Tuesday 21 May 2013

Interview with Anna Scholz

I honestly never thought I'd be in a position to interview anyone, never mind the stalwart of plussize fashion, Anna Scholz.

I had the pleasure to meet her at Plus London 2 last February:

Where we rocked her purple leopard print dress to show how amazing it looked on different sizes! She is a delight, and still so passionate about an industry she has been a part of for 15 years (roughly).

When I was offered the opportunity to interview her, I was blown away. Here is what we discussed:

  K: These are exciting times in the plus size industry: what is exciting you / inspiring you at the moment?

A: I am happy to see the voice of the plus size community getting louder and stronger, there is much more involvement from bloggers and ‘real’ women within the industry. Collaborations between bloggers and designers with companies like Simply Be, Evans and Swimsuits for All are making sure that (plus size) women get products they actually want.

I am very much looking forward to the launch of our brand new lingerie collection for Simply Be in Spring 14.

K: Are you likely to go down the route of some designers / brands and utilise bloggers / your fan base more?

A: I loved having the blogger event in our studio as part of Plus London Two and am hoping to be involved in Plus London Three as well. I am always inspired by listening to people who look at our brand from a different perspective.

Social media offers us a great exchange with our fan base.

K: With plus size fashion being much more accessible at the moment, will you return to selling your clothes in department stores, or will you keep your brand an online brand?

A: It was not my choice to stop selling in department stores like Harrods, Selfridges and Saks Fifth Avenue, unfortunately these stores all closed their plus size departments. 

I do believe that some customers much prefer to shop in store and touch, feel and try on clothes with the right guidance, and we still sell to a number of boutiques worldwide, which offer that service.

Simply Be has also started to open a number of stores and is looking to increase their number of stores throughout the year.
We are constantly working on improving our presence as an online retailer and create the best possible shopping experience for curvy women.

K: I am lucky to have a number of stores near me, so can vouch for the pleasure of shopping in store!

What is your favourite trend right now? 

A: I love a bit of neon! Accessories, accents in prints or whole garments!

Daisy Contrast Shoulder Flap Dress

Also adore the printed trouser suit.

Cotton Sateen Crop Trousers

Just wish the temperatures this summer would make it easier to get the sandals out again!

K: What do you prefer to design - clothes that flatter, or clothes that flaunt, or do you think clothes can do both?

A: Oh I think clothes can do both, as you want to flaunt your own best assets and flatter at the same time. I am all about curve enhancing and showing you off to your best potential. 

I also keep in mind problem areas and add a little pleat / ruching detail here or there to help out with lumps and bumps.
Curvy women come in so many different shapes and sizes and what suits one woman doesn’t necessarily suits the next, so when I design a range, I try and keep different body shapes in mind so we have something for everyone.

K: Do you design items with people in mind - thinking of Lisa Riley being seen in your clothes a lot recently - have you ever thought "Dawn French would look amazing in something like..." for example?

A: We do dress Dawn French as well :) and funnily enough I have seen both of them a lot in our emerald green snake tunic from last winter.

I don’t have particular celebrities in mind when designing, but I do think about occasions and know we always need to throw in a few red carpet dresses and standout pieces for different appearances.

K:  Anna, it has been a pleasure, and one last question: You appeared in British Plus Size Fashion Week - how was that experience, and do you have any plans to feature there again next year?

A: I loved the networking at British Plus Size Fashion Week and enjoyed the panel discussion. It was great to see so many people come together and make the event a success. However the show was a little bit of a let down, as the organisation was rather poor, but should they get a proper producer for next time I am happy to be involved again.

There we have it, it was honestly an honour to be asked to do this and I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I did being involved in it!

Also, a word of advice - however well prepared you think your questions are, research more :)

Much love my lovelies,
K x

Sunday 19 May 2013

Make a house a home...

Over the past 6 months I've peppered posts featuring renovation updates. And now I bring you my kitchen!

I know, I've never really seen the appeal of kitchen decor. It has only ever been a room for convenience for me. My parents kitchen was part of an open plan kitchen / diner / living room, so it didn't really need much 'styling'. 

But when the kitchen was my own kitchen, and started taking shape, my sense of style started 'leaking' into my kitchen. Don't worry, I cleaned it up!!

It is a long galley kitchen - with dual aspect windows and a back door leading out into my yard. 

My colour scheme for my whole house is teal and lilac, and in my kitchen, the two colours meet. My work tops are a lovely cracked glass laminate, from B&Q, which is a pale teal. My units are a warm walnut, which works due to the amount of natural light I get in my kitchen. 

I knew as soon as I paired the cracked glass with lilac that this was the colour scheme for me. I love contrasting colours, and vibrant prints, so it wasn't too big a leap to expect something similar in my first home.

As it is just me in the house, my dining area didn't need to be anything too fancy:

And here we have a square table bought from eBay (it came with another 2 chairs, but they are used at my dressing table, and at my computer). It is simple but just what I need. My love for vintage and vintage floral prints is again clear here, with the placemats and coasters, with some contrasting storage pots for my  cutlery and bits and bobs. 

My main 'working' area, is small but ideal, and I really don't need anything more than that:

My kitchen, my rules, so there are some things that could be put away, but I like to keep them out and within reach. I am a fan of clutter and making the kitchen feel like it is used, and not just a show kitchen.

There we have it - once my kitchen was finished, I knew that it was my kitchen. I had put my style, my sweat and my soul into designing it, building it, and painting it. Every time I walk into it, either for a cup of tea, or a load of washing, or even to clean it, I know it is a perfect fit for me.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Thursday 16 May 2013

Pale Colours, and Cut Out Collars

We've all heard the 'rules', haven't we. Fat people should wear black, avoid print, stay away from bodycon. Slowly I am shaking off these rules, and wearing what I want to wear, how I want to wear it. 

Recently, I've noticed my clothes loving heart singing at the lighter range of colours. Pastels, beige, heaven forbid - WHITE!

My recent dalliances with pastel colours involved this dress from Simply Be:

I loved the idea of being all buttoned up, but still showing flesh! I was concerned though, that with the buttons, I'd be in a gaping situation - and it is a pet peeve of mine that most of my shirts need to be worn open with a cami underneath as the buttons gape - but after a chat with Becky and Rosie, I decided to give it a try. 

There is some pulling at the buttons, but no signs of gaping. I was sold! 

Unfortunately though, I was wearing this with a full cup bra from Elomi, which meant this happened:

I didn't find the brown lace that much of an issue, as it complemented the pale hues in the dress, but I knew that this was discounted from being a work dress!!

After a trip to Bravissimo for a fitting and a couple of plain white / black bras, I tried the dress on again, adding my new denim jacket for added style!!

(Heart Shaped Brooch is c/o Twisted Siren)

And no bra showing!! YAY!! The Bravissimo Satine is my go to plain bra for the moment!

Now that I have a plain moulded cup bra, I was also able to wear my new Glamorosa item - the lovely layered shirt tunic!

Pictured here in the coral, I opted for this in the Nude, and as always, went for it in H - K (having recently refitted as a 34J, I knew that this was still a good fit option for me!). 

This top is an ideal top for me - it fits my bust, pulls in my waist a little, and is wonderfully floaty and almost romantic in the way the material falls on my thighs. 

I waltzed around the metrocentre all bare arms and proud and LOVED it - but I think that was mainly to do with the fact that this top fits under my arms. Most sleeveless tops gape at the underarm, showing your bra to the world - another reason I rely on shrugs and cardigans - but the better fitting items DON'T. So don't be settling for tops that gape, thinking that they fit - as they should fit snugly under the arm too. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Life is too short

I spent a lot of my early blogging days moaning about how short a lot of dresses were on me, often sending them back with a heavy heart. 

I think of those dresses I wore once, and then panicked and sold on because, again, the skirts were too short. 

Since I have moved out of my parents, and I can choose outfits without the beady eye of my Mam saying it is too short, too tight, too revealing, I have noticed a definite shift in my dress choices. 

I think it all started with this eBay bargain - ex-Sainsbury's stock:

A dress that had been in my wardrobe for about a year, but certainly not worn as often as it should have been. Because, you guessed it, the Mam voice in my head said it was just too SHORT:

TOO SHORT? If this is too short, well, it is going to be my go to dress / skirt length then!

And then the flood gates opened, mainly down to this lovely skater skirt from Simply Be:

Ta dah - a girly skirt, and comic book tee - what more can you want for a casual Friday at work!

It has also meant that dresses I'd normally wear with leggings for a little more leg coverage, I'm now more inclined to wear with tights:

It has only been a short time since moving out, but the change in my day to day (even if we jsut look at fashion choices) has been palpable. My knees are no longer the enemy. 

Whilst out in the Metro Centre with Rebecca of Sullenhearts fame, I sneakily tried this beauty on:
And reader, I bought it! £9.99 for a plain skater skirt - where is the harm in that! So, my next casual Friday outfit will feature this I reckon!

Life is too short to allow other's opinions and expectations drag you down. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Tuesday 7 May 2013

The Magnificent 7th Floral!

I can't believe how quickly the next "7th" rolled around! Our theme this month is Floral, and I've had difficulty narrowing it down to just one outfit!

In recent weeks I've had 3 success stories with floral print:

This old Evans number (from Summer 2010), teamed with my Little Miss Delicious cardigan is a perfect spring time combination!

This Lady V London dress (from last Summer), again, teamed with my Little Miss Delicious cardigan, is great match for either days in the office, or nights out on dates!

But I wanted to show you this:

If we can pardon the funny face, and the fact that the sun was shining so much that I had to close my ineffectual curtain to try to block it out a little!

This is the dress I pick up when out shopping (post here), and this was it's first airing!

The whole point of this challenge is not to buy something new just for the purposes of the challenge, but honest guv, this has been in my wardrobe all this time!

Now this was when the sun was shining but the heat wasn't turned up, so I added my trusty shrug:

An instant shot of summer, and the vintage floral print is just a perfect late Spring dress!! This will happily take me to the office, but also out shopping! 

Saturday 4 May 2013

Project D London for Simply Be

When I was asked to be a part of a Take Five post for the new range at Simply Be, I was giddy! The whole range appealed to a different side of me, from my Working Girl, to my girly whimsy, the capsule collection was something to get a little bit excited for!

We (Mhairi, Rosie, Hanna and Toni) quickly agreed on the Rockafeller Tunic to review, and being black, was something I was keen to play about with!

I've been wafting around in my kaftan / tunic for about a week now, testing it, trying with different styles and looks. I was planning on getting in on Friday night, and styling it out, but my head cold had other ideas, and that is why I'm a little late posting!

Here is a wafting picture I took earlier in the week!

In my wafting, I had decided to... cut off the strings, and cut the ties connecting the sheer kaftan with the slip underneath - I was tired of getting into a tangle whenever I needed to adjust!

The slip looks like this:

with adjustable straps which meant that the top of the slip actually covered me!

Now, enough about the slip!

I ordered the 22 tunic, for a slightly oversized feel - so the skimpy tunic meant you felt you were wearing something a little more shapely, creating a rather interesting contrast to the tunic itself. 

Dark and moody! It was sunny, I promise!

I added a statement belt on a whim, and rather liked the result. The dress does come with a tie belt, but I wanted to make a little bit more of a statement with it.

I'm planning on wearing this dress tomorrow, for a BBQ / Gig / Club night affair, but wanted to style it for you all today, even down to my face:

So, make sure you check out the other lovely blogging babes who took part in the challenge with me:

Much love my lovelies, 
K x