I went to Selfridges tonight. I went for the launch of the Beth Ditto Collection for Spring/Summer 2016. This was an open invite event, and anyone could trudge along... Thanks to a little nudge from my friend Amanda, I couldn't resist.
First and foremost, despite a two year hiatus of any fashion posts, I still love fashion. When the Beth Ditto Collection dropped, I knew I wanted to see it up close and having been a fan of the clothing Beth did for Evans, I wanted to see if there were fundamental similarities.
The event at Selfridges was great. Not because of Selfridges, but because of Beth... She was the main event, but I can tell you now, she was a pretty unassuming one. There was no introduction as Beth arrived, instead, she was suddenly on the floor next to us saying, "HI!!" to everyone she walked passed. And then it started. No formal chats, no introductions, no "this is why I do what I do", this was a meet and greet and thank you to all who had rocked up to support her. It was really nice... Beth took photos with everyone who wanted one, signed items and spoke to (pretty much) everyone in attendance. It was a smallish event, but it is one of the best I can remember from my old days as a blogger.
The Collection? It's lovely. The structured pieces are beautifully lined, feminine and interesting. The Lola Dress and Skirt have pleats and pockets and are made of a modal nylon blend... They have SOME stretch, but honestly, I had to size UP. These pieces are fitted and tailored, but run snug! I couldn't get a great image of the skirt, but here I am rocking kisses, baby! This is the dress in a size 26 (UK). In the Lola Skirt I was a 24 (UK).
(I am editing this post on waking up because I've thought about how snug these pieces are overnight. I am not a size 26. I've thought about this tailoring and how I've had to size up and it really sucks that so many women will be sized out of these structured pieces. I find that difficult to accept as okay).
Anyone familiar with Beth's Evans Collection from AW10, will recognise a similar structure to the Rose Dress and Blue Velvet Dress in the Lola silhouette.
Next up, I tried the Summerweight "Eat Your Makeup" Tee. This is really lightweight and almost buttery to the touch. I am in the size 22/24 (UK) and it was comfortable... I POSSIBLY could have tried the 18/20 (UK) but this piece didn't transfix me... Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this print (it's my favourite print from the Collection), but after seeing the structure and silhouettes from other pieces, I didn't feel a need to keep trying this. It is 100% the best print though and did feel lovely on my skin.
Another print I liked was the Electric Eye print. I mean look at how cute this detail is...
This print is available in the Kim Oversize Shirt and the Leigh Dress. The Leigh Dress is a textured silk and cotton weave that has weight to it and feels luxurious. I tried the Kim Oversize Shirt in an 18/20 (UK). I really like this look. The fabric on this is a rayon/spandex blend and really soft to touch. The loose drape is lovely. Also. Any women who think they might be sized out of the Collection, but still want to try a piece - this is a good one to start with (although I do appreciate that you want access to structured options too and my even mentioning trying an "oversize" top might be infuriating as the same old bollocks you often hear).
Sorry the photo is such crap quality, the stance is deliberate, as I wanted to show the cut and drape from the sleeve. I really, really like this.
Finally, I had to try the Double Bubble Dress. Obviously. I wanted to try a different print (this is available in my favourite "Eat My Makeup" print), and here I am in the print "Times Squares".
Fabric-wise, this is so light you can see the texture of my bra! Outrageous. But not really. I LOVE this piece. Now, this dress was really weird and kind of uncomfortable to get into, but once on, it drapes wonderfully from the shoulder and bubbles into an elasticized hem. This hem feature is reminiscent of some of Beth's earlier pieces and I did not find it constricting once I had it on. The dress comes with a tiny rope belt, which I added, although this would be optional if you want to go for a more floaty look. The drape on this is something else. I am wearing size 18-22 (UK). My photos are just terrible, but hella, I ain't even a real blogger any more!
This was a nice event and experience. I have to say, the fashion here is something else. The pieces have been made with care, by a woman who understands fat bodies. Beth Ditto, in her Collection for SS16, has given Plus Size Designer fashion: beautiful tailoring, floaty oversize, light textures, heavy fabrics and great drape. That being said, this is labeled as Designer-Wear and it's expensive, therefore this Collection won't be accessible to the majority of fat females.
(On a small tangent, the Lola Skirt I tried in black is better than ANY Midi Skirt that I have ever tried. Last year, I bought 2 Midi Skirts from Simply Be - one of which quickly lost shape. I also bought one from Navabi that wasn't structured anywhere near as well as the Lola. All three were much cheaper and none of them were lined. The Lola Skirt would be able to replace all the Midi Skirts that I already own and at £130.00 - that should certainly be the case - but that fact still doesn't make the price point accessible for most women).
This IS a great Collection. The prints are interesting and with different shapes, colours and fabrics available, this will certainly appeal to many women. I do wish I could see consistency in sizing, but I don't - hence posting the range of everything I tried (18 - 26 (UK)). I do love that I could go to the Launch, meet Beth (who was accessible and unassuming), and then go for cocktails with a friend afterwards.
I'm no blogger anymore, but someone at Selfridges told me not to take photos. I clearly then had to take a shit load of photos and share them... Even the crappy ones.
I hope you are all so great.
*Adjusted the price on the Lola skirt so it is now accurate! x.