My time at one of the best celebrations of plus-size fashion in the UK…
Well here I am, back to reality at my desk in work. I’ve just spent a weekend surrounded by incredible women, and it’s a crime I can’t carry them around in my pocket all the time. The happiness that fills you when you are welcomed into a community of supportive, beautiful people cannot be rivalled. I feel grounded, calm and focused. I know what I want this blog to become, and what I need to do to get to that stage. I’m so excited for the future of BigBawdyBurlyBeauty!
This post is about the event as a whole, and the utter babes I was with. I want to have a whole post dedicated to them, so on with the show!
First of all, I want to shout out a massive thank you to Sam, of fattyboomtatty. She truly is as stunningly beautiful in life as she is on her instagram! A hard-working mother and wife, she never fails to hit that style nail on the head. She’s loyal, badass, hilarious and magical (that mermaid hair though). We shared laughs, food and stupid pictures. I’m so lucky I get to call her a friend, and she’s one of the most interesting people I know. You keep slaying, holographic queen.
Massive congratulations and thank yous to Zoe Ellis-Pennick, the founder of The Curve Fashion Festival. She and her team/family worked tirelessly throughout the day, and she still had time to frantically ask if everyone was enjoying themselves. She’s a wonderful human, and deserves all the recognition she gets for arranging such a body-positive celebration of curvy fashion.
I met Sam and the lovely Steph off their trains in Liverpool Lime Street station. We ordered an Uber to the venue, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, and arrived around 11:45. The doors were opened at 10am, and it was already a buzzing hub of excited shoppers, reunited friends, and awesome music. As I was desperate for a pee (I’d already reached my target of 2 litres of water a day while I was on the train, and a large coffee while waiting in the station!) I quickly exchanged my VIP ticket for a wristband and dashed through the middle of the venue to the loos on the far wall. In that moment alone I saw dozens of greeting smiles and heard calls of my name, and they were met with me yelling ‘got to pee, back in a sec!’, what an entrance eh?
I’m also going to make a shout out to Kitty Morris, who documented the day beautifully with her photography skills, and kindly offered to take pics of everyone in their outfits. She’s a talented lady and a fellow glamazon (I’m pretty sure she’s over 6 ft). Kitty sported a purple tutu from Tutu Factory, who she is a brand representative for! They even named a product after her, the Kitty Plus Size Tutu. What a fairy goddess!
One exciting feature of the event was the catwalk shows, combining the top brands in a fierce, fashion-forward runway. The music was electric, and I was beaming from ear-to-ear when I saw my friends and fellow models strutting their stuff. I missed the casting for this event as it took place on the same weekend I was in Leeds with Eliza Strange, but in all honesty I benefited so much from attending as a blogger, I have no regrets.
The stunning Danielle, Melissa, Pippa and Sian were all on the catwalk this year, strutting for brands like River Island Plus, BooHoo Plus, and New Look Curve. I’m lucky enough to have appeared on the catwalk alongside these ladies at previous events such as Curvy Convention and Style XL. I was like an embarrassing mum whooping from the front of the audience!
(photo credit to goffphotos)
I was also reunited with Emily Blake, who holds numerous titles including Miss British Beauty Curve 2014 and Miss Great Britain United Nations 2016. International plus size model Beckelle was also on the catwalk this year, and I couldn’t wait to see her beautiful smile and hear her australian lilt when I arrived! Whilst modelling at Curvy Convention in May 2016, I had the pleasure of staying with Emily and Beckelle in a lovely flat through Airbnb. I grew very close to these two beautiful women, and I’m so thankful for the downtime we had together amongst a hectic weekend, forming a wonderful friendship. Emily has exactly the same level of stupid humour as me, and Beckelle is one of the most generous and gentle people I know.
Now, lets talk bloggers!
In all honesty, I still consider myself a fledgling in the blogging world. This means that when I meet people I admire, I fan-girl considerably and babble crap. Luckily, these are all lovely women, and respond with hugs and smiles!
Oh Lottie, Lottie, Lottie! You’re a powerhouse of networking, boundary pushing, and naughty jokes. I adore what time I get to spend with you, and it’s never enough! Thank you for providing me with endless reading material while I’m in work, and thank you for laughing at my face when I can’t handle praise.
Nancy, I’ve admired you from afar for a long time. Your glamorous style, and quirky vintage finds resonate with my own tastes. We were wearing the same skirt on Saturday, proving how stylish we both are! You’ve featured in campaigns and publications I can only dream of, and I’m really excited to see your next steps with Sugar, Darling? Plus, you make a beautiful bride!
The ever-beautiful Georgina Grogan of She Might Be Loved was at the event, with her lovely parents and super supportive boyfriend Alfie! Georgina was representing the hard work and energy she has put into her new venture, She Might Be, a body-positive online magazine. She’s gathered a fantastic team of writers to initially contribute to this project, and I would personally love to be involved at some point! Good luck Georgina, you’ve earned this!
As I was falling in love at the Lovedrobe stand, I was beckoned with a beautifully manicured fingernail by George. This warm, hilarious beauty gave me a wicked smile and bear-hugged me tight. She was attending TCFF with Simply Be, and sported this gorgeous mustard colour Elvi boxy shirt and Closet Striped prom skirt, both available on the Simply Be website. Cue selfies:
I pointed out that these were remeniscent of last year’s encounter, spot the difference?
After a quick catch-up, she demanded I enter Edith & Winston’s latest competition in search for a plus size model. I urge any size 16 + girl to enter, all you need to do is upload your favourite picture of yourself to instagram (full length would be better, let those judges see you in all your glory!), make sure you include #edithwinstonmodelsearch and tell them why you would love to be considered! Of course, also follow @edithwinstonbridalwear.
Debz, you work tirelessly to promote size acceptance and you take no shit from anyone who provides uneducated opinions! You’re a beacon of blogging knowledge and always know how to heard an excitable group of gals for a photo. It was lovely to lose my Reds True BBQ virginity in your company, you witnessed clearly how much I enjoyed it!
I also got a chance to chat to the big-name-bloggers like Callie and Danielle. Callie gave me a lovely blow-by-blow of her favourite moments of her beautiful wedding, and Danielle provided some wonderful fashion and body-confidence advice on the ‘How To Stage’ with Hayley for Studio8.
There’s a huge number of gorgeous gals I didn’t get a selfie with, but it was wonderful seeing the faces of people I read about weekly, smiling back at me and treating me like a long lost friend. The blogging community is a truly fantastic network, and keeps me inspired every day. Much love to my new fam!
Finally, here’s my outfit of the day (OOTD)!
Body by So Fabulous from Very, Now £11.00!
Skirt by River Island Plus, £25.00
Heels by Sole Diva, available at VivaLaDiva, £38.00
Handbag by Glamorous no longer available, simliar here from Very
This was the first time I’ve consciously planned a ‘current season’ outfit for an event. The skirt featured on the catwalk the same day, and the amount of compliments and style nods I received did make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (and super trendy!). I did a practice afternoon around the house in my heels to ensure they wouldn’t cripple me. I was able to wear them for a large portion of the day, but as the venue had hard concrete flooring and lots of milling about, I changed into my foldaway flats when I wasn’t being photographed. I do adore these shoes, and I’ve worn them happily on a night out since the event. I think I may have to keep an eye on the khaki/gold version, and hope they creep up in the sales! My matching bag was a cleverly planned coincidence, and added little edge to the ensemble, featuring studs and tassels. Here’s a close up (my legs have been eaten away at by bugs this summer, I really hope they don’t scar!):
For those of you who asked, my lippie was the stunning Full Throttle lipstick by NYX in ‘Kiss The Dust’. This bad boy DOES. NOT. MOVE! It’s completely waterproof and has a well designed beveled edge for lining, and I now swear by this fomula. It comes in so many beautiful colours, a range of reds and some funky purples too – for £5.50? You can’t complain!
Another wonderful event, and I can’t wait to make use of the treats I received!
Thank you to the whole team of The Curve Fashion Festival. I’ll see you next year!