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Pheline - Full Figured Fashion Week, New York City, June 19, 2010

Thirteen designer collections were shown that evening in a fashion tour de force. Flowing resort wear, edgy glamour, elegant evening gowns, chic swimwear, and contemporary street wear all had a place on the runway. Some of the designers showing I had seen before when attending past DeVoe Signature Events. Monif C frequently is included in the nationally televised Rip the Runway fashion shows on BET. More than one of her famous Marilyn Convertible dresses could be seen on women in the audience. A couple of Canadian designers, Pheline and Lotis, joined their American counterparts on the runway. Qristyl Frazier of Project Runway Season 6 fame was named the Plus Designer of the Year. Yuliya Zeltser, the woman behind the ready-to-wear label Igigi, was also attending in person to accept the Plus Fashion Retailer of the Year award. A tribute to recently deceased designer Charles Coleman of Bella Donna Designs was a highly emotional and personal collection for many members of the industry.

As I made my way through the hotel and back up to my room at the end of the evening, a pair of teenage boys jostled each other to open and hold a door for me. I warmly smiled my thanks and thought, "This forty year old, curvy size 16 editor must still have it going on.... or it's who I'm wearing."

Jewel Shannon - Full Figured Fashion Week, New York City, June 19, 2010

The next morning it was time to go home, taking memories of a landmark fashion event with me. I felt at once heartened by the great strides I'd witnessed in the industry, and saddened to be leaving all the infectious energy behind. Gwen DeVoe and her team have truly given a voice to an often neglected corner of the fashion industry at a time when women across America are demanding to be acknowledged and appreciated for who they are, curves and all. She did an amazing job bringing together retailers and designers, pushing and expanding industry modeling standards, and empowering the women who attended. As I set my bags down to check out, a young woman I'd met the night before stopped me to say, "You look great. Who are you wearing?" (Answer: a shell pink Cynthia Rowley cardigan with rosette appliqués on the shoulder and a pair of dark wash, boot cut  James Jeans.) I grinned knowing that was the last time I would hear that time honored fashionista greeting until the next time I returned to New York City for another full figured fashion affair.

Remember you are beautiful. Who are you wearing? I hope someone that makes you feel good, walk taller, and expresses your inner light for all to see.

Featured Plus-size
Fashion Designers


Belle Rene

OSUN Designs



Susan Moses Collection

Qristyl Frazier Designs


Monif C

K Rene Designs

Tru Diva

Jewel Shannon Couture

Tribute to the late Charles Coleman of Bella Donna Designs 

2010 Industry
Award Recipients

Plus Designer of the Year: Qristyl Frazier

Plus Fashion Retailer of the Year: Igigi

Plus Fashion Photographer of the Year: Michael Anthony Hermogeno

Plus Fashion Stylist of the Year: Reah Norman

Plus Industry Icons of the Year: Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

Plus Runway Model of the Year: Whitney Thompson

Plus Print Model of the Year: Elizabeth Seifu

Plus Fit Model of the Year: Kalyea Moss

Plus E-zine of the Year: Skorch Magazine

Plus Blog of the Year: Judgment of Paris Plus-Size Designer Clothing Shopping Directory >>




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