I was really happy when I received an invite to the house of Lilly Mae fashion show. Over the past two years, I was never officially invited to blog about a fashion event and the ones I did attend I was taken as a guest by my friend Caroline from the blog Diva inside. I typically write about all things health and nutrition. I am eternally grateful I was invited and able to put my own view and spin on fashion related to mental health.
As an ex size 22, I never felt I could fit into this world of fashion. Two years ago when I was at my heaviest I would have never dreamed of attending such a fashion show as it can be, an incredibly isolating experience. The main reason I always felt this way is that women at these events don’t look like me. They don’t know what it is like to step into a room where you are so painfully the odd one out, to have people look at you like you don’t belong, all because of your size.
This event organised by Lilly Mae and Gerry Weber was a truly humbling experience. The focus of this event was not about showing how perfect their clothes looked at what society considers a normal female body. In fact, at this fashion show, we saw women of different body shapes, sizes and ages strutting down the catwalk in all their glory, and they were all “undeniably sexy”.
I felt that this room was the embodiment of the body positivity movement, the clothes showed here highlighted the importance and necessity of size diversity in fashion by casting a wide range of models for this show and exhibiting clothing for full-figured bodies as well as petite bodies. I am so happy to see that we’re inching more and more toward realizing an industry where everyone, regardless of their size, is finally celebrated — and long-held standards of beauty that privilege thin people no longer exist.
Sadly, full-figured a.k.a. curvy-licious women like me are still struggling to find clothes that fit us perfectly. I spent years choosing clothes that would hide me as much as possible because my body was never the so-called ‘perfect’ body. This fashion show was the chosen models day, to feel confident, sexy, and beautiful. You could tell from the smiles on their faces that they not only felt amazing but were having fun too. Heavier women have not been given much option when it comes to following the trend as we only get frumpy or shapeless designs. Plus-sized clothing shouldn’t be boring, dull or safe. We obviously need more cute outfits to match our interesting and very large personalities. We’re big, but we should be able to wear clothes that make us feel good. This is what Lily Mae and Gerry Weber have done – they have provided this niche for women in Malta. Thank you Maria borg for being a trailblazer in redefining society’s beauty standards.
The talented Jo Caruana, who I have been a fan of since she starred in legally blonde at the Manuel theatre kept the crowd enthralled with her witty quips and charming personality. I have never seen anything this amazing woman has been in that I have not loved – she was the perfect addition to this celebration of women and beauty.
In today’s fashion landscape, designers and stores are moving away from the long-accepted standard of beauty that feature size 4 and 6 models. Diversity in fashion has become a movement, embracing women of different sizes, body shapes, ages and ethnicities. Consumer choices aren’t the be-all and end-all of social change, but how people dress has a meaningful impact on their life in a way that’s often dismissed along with the fashion industry’s frivolity. At its best, fashion is fun. It’s a way to give visual form to your identity and tell people a little about yourself. But fashion, at its corporate core, is also about the maintenance of social hierarchies. The companies that dominate our shops and e-commerce help decide which bodies get to be perceived as professional or capable or sexy.
If your body falls outside the bounds of acceptability set by most clothing brands, there are only so many identities you get to express. Finally, the majority of Maltese women are getting a better chance to look like the people they’ve always been. Thank you so much for inviting me! This was an amazing experience for me and I look forward to organising a shopping spree with my mum at your stores.
This event was made even more special with the beautiful flowers that decorated the hall and also the music provided by the talented Tiffany Pisani. I also discovered a new local brand called Healthy Leaf that caters for celiacs. As a recently diagnosed celiac, my life has just been made harder and this brand allowed me to go home with some delicious goodies 🙂