In an arena where thin is the norm, many heads were turning when a bevy of plus women descended upon Lincoln Center. No, they weren't there to protest; they were there to disrupt in another way — to celebrate the first-ever showing from a plus-size designer at New York Fashion Week.
Cabiria, designed by Eden Miller, was showcased during a group presentation by the Fashion Law Institute on Friday, September 6. While the other designers received a tepid response, press and fans turned up in droves to cheer this history-making moment.
When we spoke to her, it was obvious that Miller couldn’t contain her joy. “I love how the press embraced the models; the models have embraced the clothes; everyone has seemed to be embracing everything. A lot of embracing! So, that part is really thrilling.”
When asked if she thought it was an attention ploy from the Fashion Law Institute, Miller explained, “I don’t think anyone has taken it as a gimmick, and if they had, I would have thrown that in their face or disinvited them, told them no, if you think this is a joke, no. But nobody has responded that way, everyone has been fantastic [and] incredibly receptive.”
Miller threw out all those antiquated notions on what plus-size women can or can’t wear. Her collection was filled with vibrant colors, large graphic prints, and aggressive florals — all things that typically have been old-school no-nos. “I did not know if I was going to get another chance, so I wanted to do it big and bold. I was accused once of being an ‘unrepentant maximalist,’ so I go pretty hard. I go big or go home.”
Miller stayed humble while she mused on the future of plus fashion. “I am hoping what this means is that this is a first step in knocking down a very big door. I don’t think I can do it alone, but, I know, that with other designers who are as willing to take risks as far as making beautiful clothes that are not safe per se, or not what everyone has seen before, then yeah, we might have a movement that we can roll with. But, it needs more than me.”
While this revolutionary moment is a step in the right direction, we are optimistically, yet cautiously, eager to see what the future of plus-size fashion might hold.