Plus Size Fashion has made astronomical strides throughout this year, and one of those was full frontal fashion magazine, Marie Claire adding the column, Big Girl in a Skinny World. Given the climate and popularity of the plus size woman and her fashions, I wanted to delve into those at different levels in mainstream fashion to gain different perspectives on our progress and momentum!
Imagine my surprise when I received the confirmation of today’s guest! The lady behind the column, Ashley Falcon, happily agreed to chat a bit and she opens up a bit with me to chat about fashion, inspirations, and the plus size community.
Curvy Fashionista’s please read on to learn more about Miss Ashley Falcon:
Thank you for taking the time to chit chat with me! How are you today?
I’m great! Finally have 5 seconds of down time after a final college semester of 7 classes, writing the column and traveling back and forth between Miami and NY the entire time.
Whoa! I did not know you lived in two different cities! Okayâ€¦ Thank you for your time! Tell me, what are you wearing today?
I’m wearing an olive green anorak jacket with metal studs from Calvin Klein Plus, an Alexander Wang t-shirt and a pair of Z. Cavaricci skinnies paired with a pair of Miu Miu wedges.
Nice, Nice So, Miss Falcon while most now know you as the Marie Claire columnist, when did you and fashion find each other?
I was about 10 when I became completely obsessed. It progressed from make shift fashion shoots with my mom’s camera, to fashion shows produced by me walked by my friends. I immersed myself in every magazine possible (by age 14 I was subscribed to every magazine being published). By 16, I snuck into my first fashion show in Miami (Versace). When I turned 17 I landed my first mini internship in Miami at a small magazine. The experiences there laid the groundwork for my 1st NY internship at WWD and then ultimately Marie Claire, the internship that changed it all.
Yes, Marie Claire will do that to you! Okay, so I know as a plus size woman, we must often get creative with our fashions, what was your most creative moment?
I had fallen in love with a popular designer dress that was so snug I could barely breathe. I bought it on clearance, took it to the seamstress had it torn seam from seam on the sides and added in a black panel on each side. I was asked at least 20 times that night if the designer had custom made my dress. (I wish!)
Oooh! Really! I am impressed! So we know at least from that answer you got some creative juices flowing. When it comes to fashion, what are some of your creative inspirations?
So many things inspire me, from my favorite designers to my favorite places. I love that fashion is ever changing and nothing is ever completely out of the question (including a plus-size fashionista). The way the right clothing makes people feel inspires me. Mostly, I am inspired by passion. There is nothing that gets me going more than passion for what you do whether it’s teaching, cooking or fashion!
Oooh okay! It sounds like life is your inspiration! Before joining Marie Claire, you were a stylist. How did you become a stylist? Is this fun or work- or both?
After sifting through every magazine every month I decided I wanted to do it myself. I began networking and assisting established stylists to understand how the industry worked. After a while, I started styling my own shoots building my portfolio and I eventually had a few published editorials.
Every stylist knows you are never done building your book and so that’s what I’m doing, shooting as often as I can in hopes of someday styling high-end ad campaigns, and high fashion editorials. As far as styling everyday women, I had been dressing my friends and everyone around me since a young age, and there’s nothing better than firsthand experience with different body types.
Nice, you have a natural eye there, I see! Who are some of your clients and where can we see your work?
I work for many different women on a personal basis. Many times I help them rework their closets, I also accompany them to stores, help them put together a look for a big night or an interview; it all depends on what each client needs. As for editorial styling, I have had a few editorials published in Glossy Magazine and Esquire Mexico. Hoping to extend the list in the very near future.
Ooh! I had no idea! Okay, In your column, you talk a lot about dressing for your curves- BUT what I want to know is- will you feature the indie plus size designers doing it big? Like Chan.nel Karama, Jibri, Nakimuli, Trentacosta, and SVOBODA?
Absolutely, the editing process that goes into a page in a magazine is intense. I usually have 2 or 3 racks filled with samples and only a handful makes it into the magazine. I’m open to any designer that makes great clothes and has something specific that I’m working on at any given time.
Well, I hope to see more fashions and designers on your column! J Onto a tougher questionâ€¦
Some in the blogosphere feel you do not fully embrace your curves, because you reference dressing slimmer and talk about stores that do not fully cater to the plus size woman. Could you share your thoughts of your personal body image and why you feature these stores?
What can I tell you; You can’t win them all! I am the type of person who doesn’t dwell on negativity. I focus on the hundreds of emails I receive from women who love the column and are in my opinion way too flattering! I am a very lucky girl who gets to do her dream job and help women in the process!
As for dressing slimmer, I have yet to meet one woman (plus-sized or not) who looks in the mirror and says: Great this outfit makes me look huge, I’ll take it. It’s not about dressing slimmer, it’s about flattering your body whatever size or shape you are working with. I shop at all stores and if something fits and works for me, I’m purchasing it – plus-sized or not.
Fair enough! If you had the power to change one thing about plus size fashion, what would it be?
It would no longer be plus-size fashion. What is with the segmenting and the division of body types? We are all â€œreal womenâ€: thin, average, thick. I wish I could pick up a size 2 at the front of the rack and a size 20 at the end of the rack. I hope the future of fashion is more inclusive of all women.
An integration of sizes I think we are slowly and surely on our way! Plus size growing up versus plus size fashion now, what differences do you see?
A complete 180-degree difference While there is still the occasional What were they thinking? moment in the plus-size section, more and more trendy designers are jumping on board and making clothes for more and more body types. We are slowly but surely being recognized as chic women who want to look good no matter what the number on the scale is.
YES! It also seems like over the past two years, plus size fashion has grown leaps and bounds, gaining mainstream attention, what, over these past years was the most impactful to you and why?
I hate to be selfish with this question! But, I have to say that hearing Joanna Coles, the Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, saying We are definitely doing something with this,â€ in regards to my pitch of Big Girl in a Skinny World was surreal. Aplus-size column in a mainstream magazine is certainly a leap.
That it is! Speaking of fashion leaps, let’stalk about Full Figured Fashion Week. What were your thoughts about it?
From the coverage I saw, I thought it was a great event. Some of the fashions were very wearable and reflected the season’s trends.
The show was AHMAZING! I just knew for sure we were going to see you in New York, why weren’t you attendance?
I was actually not in NY at the time since I was still living in Miami and in the middle of Midterms. I certainly would have rather been at a fashion show than pulling all-nighters studying. It was simply a case of bad timing; I would have loved to be present!
We better see you next year! Or in LA! Okay, so how do you think this event will shape plus size fashion in the future? Or hopefully affect it!
I definitely hope that FFFW will continue to grow and become mainstream. Creating awareness is key with any cause and FFFW is doing just that! It sends the message loud and clear that plus-size women want to be fashionable and they aren’t taking no for an answer.
I believe it is on that path!! So, what is next for Miss Falcon?
Well, I just finished my last semester of college. I’m moving to NY permanently in the coming week. I’m still writing the column and hoping to realize my styling goals. And well there’s a whole lot more coming but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out!
I love a good intrigue! Last question! What does Curvy.Confident.Chic. mean to you?
It means going after your biggest dreams, surrounding yourself with amazing people, never losing sight of who you are and dressing like your life is a red carpet!
Thank you so kindly to Miss Falcon sharing her time with us! What did you think? Were you enlightened? Did you learn something new? I know I did!
To read more of Ashley Falcon and her columns, please visit her column, Big Girl in a Skinny World. And if you are addicted to twitter like me, you can catch her latest tweets by following @Ashley_Falcon on Twitter!