Has plus size fashion finally broken the size barrier?

Toccara Jones at the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atl...

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The last few weeks have seen a sudden explosion in the fashion world. Suddenly plus size fashion and fashionista’s are everywhere. At the Emmy’s the fabulous Christine Hendricks and Glee‘s Amber Riley shone like beautiful beacons of voluptuous style, totally at home in the company of equally beautiful, but noticeably slimmer stars. In the case of Amber Riley, praise for her lovely white Grecian dress came from no less a doyenne than the notoriously bitchy Joan Rivers on ‘Fashion Police’.

The amazing Crystal Renn is EVERYWHERE! Whatever magazine you pick up seems to feature something about Renn. ‘Elle’ magazine featured her in its Q&A session, Look magazine gave over both an interview and a fashion shoot to the curvaceous fashion star, whilst the news that she is the new face(if not body) of the latest Chanel campaign has raised more than a few fashion eyebrows.

Beth Ditto is talking fashion and her new collection for Evans in this months Marie Claire, which calls her ‘the unstoppable Beth Ditto’. The gorgeous, sexy new lingerie collection from Simply Be has had features in Reveal and Sunday magazines.

America’s next top model star Toccara Jones stars in today’s Sunday Mirror magazine modelling the fab new range from Evans clothing. Jones counts Jay z amongst her fans and is quoted in the accompanying interview as saying, “Plus means more, there’s more of me to love…” and later “look plus up in the dictionary and tell me where is the sadness or negativity…”

It’s been reported that Marc Jacobs is now going to expand its clothing range up to a size 16+.  Great plus size ranges continue to go from strength to strength, with Evans, new look inspire, Rogers and Rogers and Anna Scholz producing great new collections.

So why is this happening now. Who knows. Fashion is fickle, but I feel the recession has a lot to do with the new respectability afforded to the plus size fashionista. After all, when times are tough, can you really afford to cut out more than 60% of your possible market by excluding them from fashion trends? In addition, there are a few more plus size fashionistas out there, Christine Hendricks, America Ferreira, Toccara Jones, Crystal Renn, Amber Riley, Gabourey Sidebe, Nigella Lawson and Mia Tyler are all flying the flag for fuller figures, with Cosmopolitan magazine claiming more girls would now like to look like Christine Hendricks than Kate Moss. In addition, normal size girls are now getting more coverage, with the curvy figures of Holly Willoughby, Natalie Cassidy and Gemma Arterton in the public spotlight.

the lovely Mia Tyler, plus size model.

The battle is by no means won. Beth Ditto has a great article in Marie Claire, but the more conventional Blake Liveley from Gossip Girl is the cover star. Renn’s beautiful face is the star of the Chanel add, rather than her beautiful body. But lets accept small victories. Fashionista’s know she’s a plus size model, so does the press and most importantly, so does the fashion industry. And that must be a good start.

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