(My review is posted on Stylist.com. I was excited. LOL)
I was a curvy girl from Detroit attending the runway shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for the very first time. I had worked hard to get there and been vetted by IMG Fashion. This was my official foray into the fashion industry, but I still didn’t really feel like I really fit in. After discussing fashion and the plus size market with Fern Mallis, the VP and mastermind behind New York Fashion Week somehow I summoned up all the inspiration I could find. I'm reading The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From The World's Most Elegant Woman and she didn’t fit in either. She was a woman ahead of her time and she didn't give a care about what the fashion establishment thought of her.
Coco said, “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.”
Coco knew how to expertly market herself and her designs, making lots and lots of money in her day. At a time when the elegant ladies of the day were dressed up to the chins in corsets and frou-frou, Chanel made clothes women could move in and enjoy wearing. She said, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” In the end she created innovative styles that ultimately gave birth to designs and textiles that compliment the curves of today’s woman: jersey, belted cardigans, tunics and the LBD (Little Black Dress) to name a few.
Coco said, “Style has no limitations.”
This is the last year the designers will present under the tents at Bryant Park and I now know why I was sent to this historic Fashion Week. From my third row seat, I began to see pieces on the runway that would translate to the woman with curves as did the creations by Coco Chanel. The Fall 2010 Collections are all about pushing the limits. More accurately, it’s about having no limits at all. The innovative designs pushed beyond the limits of form, texture, moving from the delicate and powdery to opulence and richness.
Each designer offered a different perspective, but also held something in common. They seemed inspired with the power to push us beyond a discouraging wall of economic pressures to embrace the wealth in what's possible. This must happen because necessity has always been the mother of invention. The elite fashion faculty must wrap its collective mind around what's possible for the nearly 70% of beautiful curvy women in this country who want to fit in…their beautiful clothes.
According to Chanel, “Fashion that doesn’t reach the street is not fashion.”
As the models strut boldly down the runway into a new fashion season, I started to think...it doesn’t stop at the end of the runway. The models disappear behind that wall only to reappear in something new and even more fabulous. Reflect the past, embrace the future.