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Why Plus-Size weekend is a big step forward for fashion week

  • British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend is second annual show focusing on fashion for size 14 and up
  • Event brings together retailers, designers and consumers of fashion
  • Hayley Hasselhoff opened the show on Friday, demanding respect for non-skinny models
  • London Fashion Week AW14 runs until Tuesday 18th February

While waifs stalked the catwalks at Somerset House a curvier kind of model was posing at the nearby Vinopolis warehouse in London this weekend.

British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend (BPSFW) is an event dedicated to clothes made for sizes 14 and up and, although not officially affiliated with London Fashion Week, the timing of the second annual show was of course planned to initiate a discussion about the shape of things to come in the industry.

At the BPSFW shows retailers, designers and customers are brought together to highlight an aspect of British fashion mostly ignored by the British Fashion Council in their biannual fashion weeks. Here Cosmopolitan columnist and presenter Laura Puddy explains why events like this need to become the norm rather than remain niche.

Laura, who is a size 12-14, and hosted a panel discussion at the event says: ‘This weekend I took a break from the grueling London Fashion week schedule and attended British Plus Size Fashion Weekend (BPSFW).

‘An event set up with the goal of bringing fashion to the fuller female figure, I have to say I was intrigued, particularly as this is the topic of my monthly column ‘Catwalk to Curvy’ in Cosmopolitan UK.

‘On arrival, it was clear that this event was going to be a refreshing change from the usual LFW line up.  The myriad of voluptuous fashionistas congregated outside immediately filled me with joy – fashion was about to celebrate curves.

‘BPSFW was created to support the plus-size industry and give plus-size designers and retailers a chance to interact with their customers.  As the founders Remi Ray and Rianne Ward say, “BPSFW aims to enhance, empower and support the UK plus-size industry by connecting the dots between retailers, designers and consumers.”

‘A point worth remembering, the average clothing size of a UK woman is size 16.  Attendees were excited that finally there was an event catering to women who love fashion but aren’t necessarily the accepted fashion ideal of being tall and waif-like.


‘The event showcased an array of high street brands like Evans and Taking Shape, as well as designers like Dea London and Syreeta Badu, a London based designer specialising in sizes 14-32.

‘A positive body image was encouraged – something I was really pleased to see and the catwalk models were a diverse range of curvy and plus size models, modeling everything from underwear to bridal collections.

‘I hosted the afternoon’s panel discussion with industry experts talking about the past, present and future of the plus size industry.

‘In attendance was fashion legend Caryn Franklin, campaigner for diversity in the fashion industry and co-founder of all walks catwalk, Caryn later tweeted; “Curvaceous Women and Statuesque Divas all around me. Delicious change from London’s regular Fashion Week”

‘I totally agree with Caryn, it truly was amazing to see an event celebrating diversity and promoting that you can look and feel good no matter what your shape or size.

‘Whilst there is still a long way to go for the fashion industry to embrace diversity and shape, this was a really encouraging event, which I felt privileged to attend and be involved in. ‘


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