My first time at The Curve Fashion Festival 2015 in Manchester…
On Friday 25th of September, I was more than a little bit excited. I had just finished putting my rollers in (incidentally, I’ve been recently asked by several people to do a hair/rollers tutorial, so that will be up soon!), I had a suitcase on the bed and my chosen outfit hung up on the wall (complete with ‘comfort shorts’ to make sure my thighs don’t get too friendly with each other throughout the day!):
Here’s my chosen outfit! Comfort Shorts from Evans, stripey Bardot top from Simply Be, petticoat from ebay years ago and my favourite skirt by Sprinkle of Glitter for Simply Be! I added some sparkly nude fishnets and a fast food charm bracelet by Katy Perry for Claire’s. I ended up wearing my Marie Antoinette quote necklace in bright pink exclaiming ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ which got a lot of compliments on the day. I think I will turn this into a hashtag, as I’m a firm believer that no matter what size a person is, they shouldn’t cut out things that make them happy, so #letthemeatcake for god’s sake!
Where was I planning to go I hear you ask enthusiastically? The Curve Fashion Festival! One of many amazing events organised in the UK to celebrate and demonstrate plus-size fashion at it’s finest. This particular event promised high quality catwalk shows, celebrity appearances, and ‘the ultimate shopping experience’.
In my suitcase I had; a pair of heels (for glamming up if necessary) and my sexy little Simply Be PU Fur trim jacket in case the weather turned sour (a gift from when I modeled it at Style XL‘s event in July!). I also had a bag of clothes I no longer wore, as a clothes swap had been advertised online to take place at The Curve Fashion Festival. My little sister has mentioned holding clothes swaps in the past with her friends, but the idea always left me a little bitter. Unlike my awesome new blogger friendship group, my friends outside of the community have never really had anything to offer my size, and vice versa (although most have awesome taste in jewellery so there’s always something to borrow!). Imagine my joy at the thought of rummaging through piles and piles of clothes that I could actually fit into, for free!!! The rules were; as long as you brought a bag, you could fill a bag. I walked away with a couple of sparkly tops and a brand new. Not bad for a bag of free clothes!
Now there have already been lots and lots of blog posts ‘reviewing’ the event, but my experience is more about who was there. I attended this event as a ‘blogger’, but a very new one at that! I was treated like a bosom buddy by everyone I ran into, with gorgeous girlies recognising me from my social media efforts. I went to the event with Sam, one of my biggest girl crushes and someone I’m honoured to call a friend. I met her off her coach in the morning, and we created a deliciously colourful sight for the Saturday morning tram passengers of Manchester. As soon as we stepped in the building, we were asked for a photo by L’Oreal Blackett for Manchester Confidential. Little did I know it was for their ‘best dressed’ round up of the event, and our picture was slammed right next to Tess Holliday! You don’t get many chances to say that!
Sam is OWNING that resting-bitch-face and I’m pulling my derpy housewife pose!
Even before stepping into the main hall, we were forced to clap eyes on Evans‘ latest range in their pop-up shop. I quickly spotted this bad boy and vowed to myself I would try it on later, but the excitement of the day led me to forget! I’ve still not become the proud owner of a peplum detailed top and it’s high-low design from Collection at Evans has ‘team me with matte black leggings’ written all over it! At £55 it’s an investment, but most eagle-eyed fashionistas would happily splash out on a ‘festive season’ party top or dress that will cover all the needs for glitter and drama.
We step into the main hall and I instantly become a ridiculous fan-girl, clocking all the inspirational and beautiful bloggers and models that I’ve had the pleasure of facebook-stalking for the past year. Sam effortlessly networks, her group of friends providing a welcome party of hugs and boob-grabs, I felt at home straight away!
I then come face-to-face with the one and only Lisa Riley, who is busy preparing to launch her new line Just Be You with her business partner Elaine Keetch. Lisa had asked a group of bloggers to be the models for her live launch, and the booth was an array of blogging babes and clothes being assigned. I decided to give the girls some room and began navigating the hall. This is pretty much what I saw (look how adorably excited she is!):
Trying to follow the layout, I began browsing each booth and making friends. I’m a pretty friendly girl and I was instantly welcomed to join Kate and Em for a glass of champagne – how could a girl say no to two gorgeous red-heads?! Cue selfies…
I basically became a tag-along from that point, like a puppy following people around enthusiastically (sorry guys!). Everything from that point became a bit of a blur, but I have some highlights that I’d love to share! Soon enough, Lisa had her models ready and a press call was announced. The pride resonated off her, and she shone like a diamond in front of the cameras. It was surreal seeing her in that celebrity setting having her picture taken, after having just met her and realising she was one of the most personable women in the room! She delighted in her blogger models and made sure everyone had a good look at her collection.
I’m lucky enough to now be in regular contact with some of these babes, and I’m sure you can just tell from this photo that they are a tight knit community with a lot of characters!
After my glass (or two) of bubbly I felt even more relaxed and quickly began asking questions about blogging and successes, enjoying the unique aspects of each woman’s blog and noting which posts I had personally enjoyed. There were a lot of photographers around the event, some asking to snap us and others looking for promo shots for their brands. I was happy to pose all day, and got some great pictures out of it!
Once again I’m with the beautiful Em from Terrible Tumbles, who is also blessed with height (I’m 5’11 and she’s 6 foot, GLAMAZONS UNITE!). I believe this photo was taken by Topsy Curvy who were handing out tiaras as props (hence Em looking like the princess she is!). I should probably mention that Em is currently a model in Yours Clothing’s Autumn/Winter campaign as a winner of their #yoursneedsme competition. Total. Babe. So clearly I should make myself look even more inferior next to her. Cue minging picture:
Aren’t I delightful?! Anyway, Em then gave me a tip off to check out the Lovedrobe booth. I hadn’t got round to that area of the hall yet, but I made a b-line for their logo and was greeted with the most beautiful dress I’d seen all day. The girls on the stand were absolutely lovely, and were very complimentary on my makeup! Before I knew it, they had featured me on their Instagram and called me a Style Queen! *blush*
Back to the beautiful dress. I go to try it on. I die a little bit. I wasn’t even wearing a cleavage bra but I still felt like a goddess. I stepped out of the changing room and had one of those *gasp* moments, and nearly everyone around me instantly exclaimed “you need that dress in your life!”. I ran to the lady running the stall and made it clear how much I adored the dress, and she asked me if I was a blogger. I replied yes, but a newbie! Before I had even taken the dress off, she asked me for my blog name and told me that on the day they were asking bloggers to pick am item free of charge as an incentive to blog Lovedrobe. Again, I died a little bit. I asked, “even this dress?”, and she nodded. DAY. MADE. So I was wearing a vintage style longline bra with absolutely no cleavage boost, and no shapewear to speak of, but here’s a shot from the girls at Lovedrobe straight after I tried it on:
After that, I was on a bit of a high walking around with my sequin-filled-bag-o-dreams. I visited other stalls who were happy to let people try on and fall in love, including the beautiful Tutti Rouge Lingerie who had a mint green polka dot bra that looked like it was made for me! Sadly they didn’t have it in my size on the stall but I’m hoping to try it on soon 😉
Next, we were treated to the main catwalk show, which has been well documented in a lot of blogs over the last few weeks. All I could focus on was the amount of glitter, velvet, lurex and jumpsuits on the catwalk. I can’t wait for winter party fashion to hit the stores! I’ll be in heaven!
Running into Kat Henry and Rebecca Argent is always a treat and I was once again asked for a #crelfie (crown selfie) from Kat. This is not the first time I’ve tried on a Miss/Ms British Beauty Curve crown:
You can also see here that I’m starting to get a *little* shiny as the venue was getting warmer and warmer and there were a lot of excited bodies milling around! Sam and I were then grabbed by a photographer with a large notepad who asked us to write what plus-size meant to us. This was a very open-ended question which left us both to our own interpretation. After I had written down my thoughts, I was asked for a very quick photo:
It wasn’t my best photo of the day but my message was absolutely true. I then found out a week later that it was actually part of a Buzzfeed article and I had been included among a lineup of extraordinary women. Proud!
Then I was privileged to be included in the ‘blogger’s family photo’ of the event, among these babes, representing #thisisplus:
Finally, my geekiest moment of the day was meeting someone I really have idolized for a long time. FullerFigureFullerBust is the blog of George, who is an absolute BABE. She has modelled for pretty much all my favourite brands and has even launched a range of her own called Lady Voluptuous. The woman is a powerhouse of plus size positivity, and I was genuinely nervous saying hi to her. She instantly recognised me (!), hugged me and told me I looked gorgeous. All I could say was “I was so nervous to meet you!” to which she put a piece of dark chocolate in her mouth, rubbed it all over her teeth so they went black and then smiled at me, “better now?”. I knew we would be fine from that point. She let me shop with her, took many ridiculous selfies, talked about boobs and masturbation, and generally was amazing.
So after all that excitement I was able to do a general bit of shopping (window, that is!) and enjoy the photo booths that some of the stands had hired:
After all that excitement, my stomach was pretty mad at me. I hadn’t eaten all day, and knowing Sam’s plan was always to end the day in Almost Famous, my brain was screaming “BACONAISE”, which is bacon mayonaise for those of you who haven’t had the delight of visiting Almost Famous! I had the Buffalo Beach Club burger (beef patty, cheese, streaky bacon, buffalo fried chicken, slaw, pickles and blue cheese dressing) WITH the Phoenix Fries (skin-on white and sweet potato fries, bacon rain, frazzle dust, shoestring onions, redneck BBQ sauce, baconaise and JD maple sauce). NO REGRETS.
Did I have an amazing day? Absolutely. Did I worry about being fat? Fuck no. Was I inspired, loved and excited? A thousand times YES! I can’t thank the community enough for being so welcoming and supportive of a newbie blogger, and I was well and truly spoiled that day.
Oh, and those heels stayed in my suitcase all day. Who was I kidding?!
I can’t wait for next year’s Curve Fashion Festival!