Tag "Plus London"

My Boudoir Shoot With Chiara Aprea

One of the hardest things for any women out there to do is to look in the mirror and absolutely love what she sees! About a year and a half ago I pretty much hated myself physically. I would poke holes in my appearance, jump in with insults before others could and like many plus size people, I would hide away in black clothing hoping to blend into the background. I would do things to make myself feel better like get my hair done or my nails but I would still find fault with myself. Those who have known me for quite some time will know that I may be confident in my personality and with my talents but my image was the one area that had always taken a beating leaving me with limited self confidence.
When you spend years of you life listening to the comments of others and telling yourself that being big makes you ugly it can be hard to have any real level of self esteem. What changed for me was when I reached my mid twenties. I decided that I had spent more than enough time hating myself and that if I didn’t “pull myself together” I would spend way too much of my time beating my own confidence into the ground. I experimented with different styles of dress, playing around with fashion and make up and have now reached a place where I can look in the mirror and actually like what I see!
When I was at Plus London last year I met an amazing girl who not only is a stunning plus size model but amazing photographer! Chiara Aprea is fast making a name for herself specialising in plus size photography with an aim of building confidence in her clients. When I saw the gorgeous photoshoots she had done of some of my friends I thought you know what i’m gonna call her and try this out. I dropped her a message and we made plans to do a boudoir themed shoot…
I arrived at her home with a suitcase full of vintage inspired clothes and some lingerie. I was full of nerves but excited to get all dolled up for the shoot. Chiara worked on my hair and make-up and transformed me into a vintage sex kitten! We were soon ready to get snapping away and I went in with a mind set that even if I don’t like how I look in some of the shots, the experience would do me some good…
Hair and MUA and photography by Aprea Chiara
Styling by Chiara and myself.
Please do not copy or edit any images without permission from model and photographer.
As we first got started I was really nervous and self conscious and Chiara convinced me that I looked good and that I had nothing to worry about. She directed the shoot giving me hints and tips on how to pose. We played around with different hair styles, clothes and backdrops, always fun for any girl who likes playing dress up! For me I found this experience extremely daring! I had posed in as little attire as a sheer sheet and my underwear, right the way up to a corset and cape with petticoats on. I started out as a shy woman doing something for a little fun and ended the day feeling revived, confident and fabulous! From start to finish Chiara made me feel comfortable, in control and beautiful. She would give me sneak peaks of some of the frames and in truth I looked one hundred percent better than I could possibly have anticipated!
Not only did it feel good to have a friend on the other side of the camera, I felt confident that she would be able to get the best out of me. As a plus size model herself with some beautiful photos I knew that she was able to capture me how I wanted. Looking back in hindsight I really believe that what had me nervous in the beginning were my former doubts trying to creep in!
When the shoot was done and we went to review the pictures I expected to pick out maybe 5 or 6 that I liked and I ended up wanting to purchase almost every single frame taken in the shoot! I had never thought I could look so good and I am so glad I did it! Putting myself in a new situation that was totally out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to try something new has given me new insight. You have to be willing to take more risks, you may love the end result!
Myself and the gorgeous Chiara after a fun day of shooting
If any of you have considered doing a shoot of this kind and you live in the UK you really should drop Chiara a message and book in your shoot! You will not be disappointed!
You can find her on Facebook here.

Plus London 2013… Fun, Fantastic, Fabulous!

For the past few months I have read blog posts and tweets about the previous Plus London and Plus North events that have taken place. Seeing all the amazing pictures and stories about the fashion, the talks and the festivities of these fantastic events had me eager to go down to one of them for myself! When Plus North came about a couple of months ago I unfortunately couldn’t get the time off work, so when I saw that an amazing event was being held in my home town of London, and local to me, I couldn’t miss it! I immediately registered for my tickets online and was quickly counting down the days until I was due to go. The question that was on everyone’s minds was, ‘what should I wear?!’.  I opted for my favourite dress, the Dolores Doll by Collectif! 
 
The event was comprised into three parts; Brand Day, After Dark and Community Day. 

Two leading plus size brands; Simplybe and Curvissa sponsored the weekend event, and I have to say it was so worth the wait! As soon as I walked through the door I was given a warm welcome and smile by the team,  and I quickly saw a range of familiar faces; bloggers, tweeters and fashionistas who filled the room. I was so pleased to see that even though we were all of “plus size” we all came with our own look and style. I was soon mentally taking notes of some of the fabulous combinations of colours, fabrics and accessories the girls carefully selected to create their outfits. I have to say, I soon ended up with a few ideas for some of my own looks. I’d like to add that for all of those fashion critics who think that the token look for a plus size girl is a black smock with plain and unflattering pants, they could not be more wrong! There was so much individuality, and tons of innovative styles in the room that you couldn’t help but be inspired!

A random quadruple selfie with me and the girls 
 
It was really refreshing to see independent companies networking and showcasing their products along with the mainstream brands that nearly every woman there had in her wardrobe. As we were given the chance to leaf through stands full of fantastic items there was so much going on! Old and new friends were gushing over the new and fantastic lines being presented to them on the stands and we were all taking note of items that we were eager to add to our wardrobes and accessory drawers! I thought it was great that representatives from the brands were happy to have talks with the group and discuss the new and upcoming lines, whilst taking feedback from the bloggers and buyers. It was evident to me that every one in the room all shared the common purpose of making us bigger girls look and feel fantastic about ourselves and I was so pleased to see that everyone came in with a positive outlook and an excitement to be there.
I attended both days of the weekend event and I after taking part in several conversations with the girls there. It got me to thinking about the “plus size” community that I was a part of. I have always been a big girl and I have always been the “big girl” in the group. For the first time I was surrounded by women who had experienced the same troubles, stereotypes and wardrobe malfunctions as myself!. What became apparent to me is how so many of the current fashion brands are embracing us bigger girls as women who can look just as stylish as our smaller counterparts, and that we also deserve that right. It seemed to me that every single person who participated in the event not only wants to look and feel great but knows that it’s her personal right to be able to walk down the street with her head held high in the clothes of her choice!
BLAST were there to capture the goings on during Brand Day and After Dark. I was lucky enough to have a slot with them where I asked the gorgeous Sarah to join me for a few snaps. The pictures that were taken of the girls throughout the day looked beautiful from what I saw. At Plus London After Dark, the after party held on the Saturday. Blast held an impromptu fun shoot complete with props and costumes. I was draped in feather bowers and depicted as both an angel and a vixen lol. This was a lot of fun and a really nice addition to the weekend. Check out some of their photography on their website www.blastphoto.co.uk

Me and the gorgeous Sarah H  
 
Photography by Blast Photo

The panel discussion which took place on Sunday the 3rd was very inspiring and tackled issues such as the sex life of a fat girl, the stereotypes, the media, health and exercise. I love to take part in a good and healthy debate so to hear so many fantastic points of view left me feeling uplifted, inspired and even more confident than I was before the event took place.

Lately it seems that being a plus size woman comes with a stigma, misconceptions and a general negative vibe. I will say though being around all the other women at the event and speaking to some of the other bloggers gave me a sigh of relief. I found the event to be a breath of fresh air and I can honestly say that even though we face our daily struggles it is nice to know that we are moving towards positive things and that we’re able to do it together with confidence, a smile and a damn good outfit on our backs! It’s nice to know that we are FINALLY starting to not only like who we are but really enjoy who we are. I have NEVER in my entire life been in a room with so many fantastic women and I know that I have gained some great new friends who I may not have met had I not taken part in the weekend.
I really feel that we benefit from events such as this one because it not only gives us a chance to be around others who are similar to ourselves, it’s a chance for us to embrace ourselves and celebrate who we are. I can honestly say not one person came with a bad or negative outlook and everyone was sad to see the weekend come to and end. It was obvious to me that a huge amount of work had gone into the preparation of the event and I think it’s fair to say that the team outdid themselves in making it all happen and bringing everyone together.

I can’t wait for the next one and I hope that I will finally be able to take part in Plus North also.