Why this Badass Lady Became a Plus-Size Designer
Liz Black was NOT happy with the plus-size formal wear options out there.
As she puts it in a personal essay she wrote for xoJane:
“An in-store shopping trip typically goes one of two ways: you’re either forced to slink down to the department store basement, where they’ve hidden the plus section behind the housewares and power tools, or you’re relegated to a “specialty store,” one that stocks only clothes for fuller-figured women. Whichever depressing option you’ve chosen, the end result is very similar: after perusing the rack of frump-filled frocks, you settle for a grandmother-of-the-bride style that seems more sack than sheath and appears to cost more than what Justin Bieber spends on legal fees.”
So rather than get mad at the fashion industry, Black got even by designing her own plus-size formal wear line. Black, a Jersey-City fashion blogger, collaborated with Australia-based formal dress site Fame & Partners to create the X Collection, a line of 11 formal dresses that come in sizes 14-22. She designed two of the dresses herself, the other nine dresses were pre-existing styles that Black futzed with to make the gowns “more plus-size friendly.”
Here’s our Queen of the Day, in all her amazingness, modeling her creations.
Black points out that it’s not enough to just carry standard-sized dresses in larger sizes. There is a risk, she says, of “. . .turning what is an awesome style for a size-6 woman into an oversized sack for a size-16 woman.”
Those of us who have ever watched an episode of Project Runway, or even like seven minutes of an episode, know that it is crucial that a fashion designer answer questions like, “Who’s this girl? Where’s she going? What’s her story?” Black gave the world an AWESOME answer to these questions. I basically want to be best friends forever and ever with the girl she “dresses.” As she puts it:
“The X Collection was inspired by the idea of feeling like a superhero; when you put on a gorgeous gown that flaunts your figure, your confidence skyrockets, you hold your head up higher. You feel invincible, like you could take on anything in the world. But when I went to name the dresses I didn’t want to consider comic book heroes like Storm or Rogue; I wanted to honor my personal feminist heroes like Dorothy Parker, Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, and more. Those women inspire me, as I hope to inspire other women some day.”
Way to design beautiful clothes for beautiful women. You rock on with your bad self, Ms. Black.