American singer and songwriter Meghan Trainor’s lyrics “Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size” aptly sums up the Indian fashion industry today, given how designers are taking notice of the plus size segment and adding oodles of style to it.
Plus size cannot be ignored, say designers like Falguni and Shane Peacock, Payal Singhal and MonishaJaising. Falguni and Shane Peacock, who are participating in the fifth edition of the Vogue Wedding Show 2017 luxury bridal exhibition, say that “At times, it seems that the fashion industry really believes all women are the size of those skinny models on the runways”.
But that is changing now. “Almost half the women in this country are size 12 or larger, and finally, the clothing industry is taking note. On runways, in stores, even in the pages of magazines, the plus size woman is finally getting some fashion respect — not because the industry has decided it’s okay to be big, but because it can no longer afford to ignore her,” the duo told IANS.
Opening up about the economics of the fashion business, Singhal, whose forte is wearability, versatility and comfort, says the industry is finally acknowledging that the demand for larger sizes — just like the frame — is big.
Singhal, known for her celebrity clientele like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Sonakshi Sinha, asserts that it is not only about business. “The fashion industry as a community is coming out to endorse body positive images and that’s great as it’s time we take some responsibility and help women accept themselves the way they are versus the stick thin photoshopped model images they see in magazines,” she explained.
Gone are the days when stick-thin models used to catwalk on the ramps and make some women sitting in the front row go on a guilt trip. There are active campaigns to promote a healthy body image through fashion shows around the world.
With global superstars like Adele, Amy Schumer, Ashley Graham, Stefania Ferrario and Indian celebrities like Vidya Balan and Huma Qureshi owning up their curves, people are getting the confidence to embrace the plus size.
Plus size beauty pageants like Hardeep Arora’s Ms Plus Size North India 2017 are being organised in India as well. Ace designer Wendell Rodricks has collaborated with aLL, The Plus Size Store, to design a new autumn winter collection, which will be showcased at the forthcoming Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2017.
“The winners from the plus size model auditions chosen were a great mix of different sizes who had varied personalities and walked with absolute poise and confidence,” Rodricks said. He is all in for fashion democracy.
“Fashion should be for everyone; no matter the age, colour, size or shape. At the LFW, I intend to break all myths about colours and shapes for voluptuous figures,” Rodricks added.
MonishaJaising, who is also part of the fifth edition of Vogue Wedding Show, which is being held from August 4 to 6 at the Taj Palace here, feels the fashion world is increasingly counting on “plus-size customers, a demographic that it has long ignored” to fuel growth.
“Fashion brands are now shifting their focus on body positivity by designing for a larger range of sizes,” Jaising said, crediting social media for the changing attitudes in the fashion business.
“Plus size fashion bloggers too are driving this transformation. They are social advertising at their best! Plus size models and bloggers around the world are the new face of the future of fashion. The plus size revolution definitely cannot be ignored,” she added.
In an interview over phone, Liza Golden-Bhojwani, an American model now settled in Mumbai, had also said that times have changed and “having a plus size is really not a bad thing any more”.
Gaurav Gupta, known for his edgy garments, took healthy note of the trend, saying: “In general, women are becoming much more aware about fitness and a lot more girls are now fitter than before. Having said that, there is a parallel trend of easy shaped couture, with silhouettes which work on many more body types.”
By Sugandha Rawal