Can we just take a minute and relish the beauty of Caterina Moda, an aesthetically-pleasing Canadian plus size model. She loves to box away at the bag showing that she can pack a mean punch, as well as be sweet and flamboyant — all when the time’s right. She has a whole heap of photos, each one depicting a different style — a different sense of dressing; a different theme for almost every occasion. Promoting an array of red ruby, black sombre, sky blue, lilac, flaming-leopard, sassy-flowery, with a sometimes sportswear outfit. Caterina is eye-catching in every aspect.
Her curvy figure is the utmost tantalizing, leaving everyone with eyes of hearts and faces that are heavenly thunderstruck. She’s very important within the plus size industry because she shows what gaudy style is whilst embracing her anatomy. What more can you ask for from Caterina, when she approaches everything she does from all angles with credence. She knows what self-love is, she knows what sexy is, she knows what being a badass is, and she knows how to sport a healthy positive vibe which makes me always curious about her next move.
Looking forward, let’s see what the salsa lover has in her closet, because she always remains innovative in her art, and invents what style is without losing her sense of creativity.
Since Nike decided to launch its very first plus size range for their sportswear to honour the diversity of women’s bodies, it has received much critique which turned out to be both positive and negative. The outfits were modelled from the beautiful bloggers Danielle Vanier and Gracie Francesca; including models such as Naomi Shimada, Paloma Elsesser, and US Olympian Amanda Bingson.
Here are some posts about Nike Women on Instagram:
A post shared by Sarah Taylor (@sarahtaylorsjourney) on
And below are some images around this topic that we liked the most:
I would like to express to all the women who seek sportswear within the plus size range to not feel cut-off by the negative comments, what people don’t understand is that the whole point in launching this range is for unification and acceptance; so that you can feel comfortable in sports clothes whether you are heading to the gym, going for a walk, or wearing it in-doors, you deserve to feel the gratification in these garments. Coming from myself who participates in fitness activities a few times a week, wear what you want, and feel happy in your sports gear, because it’s not only fitness models who can exclusively wear this, or people who meet the ideology of what a healthy body looks like, anyone can.
I will not display the negative comments because I believe that you don’t need to be reminded of them, however – I still want to remind you that you are human just like everybody else. If you go to the gym or intend to go, embrace your curves in your new gear, don’t dissuade yourself into feeling like you’re not worthy of working out in them or that you shouldn’t be seen in public with them, as the feeling comes from within.
I am sincerely happy that there is finally a range of sportswear that target plus size women because it shows that we are moving forward in civilization; that we are creating a positive change, even if those that cannot comprehend the reason behind this are blinded by image.
So to all the women who can now shop for Nike sportswear because they finally have your size, you are the athletes too, you are the sports model to model the clothes too; every audience needs to be reached out to and the voice has finally made its way through the league.
Male plus size models are steadily stepping-up, although still fresh, they are up and coming, plus it’s something that I’m looking forward to, seeing them make their mark in this fashion industry. I have been seeing a lot lately, neatly dressed from head to toe — looking dapper, from the likes of IMG model Zach Miko, Benjamin Montanez, Kelvin Davis, Claus Fleissner, Troy Solomon, and aspiring brawn model, Arcadio Del Valle, to plus size male bloggers Michael-Anthony, Riccardo Onorato, Alessandro Carella, and Syed Sohail. It’s a prominent journey for this blooming territory, there must be so many questions like who’s next, how big can this get, what does this mean for the fashion industry, and what do they plan to implement regarding plus size modelling for men.
This was something that was thrown in the deep end, but looks like it’s working wonders for the fashion industry. People are hoping to see more of this and I mean significantly, to the point that it sends the industry into a great deal of enthusiasm; something that could eventually happen overnight or gradually depending on the industries future interest and how many people are intrigued overall. I believe it will bring great business and opportunity to many people and designers, as they will be able to design new clothes that are fit for purpose for plus size men.
That’s it for now folks. Let’s see what the future holds for this sector, because I’m sure there are a lot of men who would never have thought this trend would be coming through anytime soon. A great thumbs up from our side to see this happening.
Today is the 15th of March 2016, and it’s the sad moment where I had to realize that my beloved Plus Size Community is about to split into two different branches. I don’t know what to do anymore. This is my first personal post as the editor-in-chief of Style & Curve. The recent incidents inspired me to write this, but let’s start the story from the beginning.
‘I think the word “plus-sized” is totally outdated….I don’t want to be called a label, I want to be called a model.’ ~ Ashley Graham
This is one of the statements that Ashley Graham gave a few days ago during SXSW panel and the most provocative one. I feel hurt and dissapointed, not by the intention behind those words, but by the way they were expressed.
A few days ago I saw the pictures from Ashley’s shooting with the Cosmopolitan, and in this interview she practically said the same thing again. See picture below:
This statement shows that she supports the #DROPTHEPLUS movement. And not only that, she and 4 other ‘PLUS SIZE’ models created their own charitable movement called Alda. See below what this project is all about:
So their intentions are good. Additionally, see the quote below:
The fashion industry is in the middle of an acceptance revolution. Models of all shapes, sizes, and gender identities aren’t just being acknowledged, but celebrated. At the forefront of this revolution is 28-year-old model Ashley Graham, whose TED Talk went viral this year, and a collective of models calling themselves ALDA, working tirelessly to promote self-love, health, and confidence. ~ Yahoo Style
I am totally for an acceptance of all sizes in the mainstream fashion industry, but their wish to keep out any labels and to remove the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ is nothing that I can support. Their idea is similar to the proposition of the #DROPTHEPLUS campaign.
Last year in February the hashtag #DROPTHEPLUS was all over the news after ‘PLUS SIZE’ model Stefania Ferrario, shared a picture of herself where she refers to herself only as a ‘model’:
She created then the page named #DROPTHEPLUS and added this information about what it’s all about:
“The media regularly publishes photos of models and emphasises that they are “plus sized models”. Why are they not referred to simply as “models”?“Plus” implies bigger than “normal”. Any model above US size 4 is considered a “plus sized” model. The average American woman is US size 14. Mixed with all the other body image pressures facing women, the implication that most women are “plus sized”, not “normal” is very dangerous to women and society. The origins of the term “plus size” hints at its outdatedness. It arose in the 1920s to describe the clothes that did not meet the decade’s notorious, slender body ideals. It’s a great step forward that models in the current “plus sized” category are now being used by major fashion labels, but it’s a step backwards to have them constantly referred to as “plus sized”. When the major labels first started using these models, perhaps the “plus sized” term played a positive role in alerting the public to this important change. But it’s now time for complete acceptance, it’s time to drop the label. They’re all “models”, no matter what shape or size. The fashion industry is one of the world’s most influential industries on women. To be labelling a size range “plus”, that actually encompasses the majority of women in the world, is not only harmful, it’s absurd! If something in an industry is causing damage to people, then it needs to be reformed. #droptheplus is a part of a much bigger movement to reform the hyper-influential fashion industry. Italy, Spain and Israel adopted laws in 2013 to prevent the industry from using models with an excessively low Body Mass Index (BMI) and France is currently in the process of bringing in the same laws. Things are beginning to change for the better.”
After this photo was released, a heated online discussion erupted. Suddenly, everyone wanted the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ to be removed. I can understand why they said it, but it was almost getting too much for me. I prepared a post about it for Style & Curve, but then I didn’t publish it because there was too much of a fiery discussion about this topic. I felt that I should rather stay quiet, before I say something wrong. However, people discussed about replacing ‘PLUS SIZE’ with the term ‘CURVY’, in which I didn’t mind this being used. In my view, ‘CURVY’ is more unifying. I already used curvy regularly and I still kept using ‘PLUS SIZE’, but the discussion began to cool down. Only until Ashley Graham said it on the Ellen Show that she doesn’t like the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ on February 24, 2016. See the video below:
Watching this video, I thought to myself: “Ashley, why are you proud to be the first ‘PLUS SIZE’ model featured in SI, but still not happy with the term ‘PLUS SIZE’ in general?” And many other people had the same thoughts as me, and here comes their reaction.
Madeline Figero-Jones & Ashley Graham during the Fashion Night Out by Lane Bryant n September 6th, 2016. Photo by dezignintervention.blog.com
Madeline Figueroa Jones the editor-in-chief of PLUS Model Mag shared the picture of Ashley from the Cosmopolitan shooting a few days ago and said this about the quote: ‘Wow Ashley Graham really? This is a big generalization. Maybe it’s not to your liking but many of us embrace the term plus-size. This is not how we fix the situation; this is how we add fuel to there. smh!!!!’– and here is another one of her comments: ‘We can agree to disagree. The fact is that the term PLUS SIZE is a fashion industry term. When there were no bloggers, magazines and limited clothing companies to offer us clothing WE (the plus size women) used our voice to demand for more. The reason why the industry is where it is, is because we found our pride and created our OWN fashion week Full Figured Fashion Week ™ (New York, Los Angeles and Canada) , our own magazines and get inspiration from plus size bloggers. We adopted this label because we were invisible in the fashion industry. Many of us embrace it and wear it as a badge of honour because we have come from the darkness and are being seen.’
Furthermore, blogger Phat Girl Fresh had to say this about the article quote: ‘I am totally against dropping the plus. To me dropping the plus is an indicator that there is something wrong with the term and that is far from the truth. Yes, we are all women and that is the most important thing however, we are different and we belong to different communities and those communities need to be acknowledged for several reasons. One being that it connects us to one another and that is a vital part of our growth. Another reason is that allows us to be empowered and empower one another. Curvy, thick, sexylicious and whatever else you want to call yourself should be housed under the community you belong to. Every plus size woman is not curvy, there is a difference between thick and fat. I really think that statement like this set us back a bit because it divides the community and takes our attention away from more important topics. I also think that it disconnects you from people who look up to you and support you brand. Just my 2 cent (more like a dollar).’
Pin-Up Model Bianca Bombshell wrote this: ‘.I think there is just an association to the word Plus Size and Fat, and Fat is such a taboo word…that it is almost like some girls are ashamed to be in that category. I think that if you can be proud to say…sure, yeah…I am Plus Size (according to the current standard) and being able to own that label….will help people stop labelling people… we have to own it, be proud of it.’
Jamal Milligan from Jersey City, New Jersey said this: ‘Here’s how I truly feel about it. Maybe I’m a guy and I have no absolute clue on how fashion industries or society work. The term “Plus Size” isn’t a label at all. It’s what is part of us. People, mainly women, been breaking glass cielings for decades, of trying to show that bigger sizes are beautiful, especially when we live in a world that has alot of history and present of discrimination, by gender, sexual orientation, skin color, religion and even size. None of these type of discriminations are exactly the same thing, however, there are so much suffering to breakthroughs that makes have the types of appearances, lifestyles so powerful. What Ashley or Raven Symone said about being “not labeled” is just ignorant and disrespectful to those who fought for them and gave them opportunity to be successful because of them breaking glass cielings of their appearances that they are discriminated for.’
A plus model also responded saying: ‘Well that was a huge slap in the face!! The PLUS SIZE industry has helped shape her career and has provided her with yearssss of support. A shame. Smh’
I can understand that #DROPTHEPLUS movement doesn’t want ‘PLUS SIZE’ to be excluded. I want that too. So, just dropping the ‘PLUS SIZE’ and being left with the problem on how to name all the different sizes is not the solution. I don’t see why Ashley also wants to get rid of the term ‘PLUS SIZE’. She started as a ‘PLUS SIZE’ model and she gets booked as a ‘PLUS SIZE’ model. For the ‘PLUS SIZE’ community her comments feel like a slap in the face, equally for me. The more I hear her saying the same things on and on again, the more I feel insulted. It seems so wrong to hear her saying these words, after she was the lead model in the #PLUSISEQUAL commercial and after being praised for her wonderful achievements as a ‘PLUS SIZE’ model. Therefore, I can totally understand the concerns of the ‘PLUS SIZE’ community regarding #DROPTHEPLUS movement including why they want to #KEEPTHEPLUS. As Madeline said, when no one wanted to promote ‘PLUS SIZE’ fashion the community created their own events. And those events are still very relevant. That’s why we need to #KEEPTHEPLUS alive.
My Solution Proposal
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~ Wayne Dyer
What we have going on in the USA is mainly a split between two branches of a movement in two different ways. With Ashley Graham achieving all those amazing things that seemed impossible for ‘PLUS SIZE’ models in the past, now looks as if the movement has reached it’s peak (P.S. It’s only the start and hasn’t reached it’s peak). On one side are the successful models who suddenly don’t want to be labelled ‘PLUS SIZE’ anymore. And on the other side we have the passionate followers, supporters and the creators of the ‘PLUS SIZE’ movement. So let’s face it, the models didn’t make the movement. It started with women like Gwen DeVoe (creator of the #fffweek) and Madeline Figueroa Jones (creator of #PlusModelMag). They are the creators of the ideas that got us into this big international movement.
Gwen DeVoe (left) and Madeline Figueroa Jones (right)
Moreover, how can we still manage to overcome the segregation from the straight size fashion? Maybe I’m being too positive right now, but how about asking to #ADDTHEPLUS or #INCLUDETHEPLUS? I don’t see any reason to remove a word that has a positive meaning for so many women out there. Why do we need to ask for a change by pushing people away from us? Why can’t we try to unite the different fashion industry sections instead of laying bricks? Is that so difficult? We should suggest a peaceful transition instead of demanding constantly something that will be negative for all of us. The bigger the ‘PLUS SIZE’ events become, the more the straight size fashion section will be happy to work with ‘PLUS SIZE’ brands. The better the ‘PLUS SIZE’ models become, the more models achieve what Ashley did and she has no monopole in this. Our enemies are not the straight size brands; our enemies are not the thin models. The one who wants to exclude is the media. If you look at the audience during a big fashion week event, most people are average size and some are even ‘PLUS SIZE’. They are there because they love what we love: fashion. Sure you have to accept that the designers use mainly straight size models, but my plan in the future is to get them to also use ‘PLUS SIZE’ models. You think that is impossible? It is not if we correct the stigma of the label ‘PLUS SIZE’. ‘PLUS SIZE’ doesn’t mean automatically fat and lazy. Many ‘PLUS SIZE’ women are very active and eat healthier than thinner women. And why is that? Because ‘PLUS SIZE’ women are the ones who have the constant pressure to lose weight. We are getting this told by the media, by our family, by our friends and mostly by our doctors if we go to them. But the truth is, we are all active. Many of us know all the details about diets and some of us are well informed. What hasn’t been widely addressed is that we might have sicknesses that make it harder for us to lose the weight. We all have the right to exist in the way we want to, as long as we hurt no one. So, I can understand why some are #PROUDTOBEPLUS. I can also understand if some models don’t like to be labelled, but I cannot respect an agenda that is going to destroy my beloved ‘PLUS SIZE’ movement. To me all human beings are created equal. I want unity and not segregation!
Hello Beautiful models and fans of Style & Curve, Angelita Aronce Sorensen here with my weekly blog. Today I’m going to blog about Concept Shoots. What is a Concept Shoot? It’s slightly different from a regular shoot. A theme is selected along with specific models to achieve the right look for the shoot. Hair and make-up is professionally done, specific locations are chosen, and sometimes more than one photographer will be shooting. Wardrobe and props are very important to convey the theme of the photo shoot. It’s important that when selecting the team for this shoot everyone understands what the theme is supposed to convey. I’m going to share my experience with my first well-planned concept shoot.
Every year my best friends and I like to find matching costumes for Halloween right after Halloween to get the best deals. I went to the costume store and contacted my friends to ask them for ideas on what they would like our costume for the next year to be. Several ideas were thrown around but the key was to find three of the same costume in the right sizes. My friend June suggested a stewardess type of costume so I looked for one and hit the jackpot. I found the cutest costume that didn’t look “cheap” “costumey” or poorly made. The fabric was nice, the original price was $59.99 and the best part was that they had three in the sizes we needed. Since it was a couple of days after Halloween and the store was closing that day since it was only open for the season, I was able to procure the costume for 75% off so the costumes came out to $15 each. I’m not even sure why but I also purchased a Pilot’s shirt and hat thinking my husband could wear it for Halloween. It turned out to be a great decision.
I also found another great costume online for only $10 on www.buycostumes.com and the regular price was $89.99 that I couldn’t pass up for all three of us. It’s a good thing I purchased another costume since we ended up using the stewardess costumes for our concept shoot. After I sent pictures of the costumes to my friends, June suggested that we shoot with a real plane. Needless to say, we couldn’t exactly go to the airport and ask to shoot for a multitude of reasons and we didn’t know anyone who owns a private plane so we put the idea on the back burner. Fast forward to Christmas Day, our friend Justin was home alone. My husband and I offered to have him spend Christmas Day with our family so we went on base to pick him up since he’s in the Military and lives in Military housing. He lives on a part of the base that I’ve never been too. As we were going in, I saw a beautiful Presidential Jet that was on display. It was just too good to be true so I inquired with the front gate guard about taking photographs with the jet and they said it was absolutely permissible.
I talked to my friends and let them know that the plane was available then selected the date for our shoot. The first person I reached out to is a very talented Hair Stylist and Make-Up Artist named Angela Parker. I called her Angela personally, explained my concept idea and she immediately said yes. She is also an aspiring photographer so she is becoming a triple threat in the industry. I also reached out personally to several photographers and two more photographers came on board, Washhboy Photography and cosplay photographer Mars Leon.
Initially the shoot was only going to be me, June and Valerie but June suggested a pilot would be the icing on the cake for this concept. Luckily I had already purchased the pilot shirt and hat and It had to be someone fun, not shy in front of the camera and could convey a believable pilot. After some thought, I reached out to my friend Anthony De La Garza who is a well-known local cosplayer. He cosplays several characters but is best known for his Batman Cosplay. I reached out to him and he immediately said yes. Everything was falling into place and we had our concept shoot dream team confirmed and excited about the shoot.
We also decided that our jewelry would be the jewelry I gave my friends for Christmas with the necklace having the word “Believe” on it. The concept was a late 60’s early 70’s Airline Stewardess and Pilot Shoot with the Presidential Jet on display. June decided to call the shoot “Believe Airlines” inspired by the necklaces we all wore for the shoot. You can actually see the necklaces pretty well in some of the images.
Two days before the shoot, we had a severe cold snap with ice on the roads and school closures. I checked the forecast and had faith that we would have a nice day. The day of the shoot came and it was an unbelievably beautiful day and a comfortable temperature. Since this was a portfolio building shoot and we were going to spend several hours getting ready and actually shooting, I purchased snacks and drinks and we took over my friend Justin’s house since he lived just down the road from the plane. We started Hair and Make-Up at 1:30pm as planned and left for the location right at 4pm, which was also planned.
We only took a few “posed” photos because we wanted to have fun and capture a story. We tried different scenarios and just had a blast! So far we’ve seen some amazing images that have been captured by the photographers. We even shot some some videos because we were having so much fun that we just went for it. Angela even captured an image of us watching the video we just shot. It was a spur of the moment decision and Justin Wharton shot the video while my daughter stayed next to him playing the music.
The shoot was only four days ago and the photographers are busy editing but the images that they shared so far are absolutely amazing. This was my first time organizing an elaborate concept shoot although I had organized a few before but without professional HMUA and only one photographer. The key to this successful concept shoot was that our dream team was on the same page and we just had fun! Also having several photographers allowed for us to have some fun behind the scenes shots as well.
If you have a great idea, put it into action and make it happen, whether it’s just you or you and several models. Reach out to the artists in the industry and contact them personally. You could easily post a casting on a site such as Model Mayhen but I highly recommend working with people you know and trust since it will be less likely to have someone not show up. I hope you enjoyed the images I shared here with you today.
As always, don’t allow the negative people along the way bring you down and trust me; there will be negative people that will cross your path. Take control of your future, even if it means smashing through preconceived boundaries in this industry. Again, if there is a topic you’d like me to blog about, feel free to contact me. Until next week, stay positive!