Back in February 2013, Evans had invited Scarlett and Jo to partake in their style studio shoot. I was just coming out of creating Billie & Blossom for Dorothy Perkins and the Evans management team had agreed a long term deal with me to produce whatever designs, within reason, I wanted to do for plus size women. Of course, financially it had to stack up. However, outside of that, I could not have wanted much more, and that quite simply is to produce great clothing, dresses if you like, that enhance, that are fun and enjoyable in wear.
Below is a notorious and what is, for me, an iconic shot of Bethany Rutter, Georgina Horne and Callie Thorpe in the first of the Powerfit Miracle dress series. It was featured in the Daily Mail. It really kicked up quite a controversy and unveiled some unbelievable prejudice against some fantastically beautiful, normal but extraordinary young women having fun.
After the first couple weeks, Evans almost sheepishly asked if we would go up to size 32. Of Course we would!
Lots of good things happened through 2013. Plus North, so many wonderful things, products, people, and blogs. Amazing! And at the beginning of this year, January 11 to be precise, a young new blogger called Georgina Grogan came to my attention with the blog and photo below.
I really couldn’t believe how wonderfully this beautiful young woman brought our design to life and the natural way in which she wrote. This was the beginning of a great year!
We had resolved since that first Evans Style Studio photo-shoot that we would only feature real women who would normally shop plus size. If Evans, who have been supportive, and the media didn’t like it – tough! With Scarlett and Jo our customers are anything from a size 14 up to a size 32. We aren’t exclusive by way of price or prejudice. We are now getting size 12’s, 10’s and 8’s wanting the product.
We want our products to be accessible and we want to help our customers visualise themselves in something which for them might be a new silhouette. Some might consider it the forbidden fruit. With the launch of the spring/summer Romance Collections we invited some of our favourite bloggers to model. OMG how they brought the collections to life!! In a word…Wow!
Last Sunday, I had a wonderful afternoon meeting for the first time with Georgina Grogan, and entertaining the absolutely gorgeous, bright as a spark, Georgina and her mum. They are from Sheffield, London is my town, and in local parlance Marylebone is my manor. So I had the opportunity of in a much focused way of showing them a snapshot of the extraordinary lifestyle facilities contained within less than a 1,000 square metres of city space. I did go into my overdraft over lunch. Ha,ha.
That was the beginning of the week. I had no idea that Georgina would be awarded the Plus Size Fashion Blogger of the Year and this was the day after the night before. I had avoided the Plus Size Awards, having supported the 1st one. I wanted to meet her and I knew that she was in town. So, I couldn’t miss that opportunity. She didn’t disappoint, she is as she blogs, enthusiastic, vivacious, straight up and natural. Tells it the way she sees it.
I was also very excited to see Sarah Hadzipasic picking up the award for Best Achievement wearing our Midnight Velvet Maxi and looking stunning doing so.
Georgina had become consumed with her desire for the Midnight Blue Embellished Velvet Maxi from the current La Dolce Vita Collection, so we just had to find one for her. Would a size 20 do as we haven’t got any 22s left? She is perfect in the Black 22 which she selfied from Evans fitting room at Meadowhall. But she is a red head, she must have blue. Being a coppernob myself I can understand that!
Out of another blue hue, the extraordinary Luciana decided to do an extraordinary one woman stylised fashion shoot and blog also making the most extraordinary compliments of what is one in a series of updates on our take of the 1940’s silhouette, when women weren’t too shy to feature busts and bum curves and with a bit of sass. She is from Hamburg and I have to say the standard of styling, art direction, and photography is wunderball!
Then Debz, who is a whole lotta of princess blew me away with her treatment on another one of our 1940s updates and in all honesty as a designer the greatest thrill you can have, (sorry ladies) better than sex it lasts longer, is seeing your designs worn. Wow!!
Today as I started to write this, I was woken by Georgina’s blog looking great but a little tight in the size 20 blue velvet maxi. All I can say is that this little lady blows me away in every way. Brings The Sweet Life.
I had a hint earlier in the week that Ana Pizarro who is also, I think only 20, had decided to have her own extraordinary one woman stylised fashion shoot, best ever imo, featuring a 21st century classic as opposed to one of our many retro inspired frocks. As someone commented when Ana discovered the powerfit dresses with her curves “that lady has it".
Not forgetting, Olivia, Caroline, Sian, Marcy, Hannah, Mayah, Nancy, Betty, Elizabeth, Leah, Gloria, Rebecca, Vicky, Sophia, so many that have brought Scarlett and Jo to life. And of course all the different customers for bringing me and my team so much pleasure.
Extraordinary week, extraordinary year to date. All I can be is humbled, and absolutely overwhelmed with the pleasure that all our customers, fans, bloggers have brought me and my team. I am. They are.
Who says Plus Size Women don’t have the ‘it’ factor?
Big Thank You!!
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