t buy it.

That being said, we ought to differentiate between Fashion and the Fashion Industry.

The mainstream fashion industry and media has its head so far up its own emaciated backside that it can use its own lungs as convenient and ergonomically sound in-flight neck pillows.  That’s not going to change any time soon, so take whatever good you can find from it as a pleasant surprise and leave the rest. My current scientifically bangin’ measurements are 53-361/2-54 and I cannot buy ready-to-wear from any major designer.  That is screwed up.  I have –albeit on a larger scale– pretty the exact same proportions as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and the Venus De frickin’  Milo.  If you can’t design clothes that look great on my figure *coughMiucciaPradacough* the problem? Is not with me.

But Fashion? Fashion is by no means the exclusive provenance of 15 year-old Eastern Bloc automatons with bones but no faces. Sure that may be what we see on the runways right now –although admittedly with the revival of the early 90’s looks, we’re getting a bit more diversity of look on the catwalk– but after poring through thousands of editorial fashion images this weekend, particularly from the How to be a F**king Lady tumblr stream which is beyond fabulous I’ve decided one thing:

When you create something unusual, maybe even shocking, put it on your body and  sell it so hard that it becomes fabulous by sheer force of will, THAT is Capital F Fashion. It doesn’t belong to the thin or tall or blonde or rich or whatever actress has a new movie coming out. It belongs to anyone with courage and courage doesn’t give a damn about measurements.

Which isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with wanting to be pretty, but good Fashion –like all good art– is challenging and challenging ain’t always pretty.

So take this as a call to arms.

If we want to do Fashion, we can do Fashion. In fact, as big girls, we might actually even have a natural advantage because we command more attention with our physical presence. After all, there’s a reason Cadillacs are in parades but those little SmartCars aren’t. BE the Cadillac, girls and go commit some Fashion.

‘Tis the Season for the Fashion Maven

British Vogue – By far the best, sharpest journalism of its kind. It’s a spendy subscription, but worth every penny. Less fawning than American Vogue and less kiddie-porn than Paris Vogue, the UK version of the Conde Nast giant is my favorite fashion publication.

Yves Saint Laurent Tribute Sandals – The word iconic is overused, yet it’s justified with the YSL “Tribute” series. With new iterations released every season, still maintaining that sky-high heel and architectural platform, they’re destined to become the YSL signature wink for those in the know as much as the legendary Le Smoking.

Menswear Gold Watch – We’ve been seeing women wearing men’s over-sized watches for a few seasons now –wear it slightly loose, like a bangle– but mostly with round faces. I’m really feeling the louche good taste/bad taste 70’s feeling of a big chunky square face now. Think borrowing your grandfather’s (or father’s) Rolex, but not getting the links taken out.

Madame Grès: Sphinx of Fashion by Patrica Mears– Fashion isn’t stupid. It’s shallow, but it’s not stupid.  The history of why we wear what we wear is fascinating and real lovers of fashion know their history.  Sure any yahoo can recognize a Chanel jacket or might be able to tell you that Valentino is known for bows and its signature shade of red, but if you’re really interested in fashion, you’d do well to dig deeper. Madame Grès, described as the “couturier that time forgot”  by Linda Grant, is a fascinating study and although few know her name, anyone who has noticed those Grecian goddess dresses that’ve been ubiquitous on the red carpet for half a decade might be interested to know it was the reclusive Grès who brought that look to the forefront of modern fashion in the 1930’s.

Be sure to check back at the main ‘Tis the Season page to look back on profiles you’ve missed and look forward to ones that are soon to come!

Shoe Month! The Catch Up Finale!

Oh you thought I’d forgotten about Shoe Month, didn’t you?

Well you were WRONG.

I’ve just been really busy with stuff and I get a little absentminded. I can juuust about show up where I’m supposed to be, but I have no idea who or what is in store for me once I get there. Just another reason why you should always wear cute underwear.

Oh, SPEAKING of underwear, I bought a whole flock of those Avenue Cotton Girl Short Panties last month because a girl can never have too many britches. Yeah. They suck. I mean, I understand a little migration here and there. It’s one of those cruelties of life, like hot married guys. BUT these things aren’t merely migratory, they’re INVASIVE and the less said about them the better. Save yourself the uh, heartache, and skip these.

Right, where were we? Shoes!

So I think I missed three days of Shoe Month, and what better way to end than with Lanvin?

I love Lanvin. Always have and I love Alber Elbaz AT Lanvin (although I’d really like to see what he could do at Chanel, if those Karl retirement rumors are true, which I don’t think they are) and I really love whoever is doing the accessories and shoes, because these Sunbeam” snakeskin pumps on sale at Net a Porter?

Made. Me. Cry.

Honestly, it’s got pretty much everything I love in a couture shoe: neutral snakeskin, almond toe, an ankle strap, an interesting heel AND a little dash of paprika in the form of a hint of bad taste (don’t worry, the gold chain is removable). CRUELLY they’re not in my size, but that’s probably a good thing considering even on sale they’re well over a thousand dollars.

Also making me cry:


These are an absolute bargain at 60% off, and I adore the graceful shape, the 3″ wearability and (bites knuckle) the green heel. Again not in my size, but maybe in yours? I’ll hate you forever, but it’ll be worth it.

Finally we’ve got a pair that is about as close as you’ll get to a comfort shoe in Lanvin. A fuchsia, heeled ballet slipper.


It’s got the same styling you’d see in a traditional elasticated ballet flat, but has a nice solid little midheel. Also? Under $200, and how often to see Lanvin for under $200?

These things would be So. Dang. Useful.

I’m not buying them because I’ve got probably five or six pairs of shoes this exact color, but although they don’t look earth shattering in the first picture, when you see it on the leg it really comes together.

Your Weekly Humpletter: The Plumcake Costume

Hello my little butternuts, how’s every little thing? Yes, it’s time for your weekly humpletter featuring ten new Plumcake-approved tidbits of deliciousness, mostly on sale!

It’s actually a fairly slow week for sales thanks to the swing back from Memorial Day, so we’re doing something a little different.   One of the things I hate hate HATE is when people I know copy my personal style –which is pretty specific– just a little too closely. It’s awkward for everyone involved. I’ll never forget that day years ago when I walked into church to find some sweet but terribly misguided Young Thing wearing what can only be described as a Plumcake costume.

In the parlance of my people, “I liketa died.”

That being said, I thought it might be fun –and I invite you all to play along in the comments– to actually CREATE a Plumcake costume using the sales this week.  Create your own costume in the comments field, just don’t worry if it takes a few minutes to post. It might get caught in the pending filter.

Always CoolFirst up are these Original Ray Ban Wayfarers in dark tortoise shell, on sale at Lord and Taylor using code FRIENDS to take 25% off your entire purchase. I never leave my house without my torties, which are just as cool as the traditional black ones but a bit more sophisticated.

These are timeless timeless timeless and perfect for either sex, so if your father is still wearing those tragiculous Blu-Blockers, why not buy him a pair of Wayfarers?  He’ll look like  an Italian movie star (white loafers not included.)

And if I’m never without my Wayfarers I’m never ever without my Hermes scarf. In fact, you could probably execute a fairly reputable Plumcake costume with just the scarf and the sunnies, plus a pair of vintage clip ons.

Pictured here is my absolute favorite foulard from my not-inconsiderable collection. pc babel scarfIt’s called Les Rivieres de Babel and although I have it in the aqua, there is precisely ONE of these available for purchase  from Potero (on sale too, it is to weep), so get it quick. It’s the only scarf I’ve ever paid a premium for and the photos simply do NOT do it justice. So pretty. So SO pretty.  When a woman d’une certain age showed up fresh off the plane from Paris with it wrapped around her neck, I fell in love and proceeded to hairlip hell until I located one and purchased it with much whimpering of bank account and a month of meal planning that involved the phrase “beans and toast” more often that I typically find ideal.  And you know what? Worth. Every. Penny.

And of course one good turn of Hermes deserves another: the Hermes Bolide in brown box calf.  Again, there’s only one of them, but it’s at 63% off retail and in great condition. Of course as with all Hermes bags, it is entitled to the legendary spa, where loved bags are buffed, primped and polished back to new. Now in the spirit of full disclosure: I don’t own a Bolide, I have a Birkin which I received as a break up gift (sorta) and have used exactly once, but for all the folderol over the Birkin being il handbag di tutti handbags, I’d kinda rather have the Bolide.

pc bolide

Moving from the screamingly expensive to the cheap and cheerful, I mentioned earlier you could compose a pretty decent Plumcake costume with just the scarf, sunglasses and a pair of vintage clip on earrings.

I couldn’t tell you how many pairs of vintage earbobs I own. Hundreds probably. I might even know where a few of them are (I always carry some sparklies in my purse in case I need to put them on in a flash, and usually a few pair at the office, in the car…wherever)

It is a shameful truth that, like snails leave slime and skunks leave stink, I leave a trail of  earrings wherever I roam.  I’ve tried to fix it, but to no avail. I almost always find them again eventually, but in case I don’t, I really hate to invest too much.

cute earrings!

I’m a sucker for figural earrings, or something with a little hint of whimsy, like these floral ear clips on clearance from La Vintage, which will set you back a measly 17 smackaroos.

These little darlings measure about 3/4″ and are just about exactly what I go for in an earring. Casual but still a little sparkly, charming but not cutesy and pretty enough to draw light but not so spectacular as to draw attention away from my face.

If you’re not in the habit of wearing earrings, give it a shot.  I have pierced ears but only wear clip-ons, so I can pull them off or put them on at a moment’s notice.  Also, you should always ALWAYS wear earrings when trying on clothing  (nothing dangly, please). You’ll be amazed on how much more put together you’ll look, just with a simple pair of bobs.

More fabulousness after the jump, clicky click!
(more…)

Six really IS the new fourteen

Remember in The Devil Wears Prada (which I liked despite being the only woman on earth apparently not in love with Meryl Streep) when our straight-sized heroine Andy is told by creative director Nigel that “Six is the new fourteen.”?

Well, life imitates art.

First, you must go and read Style Spy’s revelation.  She could be a plus sized model!

“But wait!” you say “Style Spy is a teensy tiny size 4!” and I say “I know. read on, my friends.”

Mme Style Spy posted a picture of one of Ford Models’ newest members of their plus division, Alyona Osmanova:

The new face of plus size
and remarked how they share almost the exact same measurements, except Aloyna is much, much taller.

Now, just for comparison, Ms Osmanova’s measurements are reported as 36″ 28″ 40″ and she stands at just a hair under six feet tall.

Cindy Crawford, one of the few TRUE supermodels, is only 5’9″ but her model card from 1992 had her measurements as 34″ 22″ 35″,  Naomi Campbell, same height, reported her measurements as 34″ 28″ 40″ on the Tyra show in 2005.

Once again:

Supermodel Naomi Campbell: 34″ 28″ 40″ at 5’9″

Plus size model Alyona Osmanova: 36″ 28″ 40″ at 5’11”

Huh?

Say what you will about the plus divisions of most modeling agencies (get a few sazeracs in me and I will) but at least back in my day –and we’re talking the late 90’s here– the plus sized models were actually plus sized: 12, 14, 16.

But I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom.

At this point, these size categories have been so bended and skewed as to be meaningless, and I think for the fashion world, that’s a good thing.

When reviewing the Chanel Resort collection, Andre Leon Talley (whose memoir ALT you MUST read) wrote:

“Lagerfeld had cast the show with a slightly more curvaceous model named Crystal Renn, not seen on any Chanel catwalk before. This in itself was groundbreaking for the house, but there was also the return of personality models encouraged to be themselves instead of robotic look-alikes.”

What I’m excited about isn’t known fatty hater Karl Lagerfeld casting “slightly more curvaceous” Crystal Renn (and THANK YOU, Mr Talley for that bit of intellectual honesty) it’s that we’re seeing a return to personality models.

We’ve kind of been doing 15 year old Eastern European automatons for almost a decade now, and they do look like robots, and while I understand the appeal having faceless identical clothes hangers must hold for a designer who wants all attention to go to his concept, not her beauty, I think we’ve gone as far as we can go in that direction and I’m extremely heartened to see pretty models once again, some of whom might even have what are recognizably womanly shapes.

I think the general acceptance of size 6 models –and dare I hope for an eight or *gasp* ten OTHER than Crystal Renn– is a much more tenable step in the right direction in the modeling industry than plopping down a handful of true plus size models as gimmick casting.

So I’ll end this little fashion rant the same way I end all my fashion rants, with a hope that fashion will start to incorporate actual meaningful diversity, not just high-heeled tokenism, into its editorials and advertisements.

Page 1 of 3123»