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viernes, 8 de julio de 2011

Big CAN be beautiful!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2012025/Big-beautiful-What-Jenni-Murray-make-Zandra-Rhodes-new-plus-sized-range.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


She's attacked the lack of stylish clothes for larger ladies, so what would Jenni Murray make of Zandra Rhodes' new plus-sized range?


Not often does someone with as little fashion sense as me get to enter the domain of one of this country’s greatest fashion icons. But recently I complained about the lack of choice of clothes for those of us who don’t fit the 8-to-16 sizing rule the industry follows.
Where were the stylish items for those of us who were larger than a size 18? Who would give us something a little more exciting than what I describe as the ‘fat bird’s uniform’ — black trousers and baggy black top to conceal all the lumps and bumps.
Zandra Rhodes turns out to be going some way towards the answer. She’s usually at the high-end of the fashion market, creating exclusive items for customers such as Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and Jackie Onassis, but she’s also designed for Topshop and Marks and Spencer.
Red tunic, £59, Simply Be, Jeans, £80, Whistles, Wedges, £64.99, River Island, Necklace, £39, Bangle, £60, Zandra Rhodes
Red tunic, £59, Simply Be, Jeans, £80, Whistles, Wedges, £64.99, River Island, Necklace, £39, Bangle, £60, Zandra Rhodes
Now, she’s just created a collection for Simply Be. The selling point, apart from carrying her name and colorful style, is that Zandra’s clothes will come in sizes 14 to 32.
As you go through the door to the Bermondsey building that houses Zandra Rhodes Enterprises, you know you couldn’t be visiting anyone else.

The ground floor is the site of her Fashion and Textile Museum, where she keeps 70 chests of her work. I’ve read that she describes her home as a ‘rainbow heaven’ — and she does not disappoint. The door opens on a bright, open room. It’s stuffed with knick-knacks — each of which is a vivid artwork. There are even small stools covered in glitter.
Zandra doesn’t stint on conversation. Her accent is the twang of the not-quite Essex girl. She was born and raised in Kent and burst on to the London fashion scene in the Sixties after studying textile design at the Royal College of Art.
Dress, £69, Simply Be, Clips, £12 each, necklace, £18, bangles, £14 each, Accessorize, Wedges, £130, Kurt Geiger
Dress, £69, Simply Be, Clips, £12 each, necklace, £18, bangles, £14 each, Accessorize, Wedges, £130, Kurt Geiger
Dress, £99, Simply Be, Feather belt, stylist¿s own, Print bangle, £60, Zandra Rhodes, Silver bangles, £14, Accessorize, Wedges, £64.99, River Island
Dress, £99, Simply Be, Feather belt, stylist¿s own, Print bangle, £60, Zandra Rhodes, Silver bangles, £14, Accessorize, Wedges, £64.99, River Island
Here, she developed her vibrant style,  incorporating prints into the shape of her garments in an unusual manner.
As she leads me into the flat, I’m not surprised by the shade of her hair — it’s a shocking pink — but I am taken aback by her size. I‘d always thought of her as quite a big woman. I’d even read that her favorite garment was a black dress which ‘covers all sins and makes me feel less fat’. But she’s tiny and slim.
She laughs when I point it out and explains she came back from a cruise and found on her return she’d put on so much weight her trousers didn‘t fit. The diet has been strict. I would guess her now to be a size 14. She‘s certainly back in the trousers: a snug pair covered in fringes under a black vest, and over that one of her multi-coloured tops.
Dress, £79, Simply Be, Bangles, £60, Zandra Rhodes Earrings, £8.50, Dorothy Perkins, Heels, £60, Topshop
Dress, £79, Simply Be, Bangles, £60, Zandra Rhodes Earrings, £8.50, Dorothy Perkins, Heels, £60, Topshop
Tunic, £55, Simply Be, Jeans, £80, Whistles, Belts, stylist¿s own, Wedges, £130, Kurt Geiger, Bangle, £60, Zandra Rhodes
Tunic, £55, Simply Be, Jeans, £80, Whistles, Belts, stylist¿s own, Wedges, £130, Kurt Geiger, Bangle, £60, Zandra Rhodes

Kaftan, £49, Simply Be Bikini, £31, hat, £22, Accessorize Necklace, £39, bangles, £60, Zandra Rhodes Wedges, £64.99, River Island
Kaftan, £49, Simply Be Bikini, £31, hat, £22, Accessorize Necklace, £39, bangles, £60, Zandra Rhodes Wedges, £64.99, River Island
Purple tunic, £70, Simply Be, Leggings, £60, Fogal at Fenwick, Wedges, £64.99, River Island, Feather and bead necklaces, £15, Accessorize
Purple tunic, £70, Simply Be, Leggings, £60, Fogal at Fenwick, Wedges, £64.99, River Island, Feather and bead necklaces, £15, Accessorize
She’s keen to show off the Simply Be clothes, which hang on a huge rail, alongside some her latest top-of-the-range garments.
Plus size style: Zandra Rhodes and Jenni Murray at the designer's home in Bermondsey
Plus size style: Zandra Rhodes and Jenni Murray at the designer's home in Bermondsey
You must, she says, have plenty going on to direct the eye away from a body’s worst faults. The trick is to emphasise cleavage with a V-neck, heighten the waist, make the sleeves wide, cut holes in the top of a sleeve to show the slenderest parts of the arm and, in the case of a jacket, let it flow down the front of the body to emphasise the print and not the bumpy bits underneath. It’s an optical illusion.
She has plenty of experience designing for the fuller figure, especially since she began working in the U.S. and the UK as a costume designer for operas, fitting out ample-busted singers.
I don’t try on the new collection. The samples are only in a size 14 so they wouldn’t fit me. While the photographer takes pictures of Zandra, I feel the material instead, and compare it with those from her own designer range. It’s polyester georgette. It hangs well, but alongside what I assume are her natural fibers, there is no comparison. They feel soft and breathable.
Of course, we’re talking £50 rather than hundreds of pounds, but I know I would feel hot in the polyester, nor, I’m afraid, do I do bright colour or floaty frocks. It’s not right for me. But it’s a start — the work of a great designer for big women at a reasonable price.

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