The lights raised, music blasted, cameras flashed, and models sashayed down the runway in things we won't get to wear until spring 2015. It could have been any runway show during any Fashion Week in terms of quality and production, but there was one monumental difference: Every single designer look was plus-size.
In the past, plus women have had to wait a year or more to get their version of runway styles originally designed for the straight-sized set — if they'd get those versions at all. This week, U.K. brand Evans changed all that.
The British plus-size retailer hosted a gaggle of U.S. and U.K. fashion editors and bloggers (including, ahem, yours truly) along with industry elite for the first-ever plus-size runway show to hit London Fashion Week. And, Evans did not disappoint.
The label premiered the Design Collective, a grouping of six high-end designer collaborations available specifically for curvy women. With beautiful pieces from Clements Ribeiro (a previous Evans collaborator), Giles Deacon, Hema Kaul, Jamie Wei Huang, Lulu Liu, Vita Gottlieb, and the winners of the CUT For Evans, the collection brought vibrant prints, shimmery iridescence, sheer panels, asymmetrical hems, and sparkling details.
As any good designer knows — or, shoppers for that matter — you can’t just take a size 6 garment, grade it up to a size 16, and expect it to fit and flatter. The designers worked diligently to craft garments specifically with a fuller figure in mind, and the Evans pros lent their knowledge of the plus-sized consumer to be sure each piece would be a hit.
And, that level of professionalism extended straight through to the runway show, which felt just as elevated and exciting as your typical catwalk affair. This was a fantastic departure from those plus-size shows that seem more focused on spectacle than showcasing beautiful garments. This was really fashion.
The show was polished, the designs standout, and there's one more exciting tidbit about this Evans endeavor: Every single piece will go to production and be available to buy. The Cut For Evans items will drop in February '15, with the Design Collective items to follow in April. The most expensive item of the size 10 through 28 collection will top out at around $340, but most prices hover around $70. So, this first-of-its-kind line will be figure- and bank-account friendly.