Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bettina Liano launches the Curvy jean - taps Tahnee Atkinson to front it


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.


RunwayRevolution said...

...and given how non-existent Australian sizing standards are, it will be interesting to see exactly what size those 16s are (in cms). What's the size of the fit model??

Not to mention how tentative Liano is being here. Two cuts? That's the very definition of a token effort. If she wants a clue, then she should check out Embody Denim. Australian-made, high-quality jean line offering more selection for a variety of body shapes. Sized beyond 16, scores good press, and they don't look like you got them at BigW. It can be done, people!

Style On Track said...

Shouldnt we do a 'real' plus sized model for the shoot?

runwayrevolution said...

Well...Tahnee is curvy, and that's the name of the line. The fact that Liano isn't doing over a size 16 would, I think, give her the perfect reason not to use a plus size model.

If she wanted a reason, that is. Plenty of 'real' plus-size models to choose from on my blog, if she's

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but those folks in the TT piece were morbidly obese. A 'healthy' approach to body image and sizing is imperative - fat acceptance is not. Why should these stores have to fork out extra $$$ to dress the undressable?

Julie Parker said...

You're "sorry" Anonymous? So you bloody well should be for saying ANY person of a particular size is "undressable." I suppose you would prefer them to walk around naked then?

You would do well to keep such hate insighting and vile comments to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Naked? No. There are brands out there that have clothes for folks 16+. But the one's in the TT package - they've been making 6 - 16 for years and years and years. Decades in fact. Why are they suddenly made out to be the bad guys because people are picking up Big Macs and driving their cars everywhere?

Julie Parker said...

Anonymous - Such vitriolic sentiments for people based purely on their size I find truly incredible and so judgmental. People of all shapes and sizes deserve to feel fashionable - including the "folks" you mention.

By the way - the stores you mention have not been making size 6 clothing for decades. That is a relatively new size. I wonder why we find it so acceptable for them to then introduce such sizes for very thin and small women, but not for those who are not a model size?

Also - size 16 in these stores? Where? Where? On any given day you would be hard pressed to find such clothing made in size 14.

Anonymous said...

Sure, which is why there are plus size brands out there.

As for the supposed introduction of smaller sizes; pick up an 8 from a decade or more ago and you'll find it's the equivalent of a modern 6, if not smaller.

Sizes are more generous nowadays across the board; designer gear excepted.

It would be of great concern to see mainsteam retailers start introducing sizes 16+. It's simply unatural and unhealthy for the human body to fall into this category. Let's not normalise it.

RunwayRevolution said...

If size 16s are unnatural, then how exactly is this peculiar phenomenon occurring in the human race? Did they get hit by lightening, bitten by radioactive spiders, or were the results of a mad scientist's experiments?? No, you pinhead. They've always been there, just like short and tall people. Nowadays though, they are talking louder about their limited fashion choices; it's just that you don't don't want to hear about it.

Besides, you argue against your own point. If designers are getting more generous with their garment sizes, then gee, aren't they the ones letting us get bigger? Maybe we should be blaming part of the ZOMG obesity epidemic!()%&)^! on vanity-sizing. Now that would make some sense.

List of mainstream retailers offering a size 18 on their regular lines:
Sportcraft (gasp!)
Trenery (shock!)
Charlie Brown (stop it, you're killing me!)

..and then there are the vanity-sized 16s that will easily fit 18s, but let's not go there. I can tell you are now completely and utterly concerned. Stiff cheese.

Frances said...

Let's not normalise it.

I see this written all the time by fat haters and I never quite understand it. At the moment, there are very few retailers offering fashionable plus size options, and yet fat people still exist. How will continuing to deny us fashionable clothes make us go away, if it hasn't worked so far?

People may view fashion as frivolous, but fashion is actually quite political as it is what we use to make a statement about ourselves to the world. Basically, Anonymous, you are saying that fat people do not deserve this due to how we look. That we deserve to be punished - by exclusion - because of our size. How charming.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is 100% right. Let's not encourage this disgusting body shape. If you want to wear designer clothing, make the effort to look the part. Lose some weight and wear all the designer clothes you want.
No one is 'letting' or 'forcing' these people to be big. But by making the effort to design plus size, high end fashion we are saying that it is okay. When it is absolutely not.

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