It’s a trend that has been gained runway traction in Europe, the United States and Canada, but has been slow to take hold in Mexico: haute couture fashion for the plus-size woman.
Just take a look at images of the latest catwalks at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Mexico City and you will see a parade of anemic-looking prepubescent girls with bony shoulders and boyish figures.
But now, a team of three major Mexican fashion bloggers have decided to challenge local designers to not only produce clothes for larger-sized women, but to embrace “curvier” bodies as beautiful and normal.
The Moda en Grande (Fat Fashion) campaign was the brainchild of Priscila Arias of La Fatshionista de México (The Fatshionist of Mexico) blog, who has since enlisted the alliance of Dana Carrillo of Más Medidas (More Sizes) and Arhe Molina of Yo Curvilínea (I Curvaceous) to her cause.
“Women with curves also like to dress chicly and in step with the latest fashion trends,” said Arias.
“But the tendency in Mexico is to ignore these women on the catwalks. That doesn’t make sense because most Mexican women are plump.”
Arias pointed out that by shortchanging heavier women in the haute couture offerings, not only are two-thirds of Mexican women being relegated to the prêt-à-porter racks, but the nation’s designers are missing out on a very large potential market.
“We want women who have a little extra meat on their bones to recognize that they can look spectacular, no matter what size they wear,” added Carrillo.
“And with our campaign, we hope to recruit more beautifully chubby women to help us promote a pro-curves movement in Mexico.”
Arias said that while plus-size models are all the rage internationally, only a few brands in Mexico bother to produce clothing for women beyond size 8.
“We are spotlighting the fact that what little clothing is available for larger women in Mexico tends to be unattractive,” she said.
Arias said that even off-the-rack clothing in Mexico tends to be geared to skinny people.
“What we want is nice clothing in larger sizes because it is really depressing to go shopping and find garments that are marked XL and are size 32 (which should be a size M) or to go to the plus-size section and find items that are suited for your grandmother to wear,” she said.
“Don’t get us wrong,” said Molina.
“We are not trying to promote obesity in Mexico, which is a serious concern.”
But Molina said that what Moda en Grande is trying to do is to incorporate all body shapes into the fashion world.
“It is important to understand that there are a lot of stereotypes and prejudices against women who are not super-thin,” she said.
“A lot of people equate being fat with being lazy or gluttonous, and that is not necessarily a fair analysis.”
She said that just like most things in life are not one-size-fits-all, neither should fashion be limited to the petite.
“Beauty comes in all sizes,” Arias said. “We can’t all have blue eyes and be 1.8 meters high. There is nothing wrong with not being cookie-cutter gorgeous. It is also beautiful to be different.”
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