Curvy Rose

A Size Inclusive Bridal Boutique

(678) 957-ROSE

Serving Brides up to Size 32. Strictly by Appointment Only.

Filtering by Category: plus size models

Fashion Injustice: The Myth of Beauty in a Box

Like a lot of women, I'm learning how to embrace the body I have, not the one I had twenty years ago before my daughters were born. Funny that I've been in this skin all of my life and have never fully embraced all of it's rolls, curves, and stretch marks. It has been a lifelong struggle, a companion really. First, as a chubby kid whose thighs rubbed together and then as a tween who budded earlier than my peers. Depending on my self image at the time, I was either covering up, slimming down, or showing too much. I wanted to wear stylish, fashionable clothes that other girls were wearing, but I eventually gave up in my twenties. Either the proportion was off, the fit was too tight or loose or the length was too short. 

So when I got engaged, I had already been conditioned to believe that I wouldn't be able to find a dress that I loved. I was told there wasn't a demand for gowns for me to try on and that I'd have more success if I lost 20 pounds. But rather than accepting defeat, I fought back by creating a dress that I loved.

Almost ten years later and not much has changed in the fashion industry. Yes, there have been bright spots here and there, yet high-end designers refuse to create collections for curvier women. Like actress Leslie Jones, we have to politely ask someone to dress us for a red carpet premiere. Smaller women don't have to accept less than than deserve, so why are curvy women treated so poorly? This was all the more true at New York's Fashion Week that ended Friday. Other than model, Ashley Graham's lingerie line there was very little focus on women larger than a size 12. So I was ecstatic when Tim Gunn, co-host of LifeTime's cable show Project Runway, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post exposing the fashion industry's disdain for plus size women. 

 

Gunn took a stand and I'm thankful that he did. We need more people, including men in the industry to shatter the myth that beauty comes in a tall, thin and blonde package. If you don't fit into these boxes you're not gorgeous, deserving of love or worthy of clothes that look great. 

I hope that celebrities and plus size stores  continue to pressure the industry to change and that more designers will abandon the antiquated ideology that demeans women and distorts the virtues of true beauty. Actress Danielle Brooks just penned an essay charging the media to do a better job of reflecting plus the fact that 67% of American are plus size. 

Perhaps one day I'll make peace and love the curves I have right now. The pressure to conform only has power when you listen to the whisper that says you're not beautiful just as you are. I hope that the work we do at Curvy Rose allows women to silence that voice and embrace their plus size beauty fully and completely.  

Next week at Vow Bridal Market in Atlanta Chanza and I will be choosing another set of wedding gowns for Curvy Rose. Among the beautiful sequins, beads, and lace, we will be looking carefully at designers that understand proportion and fit for curvy plus size women.  Call us soldiers in the fight for fashion justice or advocates for women of all shapes and sizes, we'll keep whacking at that fashion ceiling until it all comes crashing down.  

Note to the Curvy Bandwagon

I have always been a curvy woman, the smallest I've ever been as an adult was a size 10. And I had to work really hard at the gym to get there. Make no mistake, I am a foodie. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mac n' cheese, bread and cake and I just don't want to give them up. Yet, there are moments, usually during the Summer that I hear that voice saying that I need to lose some weight. I know that voice very well. It's been with me for a good portion of my life telling me; if you would just lose the weight for good you could stop keeping those dresses that are too small in the back of your closet. Oh wait it's been a while since you've worn the smaller pair of jeans. You know the ones you bought along with the larger size just in case. Can you still get into them? What if you can't? The larger pair are in the laundry. What outfit are you going to put together then? There are times when my mental companion motivates me to deal with my issues, but that's rare. Most times I feel self-conscious, and disappointed that I am not as small as I used to be.

I'm sure my experience is shared with a lot of American women, whether curvy or skinny. We have all been affected in some way by this fantastical ideal fabricated by people who don't even know us personally. Yet, when your BMI (body mass index) falls on the higher end of the scale, you feel the pressure to come into line, that somehow your worth and attractiveness is connected to your weight. I've spent the better portion of my life preoccupied by how big my muffin top happened to be and measuring my beauty by a number on the scale. 

I'm thrilled that the stigma and shame that was once shunned and ignored is now being acknowledged and celebrated. Major magazine covers are featuring curvy models, big-box department stores are using curvy models more often in their advertising. And bridal designers have either created an additional collection specifically for curvy women, expanded their size charts or are patiently waiting to see how this trend goes before jumping into the fray. 

Let me be clear, I LOVE that brides have more options in wedding gowns these days. Whether traditional or boho it's important that a bride's wedding reflects her and her groom's personal style. I'm grateful to carry collections in Curvy Rose that are designed for the curvy bride. My thing is this, dressing a curvier woman requires more than just an expanded size chart, a watered-down style of the flagship collection, or a few styles to choose from. Curvy women as with all women, deserve the styling, details and options that reflect her style, regardless of her weight.

I shared my views on this issue in a recent email conversation with a bridal sales rep. He had just informed me that Curvy Rose wouldn't be able to carry the collection for internal business reasons. I was fine with the reason given, yet I felt this need to inform him and the powers that be of the potential opportunity their designs offered all women.   Here's a snippet of what I said: 

Plus size bridal is new and a lot of designers don't understand the specific needs of that market. There's definitely more to it than adding larger sizes. Styling, construction and a variety of designs to choose from are just as important.... At the end of the day profits must be achieved and I get that. If they change their minds, let me know. I'd be more than thrilled to add them. I'm confident they would sell in my store. 

This designer didn't have a dedicated collection for the curvier woman yet, their styling and construction were so on point. Their gowns had exquisite beading and some gowns featured ruching around the waist, which is a flattering style on most women. Their use of fabric and thoughtful use of illusion backs were unique even for the curvier bride. It's too bad that Curvy Rose won't be carrying them. 

My sister and I spend much of our free time scouring the globe for designers that reflect the quality, styling and options that all brides, adore. Our current focus is finding boho styles to add to our collection. The market is full of many beautiful boho looks, but sizing in 20+ remains a challenge. I'm not quite sure why this is so,  considering that the average American woman is a size 14 and in some regions a 16/18. One thing is for sure, the curvy woman is not a trend. I just hope that one day this  current bandwagon gives way to the universal acceptance of a woman's beautiful curves regardless of her size. Until then, Curvy Rose will continue to join others in the movement for making that dream a reality. 

One of the many gowns that will arrive this Fall from all of our designers. This gorgeous gown is from MoriLee's curvy collection,  Julietta  #3206 

One of the many gowns that will arrive this Fall from all of our designers. This gorgeous gown is from MoriLee's curvy collection, Julietta #3206 

For the Bride with Curves

Curvy is the new black in fashion these days and I'm thrilled that the time has come where women of all shapes and sizes are celebrated for who they are, not how small their dress size happens to be. For someone like me who has always struggled with weight, I love seeing curvy women on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Ebony magazinesI'm loving @Gabifresh, @TheAshleyGraham, and @FullerFigureFullerBust on Instagram right now.  

I'm also insanely excited about the plus-size bridal movement. Whether you love lace, beading, or prefer elegant satin or boho chic, it's out there. There are so many beautiful gowns available today that I giggle with glee. @PrettyPearBride is an AWESOME bridal resource for curvy girls like us. Finding photos of curvy brides are still rare, but Shafonne @PrettyPearBride showcases brides in fabulous, stylish wedding gowns that you'll enjoy. 

I love this  blog . It is a great resource for curvy brides.

I love this blog. It is a great resource for curvy brides.

 

I love thumbing through wedding magazines and clicking through websites from my favorite wedding gown designers, but the real proof is in trying these gorgeous gowns on. You know the saying, what looks great on one person may look horrid on someone else. Your dream dress may not fit the way you hoped, so having an open mind and finding a bridal retailer you feel great working with is so important. At Curvy Rose, we understand your concerns and many of us (including myself) have had similar journey's in finding our dream gowns. 

This stunning gown from  Callista  is expected in the store this Summer in Ivory. 

This stunning gown from Callista is expected in the store this Summer in Ivory. 

 

You may be saying, my fiance loves my curves, and most days I wear my curves with confidence, but this whole gown shopping thing sucks. Will I find a gown like the David Tutera one my cousin wore at her wedding last year? Aw, maybe I should just go to one of those BIG BOX places and grab a dress off the rack. It might not be as stylish or high quality, but doggonnit at least Aunt Martha will stop talking about the weight she lost on that liquid diet and I won't have to watch my best friend look the other way when I'm forced into a gown that is three sizes too small.  

Don't settle for less when you deserve so much more! Think about it, your wedding album lasts forever (I just looked at my parents wedding album the other day).  This is your chance to look STUNNING on your wedding day, to walk down that aisle KNOWING that even with the help of some crazy diet, Aunt Martha never looked THIS good. 

So what are you waiting for? Make an appointment with Curvy Rose and put them all to shame. We are a new store offering a range of styles from well-known designers like Sophia Tolli and MoriLee (arriving in the Fall). We also carry other designers such as Bonny and Callista. New styles are arriving every month, so take a look at our collections page to see our current inventory. Remember, the proof is not in how a gown looks on someone in your Instagram feed, but how great it looks on you. Visit our boutique and receive the bridal experience you deserve!

 

 


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