2013. január 16., szerda

Interview with Remi Ray (British Plus Size Fashion Weekend - Trapped in a Skinny World)

Ciao Bella,

I feel blessed – as after my first exclusive interview regarding Bristish Plus Size Fashion Weekend (n.b. the name changed to avoid misunderstandings as it is an independent event, not related to London Fashion Week) with Rianne Ward (CLICK HERE) I had another fantastic chance to speak with one of the most relevant person behind the curtains, the „mother” of it all. This young lady is only 25 but had a dream and went for it – her name is Remi Ray, a UK  plus size fashion blogger and owner of Trapped in a Skinny World vintage design online boutique.  

Cupcake&Pearls: Remi, please tell us how Trapped in a Skinny World was born?

Remi Ray: I was in my last year at university when I started the blog and the online boutique project. As since the age of 13 I started to design clothes, this path seemed an obvious choice to kickoff. Being a plus size girl I really found myself many times trapped in this (skinny) world and hence the name came.

C&P: You designed clothes as a kid?That is quite exceptional from a teenager!

R.R: Yeah as I was always a bigger girl and frustration creates miracles and provides solutions – since all my friends praised my appearance with compliments and they wanted to know how a size 16 (EU 44) girl finds so fashionable clothes, I decided to give a helping hand for curvy women. People’s interest for vintage clothing started to grow at the time (at 2010) and it made me happy to be able to help my curvy peers as I did not (and do not) do it for the sake of getting rich – and believe me, I am still far from being a Rockefeller (she laughs) but my heart became richer and richer with every smile I could put on plus size women’s face when they finally found appropriate and unique clothes at my boutique.

C&P: But if I am well-informed, your boutique is not available at the moment, correct?

R.R.: Yes, you are right as it is going through some exciting changes and after the Bristish Plus Size Fashion Weekend – I will re-launch Trapped in a Skinny World with even more unique pieces to offer.

C&P: I can imagine you hardly get a couple of hours sleep – February 16 is so close!

R.R: And time is flying – my life is really rapid-flowing now but I was never so happy in my life like right now when I see my dream is becoming reality.

C&P: Please tell me how your dream was born? When and why you wanted this event to happen?

R.R:  I think plus size women have limited choices and since fashion was and is my passion, I did not feel it fair that among the many international fashion weeks, there is non for curvy women – I wanted to give them a choice to meet, to interact, to join the „curvy army” as I frequently refer to our community. I always dreamed about organizing an event which is about us and for us – but being a fresh graduate with very limited finances, it seemed impossible. And then I reached out to Rianne.

C&P: I believe UK’s number one online plus size magazine, the Evolve  was the right hand to reach out to!

R.R: Exactly – and Rianne is a fantastic woman! She inspires me with her attitude of being fast-forward with excellent skills to have things done (she laughs). So we started a conversation which reached the state that British Plus Size Fashion Weekend was born in September 2012. Rianne pulled out her cards with contacts in the industry but as the process started, the industry reached out for us: designers, retailers, journalists, bloggers started to contact us as they all wanted to be part of something great, something we all waited for to happen! Simply Be, Cover-up Clothing (Live Unlimited Collection) Syreeta Badu, Paulie and Julie, One One Three, Carolyn De La Drapiere, Edwin Sinke, Curvissa, Sky media - are just a few name to mention who joined our team of 10 which I would not like to miss to mention. As what you see is the result of teamwork from: Eileen, Skye, Emmanuela, Yasmine, Megan, Michela, Bemi, Dedz  who all work very hard to make this dream a reality.

C&P: So the whole curvy world started to interact – you also had an open casting for models, right?

R.R: Yes, after we placed a public invitation, looking for plus size models– we received approximately 300 online applications from all around the globe and last year December we held a casting where we selected 15 models – also Hungarian ones as you know – and together with another bunch of models from Milk Management, we will have 25-30 curvy ladies on the catwalks on Saturday, 16 February. They will be the closing show of the day – after a very interactive program throughout the whole day as we want to provide a platform of communication where participants can have for instance styling masterclass then use the gained knowledge at a clothes-swapping session so they know what to choose for their bodytype. We also thought of women who are contemplating plus size modelling as Anna Shillinglaw (ex model founder of  Milk Management) will be holding a model 101 class and give advice for aspiring plus size models. Plus size panel discussion will be moderated by top blogger Lauren Ding from Pocket Rocket Fashion.

C&P: So your dream was not only a fashion show but rather a mission, to start the change!

R.R: Exactly – and as self-confidence is crucial to live a happy curvy life, I want to help for the women out there who hide in their closets and afraid to step out. It is time to let our voices to be heard and I want to take plus size women on a journey which ends in celebrating and embracing our curves!

C&P: Thank you for the interview, Remi – you are a real inspiration for all types of woman that dreams can really come true!

R.R: Thank you for your support and interest – and we will continue in February, hope you can join our tables as an invited blogger on the exclusive Press Day.

C&P:  I feel honoured – thanks a million, see you soon!
Talking to this exceptional Beauty with Plus was really an uplifting experience – her neverending smile, despite the tiredness in her eyes, her positive charisma and hard work must stand as a role model in front of us. She found her voice at a very early age therefore she was never bullied or judged by other people for being plus size – as she defeated the demons inside her and started to see herself beautiful. As she described, it is a journey – and not paved all the time with happy moments: Remi told me the story when she was still hiding herself in the closet and did not dare to face the fact that she is bigger than the skinny girls. Back at the time she worked for River Island (UK fashion brand) and instead of going to the women’ department, she picked men’s jeans to wear at work, because she did not want her size to be a subject matter. She rather lied to her colleagues that she is a fan of male jeans. But those times are over – the young woman whom I had a conversation with was a confident, happy person who found her harmony within and aims to help others in the journey. She wants to prove to all curvy women that regardless the size they are wearing, they all have the beauty in them, just need to turn their eyes to their inner values, instead of the labels on their clothes – I think I found a UK twin sister who share what my blog and my mission is about!


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