Friday must have been my first child-free night since June. It was also the first time I set the alarm on my phone since I left my job in spring. Waking up in a Marriott with a giant breakfast on the cards, it’s easy to get over the inconvenience. It was all for good reason; Saturday was my second year in a row with a staff wristband at the fourth annual Curve Fashion Festival, the biggest plus size event in the country. This year’s was held in St George’s Hall in Liverpool and it was major.
If you saw me on the day, you may have seen in one of a handful of official roles:
- Catwalk photographer
- Event runner
- Security for Gemma Collins
Although my fiancée’s very much involved in the plus size industry, I’m completely disconnected to the fashion world. It means that events like this are always eye-opening to me. There were over 3,000 attendees on the day, many more than expected. I wouldn’t have thought so many people would travel, stay overnight in hotels and such for a chance to see all of their favourite plus size collections in one place. But they did. (And there was especially a lot of Londoners in the building).
I suppose everyone got what they were after. All of the big brands with plus size collections showed what they had to offer. Boohoo were making a lot of noise. River Island were in the building. You would have caught New Look, Matalan and Very too. Then there were all the smaller online brands, the catwalks, talks and extra bits going on throughout the day. It must be fun if this is your kind of thing.
A wild moment for me came when Pretty Little Thing’s boss strolled through the place. I know nothing about the fella apart from a quick briefing that he’s got bleached blonde hair and a thing for helicopter travel. The PLT stand was a highlight thanks to their impressive peach-decorated display, and he must have come to see that they did a good job of it. When he did, I realised that he was rolling with none other than “I’ll crack your skull” Napper, who’s apparently in the security game now. He was gone before I even had chance to discuss golden age Grime.
When I lived in London, I had a thing for finding musicians in the oddest of places and I thought these days were way behind me. It’s not over, and now I’m determined to make it a thing again.
Anyway, back to the event. So much goes into an event like this, both in the lead-up and the aftermath. It’s difficult for attendees (and even people like me that were quite involved) to fathom the amount of moving parts required to make something like this happen, and to keep the customers and brands happy.
Plus size people deserve to be able to shop just like straight-sized people. Events like this are very necessary. Last year so many UK women’s clothing brands felt the pressure to have to expand to larger sizes. Rather than doing it just because everyone else does, they need to understand why everyone deserves to be able to dress fashionably, not just those that happen to fit between the 6 and 16 range.
I’m going to take a year off to recover from all the furniture moving I had to do on Friday and Saturday evening, but you will be able to catch me there next time. I’m hearing that (if it does take place in 2019) it’s going down at a different venue, potentially for the first time outside Liverpool. Shout me if you want more secrets.
Somehow the only photo taken of me at the event (uncovered thus far) was by Sonny Turner (just below alongside Hollie), and unfortunately it’s not coming out, so here are some assorted highlights.