Maison The Faux's Plus Size Model Was One Of The Coolest Moments At NYFW — PHOTOS
This year's New York Fashion Week has given us a lot of great stories about the rise of plus size models, but no plus size presence is quite like the one included in Maison the Faux's NYFW presentation on Sept. 11, cheekily titled "Chubby Chasers."
The collection itself pushed gender boundaries, delivering a range of fetish-reminiscent looks worn by both male and female models. It was, in a sense, an incredibly unique presentation — and at the center of it all was plus size model Jezra Matthews.
Maison the Faux's Joris Suk and Tessa de Boer, the designers behind Maison the Faux, contacted Matthews to be the centerpiece of the "Chubby Chasers" presentation. Since the term is most often used to refer to those who are sexually interested in fat women (and fat fetishism generally isn't welcomed often in plus size and body positive spaces), Matthews admits that while she was confused about it at first. However, she eventually grew to love the show's name.
"The title represents unlimited rules to fashion." Matthews writes in an email to Bustle. "Fashion that drives us wanting and seeking more, we are hungry for that unique [style] with no boundaries, no limitations and no right and wrong fashion. 'Chubby Chaser' is a never ending desire for more, more, more."
In addition to working with Maison the Faux, Matthews is a blogger and body positive activist with a large social following. In fact, she founded the #purebodylove campaign, which is tagged in over 3,000 posts on Instagram. Her personal enthusiasm for body positivity is apparent, but she feels it's also lacking in the fashion world.
"People are still scared to express love for their bodies just because are aren't a certain size or color." Matthews writes. "All bodies are beautiful and should be loved inside and outside of the fashion world."
For her, it's incredibly important for the fashion industry to recognize not only plus size bodies, but also people of color. As someone whose identity resides at this intersection, she knows how important it is to feel represented in the clothing, art, and culture that you see around you.
"I honestly feel like being a women of color working as a model and being a black women outside of modeling both are different and difficult," Matthews says. "Plus size women of color are not appreciated enough [and] I would really love to see a world where all sizes and all colors are accepted. In the future, I hope to see more designers like Maison the Faux who are not scared of going outside the box showcasing beautiful, meaningful art, style, fashion [and] clothes."
Thankfully the past couple of years have seen a rise in diverse representation at New York Fashion Week and already at this year's NYFW we've seen plus size models walk the runway alongside their straight size counterparts. A plus size presence that is necessary to, as Matthews puts it, "change the minds of people who want to tell us how to look, how to act and what we should or shouldn't wear."
Arguably, Matthews' presence has been the most inspiring and hopefully, the sign of things to come from the fashion world in general, not just a trend for fashion weeks around the world.
Images: Courtesy of Peter Stigter