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Curvy Canadian

Curvy Canadian: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

OOTD: A Lovely Day in Toronto, Featuring a Vintage Inspired Look...

Hey Everyone,

So now that I've finished my comprehensive coverage of Full Figured Fashion Week, I can go back to the traditional OOTD posts! I had a meeting with a professor I'm doing some research for in Toronto yesterday, and I decided I wanted to look cute for it so I wore this vintage inspired look. Like for my conference in May, I wanted to look professional and put-together, but still *me* and I think I pulled it off. My professor complimented me and everything!

Here's what I wore to my meeting:

Dress - Forever 21+ (not available on the Canadian webstore yet, only on the US one)/Cardigan - Traded from Big, Fat Toronto Clothing Swap/Shoes - Re/Dress NYC (I think they were originally from Target)/Bracelet and Purse- Gifted/Necklace - Ardene/Sunglasses - ASOS
So after my meeting, I had some time before Peter got off work and was able to pick me up, so I wandered around the Queen West area in Toronto and did some browsing in some of the shops. I came across a few great stores that I'd love to share with you.

The first great store I came across was called Lady Mosquito. All of their fantastic accessories are handmade, imported from Peru and are amazing. So colourful that they are sure to brighten anyone's day. Here's their website. They ship internationally.

The second cool store I found was called House of Vintage. It's in the Parkdale area and they have a bunch of really awesome vintage finds, but this store is a little on the pricier side (just a word to the wise!). But they have some amazing Halston scarves in the display case. LOVE.

The third and my favourite of the group was a store which I've passed on many occasions, not realizing how exceptional it was. The display in the front window doesn't do much to represent what's on the inside, and maybe that's why it's always got such good stuff (they're a well-kept secret). It's a vintage store and even though I promised myself I was only window shopping, I left with two hats. Vintage hats are usually like $75 and up. I got 2 hats for $25! I couldn't just leave them there. So awesome. It's affordable vintage, finally! This store is owned by the same people as Black Market further east on Queen St., and it's called Public Butter.

So I think that's about it for this post... Today is the last day for my giveaway, so enter now!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Full Figured Fashion Week - Day Three, Part II (Runway Finale)

So there's just this one last post to finish up my coverage of Full Figured Fashion Week in NYC... I almost don't want to write it, because then it will be over! On the Saturday night, all of the Full Figured Fashion Week attendees, over 1000 in total, got together at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan to watch a fashion show featuring a number of plus size fashion's best designers and boutiques. Of course my roomies and I got all dolled up. This was my first fashion show ever, and now I think I'm hooked. I'm definitely planning on going to Toronto's Fashion Week!

When we got back to the hotel after Kmart's Blogger's Brunch and the shopping we did afterwards, we were all exhausted, so we took a moment and just rested, chatting and having a lot of laughs. Seriously, I love my roomies. I miss those girls already! I can't wait until the next Full Figured Fashion Week so we can room together again, but I definitely hope that we get to see each other before then as well. Maybe I'm just going to have to do a road trip to see all of them! So eventually we were able to muster up the energy to get ourselves ready (seriously though, my feet are still recovering from all the walking in heels we did that weekend), and everyone looked gorgeous!

So I thought I would share some of my favourite outfits with you guys, both from the runway, and from the well-dressed women in attendance who were totally rocking fantastic red carpet looks.

Left to Right - Aimee (owner of Madison Plus), Mellie from The Fat Apple, Jessica from Chic in Every City, Allison from Curvy Girl Chic, me, and Neferth from Mode Plus

I love Allison's dress from Damn You Alexis' line for City Chic. I also love my roomy Jessica's Roxanne dress, which is also from City Chic. I really need to start ordering some stuff from there. They look gorgeous. I wish I could tell you where the other beautiful women in this picture got their outfits from too, but I didn't recognize where they were from. It was funny to see a bunch of items I've been admiring while internet window shopping lately all sprinkled throughout the room. I was like, "I know where that dress is from, that one too! I want that one!" LOL. Here's an IGIGI dress I was drooling over on Maximum Woman's website that I saw someone wearing at the event:

I feel so silly, I took her picture, but didn't even get her name. It was pretty hectic there!

Left to right - Tina from T Minus, T Plus, Kimberly from Fab Finds Under $50, and Stiletto Siren

Again, I'm so ashamed I didn't get her name! But she looks stunning. I love this dress. Anyone out there know who designed it?

Aquabah Gonney, Full Figured Model jumpsuit - Mandee's, Hat and belt - Forever 21, Shoes and bag - Jessica Simpson from DSW  

Me and Maddy from Plus Model Mag. They featured me and my outfit as one of the best of their five favourite bloggers!
Me and Gwen Devoe, the event co-ordinator, on the red carpet

Now that you've seen some of the best of the red carpet fashions, I thought I should share some of the best stuff straight off the runway! There were some gorgeous items! Here are some of my favourites. All shots of the runway fashions are courtesy of Alec Turner, photographer extraordinaire for the runway finale.

This is my friend Maxey Day. She's so gorgeous! She totally rocked it up there.

Cacique (by Lane Bryant). This is their new long line leopard print bra. Want!

More Cacique awesomeness.

Remember the trunk show I went to at Re/Dress NYC? These colourful outfits are all Sweetooth Couture designs. Rachel (the collection's designer) is often referred to as the Betsey Johnson of the plus size fashion industry, and you can see why!

Rachel, designer of Sweetooth Couture, left, and a model in one of her fantastic outfits. This skirt brought the house down. Want!

This outfit is something I really must have. Each piece is impeccable, and the styling is just wow. I would wear this outfit exactly as it is. Wouldn't change a thing. Kudos to the stylist who put this together. It's Ashley Stewart, which surprised me, since I didn't realize they sold such fashion-forward pieces. I'll have to give them a second look! I REALLY hope that ALL of this will be available for purchase and was not just for exhibition on the runway!

You all know how much I love pouffy. And this colour? *Drool*

And the show ended with one final sashay down the runway from all of the lovely models who showed off the beautiful clothes. 

And you know what happened as soon as the runway cleared out? You know I hopped on there for some photos. My friend and roomy Sarah from Queen Sized Flava took this shot.

Dress - ASOS Curve/Shoes - Spring Shoes/Bracelets - some from Forever 21 and others borrowed from Diva in Deep Thought/Belt - Re/Dress NYC/Clutch - Express

Once the runway show was over, we headed upstairs to the 46th floor for a great view of NYC, a few drinks, and some conversation about the evening's fashion. Left to right Jessica from Chic in Every City, Paul from Awoque, me, Louise from Upscale (panties for fuller figures) and Thina from Beyond Sizes

After a great night, we all went home and crashed. So tired. The next day, my bus came at 7:30pm, so we had time to sleep in (The Affinia Manhattan gave us a late check out, thank goodness!), pack up, store our luggage for the day, and do some exploring. I was way too exhausted (and didn't really have enough time) to do any of the really touristy stuff, so I decided I would save that for my next trip (which I hope will be really soon!). Sarah and I decided to take the train into Brooklyn to go and use our Lane Bryant gift cards. I wanted to pick up some bras from Cacique (because they're currently having a buy two get four sale), but when I got there, they had almost nothing (and definitely not 4 bras) in the size and style I needed. On Friday there had been a shopping tour organized by Marie Denee from The Curvy Fashionista and they stopped at that Lane Bryant. I'm pretty sure that was why they were low on stock, lol. All the other fashionistas got there first! So I decided to save my gift card and I think I might get that leopard print skirt from my day one post, or perhaps the long line leopard print bra from the runway. What do you guys think?

I took one last picture while we were waiting for the train... Sorry for the weird stink eye expression. I was really, really tired!

Dress and tights- Forever 21+/Purse - Costa Blanca/Shrug - Dots/Flip Flops - Gifted from Kmart

I got back to the Affinia and hopped into a cab headed down to the Port Authority to catch my greyhound bus home. The bus ride home was even worse than the one there. The bus is supposed to have free wifi and power outlets, but it didn't, and the seats were really uncomfortable. A lady came to sit down beside me and she was big too. I was thinking, "why would you choose to sit beside me if we're both big? This makes no sense! Go sit beside a skinny person and we'll both be more comfortable!" Her (extremely hot) bum was touching me the whole way, and since it was warm, we both were wearing tshirts and you get that horrible skin on skin contact with a stranger thing happening. Yuck. And she snored the whole way. At least we didn't have trouble at the border!

Peter came to pick me up from the bus stop with flowers! At 5:30am. So sweet! <3 him! I told him all about my trip and slept until he got home from work because I was so tired. I thought my sleep schedule would be all messed up because of it, but I was still tired, and was able to go to bed at the usual time and woke up at 8am the next day, so I was back on track. Peter said something like "in the past 48 hours, you've slept for 24!" That's just how exhausted I was. But I am not complaining at all! It was all so awesome and so worth how tired I was when I got back. I am definitely going again next year and I hope I'll see a lot of familiar faces. I really had a great time and it was so great to meet everyone, especially people I'd gotten to know online first. I made some truly great friends and had a wonderful trip. Thank you to everyone who made my trip happy and safe and fun. Love you all.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

My looks over the last few months... Which one is your fav?


Friday, June 24, 2011

Full Figured Fashion Week - Day Three, Part I (Kmart Blogger's Brunch)

Hey Everyone!

I thought I'd continue my coverage of all the fabulous events at Full Figured Fashion Week. Day three was quite hectic, but good hectic! I thought it would be good to break it up into two posts so it's not so overwhelming! In the morning there was the Kmart/LYS (Love Your Style/Size) Blogger's Brunch, in the evening there was the grand finale runway event (which I'll tell you all about tomorrow), which we all got really dolled up for, and you know we also fit in some shopping in-between!

So Kmart, who are totally fabulous, hosted a brunch for all of the bloggers where we got together, had a bite to eat, got to see their current collection, as well as a sneak peak of their upcoming Fall collection. This brunch was just such a great time. We really got a chance to relax, socialize, and get a great sense of the Kmart/LYS brand. You may have read my post recently about body positivity. This is a brand that adheres to that philosophy completely, and their designs and the marketing which advertises them, reflect this. They chose models who we, as customers, were more likely to relate to than the more typically-used size 12s or 14s. As a result, we actually got a sense of what the clothes might look like on our own bodies. I don't often have the opportunity to say this, but the philosophy behind the brand and its design and marketing is something I feel that I can fully support, as a consumer, blogger, and even as a body positivity activist. The designers and the company have really hit the nail on the head. One of the other awesome things about the brand is that it's accessible. This is very important to me since I am a student and value is an important factor of my decision to make any purchase. Their items are all economically priced, from around $14.99 (for, let's say, a tank top) to $39.99 (for something like outerwear). I really felt like the people at Kmart were listening to what we had to say and absorbing it, considering all of our feedback and giving great responses. The one thing I brought up (which I'm sure you'll have guessed by now) is that they don't currently have any Canadian stores or ship to Canada. While the issue of store expansions into Canada seemed like it might have been too big an issue to broach with the LYS brand executives (out of their control), I did voice my desire to have Kmart begin shipping to Canada, and they said that it was definitely something that they would bring up to discuss in their head office. I also explained that a lot of Canadians cross-border shop, and asked them to make sure there was a good assortment of LYS stuff in the stores near border crossings, so if you're going across the border, make sure you pop into Kmart to check out their LYS brand (you should find it in the women's plus size section).

So now to the pictures, so you can see what a great time we had and all of LYS's beautiful designs.

This is what I wore to the brunch. Thanks to my roomie Diva in Deep Thought for loaning me the hair flower!

My roomies Queen Sized Flava and Diva in Deep Thought at the brunch

From left to right, awesome blogger Kimberly from Fab Finds Under $50, Celebrity Stylist and fabulous event emcee Jorge Ramon (you might remember him from the TLC show Ten Years Younger), me, and my fantastic room-mate Jessica from Chic in Every City. Jorge was so nice! He paid me so many compliments and I really couldn't stop blushing. He said something like "all of this is great" and I was thinking, "wow, he just gestured to all of me!" But I just said "thank you." I <3 compliments, especially when they come from celebrity stylists!!! =D

Me with the Kmart/LYS design team, Sarah Morgan and Nicole Magnani. Fabulous and inspiring women.

This is my head from the back so you can see how I did my hair. Jessica snapped this without me even knowing!
So I took a few pictures of some of Kmart/LYS's fantastic spring looks so you can have a taste of what they offer:

I also went around and took loads of pictures of everyone so you could see a) how much fun we were all having, and b) how awesome everyone looked.

The lovely Tina from T Minus, T Plus, checking out the terracotta jumpsuit

Okay, I am not normally one for a romper, since they usually look kind of weird on me and don't fit right, but I tried this one on (in blue, with grey accents) at the Kmart in Manhattan and I loved it. It fit beautifully. I had to put it back because I was running dangerously low on funds, though. Oh, the life of a student! :(

Allison from Curvy Girl Chic and Monique from Curves and Chaos

Stiletto Siren and Vanoue 

Kmart very generously gave us a lovely gift bag with some flip flops (very considerate since some of us had very high heels on and needed comfy shoes to change into), a scarf, a pair of sunnies, a bottle of OPI and Essie nailpolish, and a $25 Kmart gift card. Once the brunch was over, the race was on to get to the nearest Kmart to pick up some LYS pieces! Pretty much all the bloggers headed over there straight afterwards. 

Since the Marriot Marquis Manhattan (where the brunch was held) was near Times Square and I'd never been before, we stopped by. It's pretty amazing in Times Square. You sort of feel like you're at the centre of the world. Sort of unrelated, but medieval Christians had this idea that the earth was the centre of the universe and that Jerusalem was the centre of the world, and that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the centre of  Jerusalem. So they would go on pilgrimages to Jerusalem and lay their heart (which they viewed as the centre of their body) on the centre point of the church, and they deemed this the most powerful way to commune emotively with God. Visiting Times Square was sort of a similar experience for me, but instead of being spiritual, it seemed like I was standing in the very centre of western capitalism and communing with that. Not necessarily a bad thing, I just thought that it was interesting how similar the experience was to this old medieval practice. Okay, I'll stop talking about that now. I study medieval stuff. Can you tell? Long story short, we ended up wandering into the massive (four storeys, I think) Forever 21. I will do a haul post about what I bought at some point... I left with a heavier bag and a lighter wallet! 

Here's a picture of what I got from the LYS line with my Kmart gift card. I love it! The colour is so pretty.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Full Figured Fashion Week - Day Two

Hey Everyone,

So I'm continuing my chronicling of the events of Full Figured Fashion Week with day two, which was this past Friday. Things were a bit more laid back as two of my room-mates and I were unable to get tickets to any of the events this day because they all sold out. So we slept in a little bit and then decided to head down to a store in Brooklyn called Redress/NYC. Basically it is a vintage and second hand clothing store purely and entirely devoted to the fuller figured woman (sizes L/12 and up). You can only imagine my joy upon entering this store. There was such a wide selection of beautiful items and their entire inventory was extremely well curated. A lot of the stuff on the racks was even new with tags. We were also very lucky because Sweetooth Couture Designs was holding a trunk show while we were in the city which was hosted by Redress/NYC, so we were able to see all of Rachel's fabulous new skirts, dresses, jackets, and belts!

We started the day off at Tick Tock Diner in NYC. Gotta have a good breakfast before all that shopping!

My room-mate Yoli and I. They were calling me Snow White all weekend and after looking at this picture, I can see why! Wow, I'm pale. Hope I get a little sun soon...

My room-mates Sarah, Yoli, and I. Jessica is missing because she went on a shopping excursion which was one of the Full Figured Fashion Week's events and was organized by Marie Denee from Curvy Fashionista
After breakfast, we wandered down to Brooklyn to check out what Re/Dress had to offer. And let me tell you, we were impressed.

Exterior of Redress/NYC
Many shoppers happily browsing...

One of Redress' new associates - Siobhan - who is so sweet and helpful and cute. Sorry for this picture! I only had one of her and it's with her eyes closed!

This is a Redress change room. They are made using gazebo structures that you put up in your backyard, which means they're nice and big. There's a big rack inside to put all of your picks on, and a nice long bench too, so you can tie up your shoes. A very plus size friendly fitting room!

This is the sign outside the fitting room. No body shame here! You can get changed with your friends, or, as the sign suggests, make new ones!

So remember how I said there was a trunk show by Sweetooth Couture? This is me with Rachel, its designer.

She has such a stunning collection. Her pieces were flying off the rack. It was only 45 minutes into the trunk show and the stuff she brought was virtually gone, and she had to start taking measurements of customers for custom work instead. I got loads of pictures of the collection and some fantastic women trying on its pieces. 


Remember how I told you I was having wardrobe malfunctions all weekend long? This was the second day it happened. I decided to dress comfortably since we were just going shopping in Brooklyn, and the Full Figured Fashion Week gods decided this was unacceptable, and so the zipper on my dress broke! I ended up having to wear some of the clothes I bought out of the store. As my roomies were saying, I looked better going out than I did coming in! Here's what I ended up in:

Outfit 1 (beige dress) - Dress-Dots/Shoes - Spring/Leggings - Forever 21+/Purse - Costa Blanca/Earrings and Necklace - Dollarama/Bracelets - Crafted from Beads purchased at Walmart
Outfit 2 (floral top and hareem pants) - purchased at ReDress (the top is originally from F21+ and the pants are originally from Lane Bryant Icon collection. All accessories as above.

They had champagne and red velvet cupcakes to celebrate the trunk show and Full Figured Fashion week as well. That's three of my favourite things (cupcakes, champagne, and shopping) all rolled into one fabulous experience! 

We tried to check out some other stores in Brooklyn, but by the time we finally left Redress (I think we were there about 5 hours, and I'm also pretty sure the staff were wondering if we'd ever leave), all the other stores were already closed. We schlepped back to Manhattan, exhausted and aglow with the delight that only a good shop can bring, and we ate pizza at Sbarro for dinner because we were just way too tired to work up the enthusiasm to go anywhere else (and because we knew we had to be up early for the Kmart Blogger's Brunch the next day, which I will tell you all about tomorrow). So all in all, a fantastic experience at Redress. If you're in the area, I encourage you to go and check them out. Next time I'm near NYC, I am definitely going back, and I'm going to bring in some clothes as well (they'll give you 25% of the price they plan to sell your garments for in cash, or 40% in store credit - they won't accept just anything though, it has to be good stuff). So what do you think? Have any of you ever been to Redress or maybe a store like it? I loved it there. I wish there was something similar in Toronto!

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