Sunday, November 22, 2009
Bettina Liano, Australia’s original jean queen, is the latest Oz designer to pay hip service to the larger sizes issue. Frockwriter can reveal that Liano will launch a new jean line called Curvy next month. Aimed at the more curvaceous woman, it consists at the moment of two jeans: a new style called Curvy and a "curvy" adaptation of Liano’s classic True Bootleg style. Curvy is a straight leg, mid-rise jean in a vintage wash. Both styles are cut to allow more room around the bottom and thighs and will be available in sizes 8-16. According to a Bettina Liano spokeswoman, Liano's jeans usually go up to a size 12 (even though Liano’s website indicates they may reach 14). To kick off the launch, Pierre Toussaint will shoot new campaign images in Sydney on November 30, with Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 winner Tahnee Atkinson.
This is interesting for several reasons.
Firstly, the ongoing controversy over the dearth of designer clothing in larger sizes.
Not that 16 is by any means tapping into the plus size market. But as Melbourne blogger Hayley Hughes and I recently discovered when we took two hidden cameras into Chapel Street to shoot a story for Australian current affairs television program Today Tonight on how the fashion industry discriminates against larger sizes, it was extremely difficult finding anything on Chapel Street over a size 12. For someone who writes about the industry, this even surprised me. Brisbane blogger Nicholas Perkins also took part.
Click here to see the Today Tonight story.
Secondly, as we know, this year’s ANTM placed quite some focus on the body image issue and it seemed almost a fait accompli when curvy Atkinson won the competition – even though runnerup Cassie Van Den Dungen appeared to be the better-equipped of the two for an international high fashion career.
Meanwhile, Atkinson recently visited New York and some appear genuinely shocked that Atkinson was not welcomed with open arms by the New York market.
Atkinson will join the upwardly-mobile Jess Hart as a current season Bettina Liano poster girl.
PS. In the TT story, the figure of $10.5billion refers of course to the estimated fashion component of Australian clothing retail sales [source: IBISWorld]. And yes, Gossip is indeed an American, and not a British, band. As I have blogged previously. The word British inadvertently slipped into the script and I did not realise until it was too late. My apologies.
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