Evans, First Plus Size Brand At London Fashion Week, Does Not Disappoint In The Slightest With Its Standout Styles
Last fall, Cabiria Style became the first plus-size brand to show at New York Fashion Week, but the clothing left much to be desired. The cuts were the usual in plus-wear, and seemingly designed to conceal and flatter the figure rather than to make a statement. This past Tuesday, however, Evans became the first plus-size brand at London Fashion Week, and the results couldn't have been grander.
Loads of little girls grow up dreaming of one day owning beautiful dresses — dresses decked out in sparkles and glitter or lace and satin. Loads of women envisage themselves in ball gowns and sequins, in Vera Wang wedding dresses or in the latest apparel by designer superstars. But loads of plus-size women interested in fashion are aware that imagining themselves wearing anything higher-end is essentially futile, because such fashion designs are far and few between. High-fashion exists in plus-sizes, yes. There just isn't much of it.
For plus-size ladies, it's usually not a case of saving up in the knowledge that soon enough they'll be able to afford something stupendous. It's about waiting, and hoping, that someday a brand will cater to their size and create something magical, classy and affordable on the spectrum of high-fashion. And Evans is just bringing us one step closer.
The Design Collective for Evans is a collaborative effort that has brought together fashion by Clements Ribeiro, Giles Deacon, Hema Kaul, Jamie Wei Huang, Lulu Liu and Vita Gottlieb. Brand Director Fiona Ross says, "[This collection] is another opportunity to put fashion and design at the forefront of the British high street. We are delighted to work with such amazing design talent and to push the boundaries by being the first to showcase a plus-size brand in this way." It's amazing to see Evans's transformation, from mom-wear specialists to high-fashion guru. A few years ago, it would have been difficult to foresee that Evans would create a collection filled with bright colors, asymmetry and metallics. But this Design Collective has it all.
Amongst the guests at the Evans catwalk was blogger, designer, and Marie Claire columnist Nicolette Mason. She wrote on Instagram, "I feel so lucky to have been part of this history-making event." And it truly was ground-breaking. This is the first time that a plus-size brand has infiltrated London Fashion Week, but it's also the first time a plus-size brand has successfully infiltrated the British high street with high-end fashion. Evans has done some pretty amazing stuff in the past, like teaming up with Beth Ditto and releasing its first CUT collection last spring. But this — this is something else.
To see Evans bring to the forefront cuts, materials and patterns that are typically associated with the unspoken but prevalent "for straight-size only" label is remarkable. "[This show] has left me more hopeful, ambitious, excited, inspired and genuinely emotionally touched than any event I have attended in the past," wrote blogger Nancy Whittington of Sugar, Darling. "To witness incredible designs specifically created for a plus-size brand being showcased in the same environment and with as much care, devotion and professionalism as straight-sized high fashion designers was a magical thing."
Silver and gold, solid white, crop tops, bedazzle, bold prints: these were among the few "plus-size fashion no-nos" that Evans disintegrated before our eyes. But even more impressively, that they disintegrated using the medium of high-end fashion — via dresses, trousers, tops and co-ords that can be worn proudly. Every single item of clothing within this collective will make a statement. These aren't the kinds of clothes you wear to hide your figure or play the wallflower role often designated to fat girls. These are clothes you wear to be seen.
As plus-size women, we have told cyberspace and the universe that we want high-fashion. We want glam. And we want it in our size. The Design Collective for Evans is a beautiful indicator that someone is listening.
The collection will be available in sizes 10 through 28 beginning in April 2015.
Images: Getty Images