I am so excited to be able to announce that I will be attending Melbourne Fashion Week Plus (aka MFW+) in just over a week!
Let me tell you about MFW+. This week long fashion festival is both for fat women, and by fat women. From the MFW+ website:
The Directors of MFWPlus come from a variety of backgrounds and are united by the prospect of delivering a first class fashion festival like nothing the Australian plus size fashion industry has seen before. Inspired by the wealth of plus size fashion available and their participation in previous plus size events, they are committed to creating an event in line with other Spring Fashion Festivals that not only broadens the content to include International designers but provides plus size women with their own festival and puts Melbourne on the map as one of the hubs of plus size fashion and body positivity in Australia.
I believe that fashion, style and clothing are a vital aspect of fat liberation. Fat people have been denied access to fashion and suitable clothing for so long that for us to participate in the fashion world is radical and revolutionary. We have been told for so long that we’re not allowed to be fashionable and stylish until we’ve literally reduced ourselves, so the fact that a group of passionate women are building an event such as this is a real “fuck you” to all of those who have policed our bodies through denying us clothing and style.
The thing I love about fatshion is that WE create our own paths. You don’t have to follow one particular aesthetic, you don’t even have to be into traditional “fashion” so to speak. Fatshion is about finding your own style, your own voice through the way you dress and present yourself. Fatshion is about being innovative, about sharing and encouraging each other, and about pushing and shifting the boundaries of clothing options for fat women.
Fatshion is also about being unapologetic about living in a fat body. It’s about building self esteem and confidence, and representation in a world that has long tried to hide us away.
Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of plus-size fashion (as opposed to fatshion, which I think is a subset of plus-size fashion) that is still exclusionary to a lot of fat women. But it’s our job to critique those aspects, and push for change, not opt out of something that has been long denied us.
If you’re in Melbourne, or can be in Melbourne from 22-28th of August, I highly recommend attending some (or all) of the events. You can buy tickets here.
I’m really proud to have been asked to attend and participate in MFW+. I’ll be attending all of the runways, and participating in the panel on Tuesday 23rd August – Feminism, Fashion and Fat Bodies with Meagan Kerr and Sarah Harry.
And I’m also really thrilled that I can offer two tickets to the event as a competition here on Fat Heffalump! So… if you’d like to win a double pass to the MFW+ Panel, Feminism, Fashion and Fat Bodies, which will be held at the Duke of Wellington Hotel in Melbourne, 7pm Tuesday 23rd of August for you and a friend, comment below and tell me what fatshion means to you.
Competition closes this Sunday night at 7pm Brisbane time. Winners will be drawn randomly from valid entries and notified on Sunday night. Please only enter if you can definitely attend the event (or on behalf of someone who can), as I don’t want to see the tickets wasted by someone not showing up on the night! These tickets are limited and hot property!
And if you’re at any of the MFW+ events, keep an eye out for me and say hello! Don’t be shy, I don’t bite, I promise. I’ll be in Melbourne for the whole week and am looking forward to meeting a whole host of new people. For those of you who can’t be in Melbourne for the event, I’ll be blogging and sharing updates on my social media – Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. You can also follow MFW+ on Facebook, Instagram and the #MFWPlus hashtag on Twitter.
Now I just have to decide what I’m going to wear all week!!
We have a winner. I used a random number picker on random.org to chose the winner, and the winner is…
Commenter number 4 – RYOU! Congratulations, I will send you an email in just a moment.
Thank you all for entering and I do urge the other entrants to grab a ticket or two and go along – it’s going to be a fantastic event and I’d love to meet you all.
I just saw you on abc and you just inspired me to consider, that Fashion can be accessible to me. I think there is a new meaning for fashion for me it is ….. Why the hell not !!! I look forward to indulging this new found optimism. Thanks
This is so exciting! To me, fatshion means *finally* being able to express myself visually. To wear exactly whatever I want without giving the slightest damn what anyone else thinks.
Did I mention I was excited??
Fashion or more importantly fatshion and it’s advancement for me equals freedom. Whether you finally get the outlet to be able to express your creative side and your personality through clothing or to finally be able to fit in and wear what your peers are wearing. Its about having choices and being seen as valued and worthy. I love clothes, beauty and makeup and I want these things be something I can be excited about and celebrate rather than be a constant reminder that I don’t matter or that I should change.
I grew up wearing masculine clothing because those were the only thing that would fit me. Mind you, I also grew up in an Asian country where one-size-fits-all clothing that would only fit people size 4 or smaller are more common than anything that would fit a size 12 body. My size 16 teen body just didn’t exist to manufacturers.
But no more.
For me, fatshion means the ability to make peace with my femininity that I rejected because I didn’t feel qualified to participate in due to my fat body. Nowadays, I’m content with my nonbinary identity AND a feminine presentation because I finally have access to pretty clothing that fits me. I can FINALLY develop a personal style! It’s no longer dictated by which affordable garment would fit me!
(Although it’s still disconcerting to me how much of the plus-size clothing I own says “Made in Indonesia”, considering good plus-size clothing are still very hard to come by over there. What they produce are exported, only to sometimes be imported back and sold at an inflated price. )
PS: Whether I win the competition or not, I’m definitely going to try to attend the panel. Being able to see you in person would be rad. 😀