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Friday, 17 April 2009

Full Figured Fashion Week Set to Debut in NYC

Most people associate the highly popular and long-lauded New York Fashion Week with top designers, exciting events, and, in the end, with an endless parade of super-skinny super models. Though fashion models have traditionally been notably thin for several decades, their figures have come under heightened scrutiny in recent years as critics question the presence of eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia among the svelte women. Beyond the medical concerns, many complain that these models fail to represent real women, making it both difficult for many women and especially fashionable adolescent girls to accept their own looks, as well as possibly detracting from the presentation of clothing given the unrealistic frame and size. In answer to these concerns, along with the growing number of women in America who simply don't fit into single-digit sizes, Full Figured Fashion Week is coming to New York this Summer to present its own flavor of design.
An increasing number of American women are plus sized; the retail clothing market for women is comprised of one-quarter consumers who are over size fourteen. They represent about twenty five billion dollars each year in terms of fashion spending, and for a long while their options in terms of designer duds have been severely limited. Full Figured Fashion Week NYC, which has been organized by a diverse team of private label designers, event coordinators, clothing retailers, and professional plus-sized models, will work to cater to this previously neglected demographic. Both recognizing the reality of the female figure in modern America and hoping to increase sales and profits in the meantime, the event is likely to be a hit, even if traditionalists take a bit of offense to the questioning of “proper” fashion design and presentation.
The event is just in time for many clothing retailers and associated industries, as the economic downturn produces steadily declining sales. Rather than produce more of the same, or attempt to overpower extant pieces with as much appeal as possible, the organizers have recognized a basic need -- the need for well-tailored, attractive plus sized women's clothing -- and decided to address it. Though times may be difficult for pocketbooks across the nation, basic quality items like clothing are bound to remain in steady demand.
Whether accessories such as shoes, bags, and jewelry take on their own distinct feel or echo the bold designs and conversation pieces of the “regular” NY Fashion Week remains to be seen. The stunning costume jewellery that paraded with thin models down the runway this season suggested a basic defiance of financial woes, yet managed to remain somewhat subdued and powerful rather than fanciful. This spirit of inner strength is likely to accompany artistic conceptions of the modern plus sized woman, who must embrace and proclaim her individuality and sense of self amidst a world that has, for quite some time, revered a feminine mold into which most simply do not fit.

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