2009-07-03 / Columnists

The Style Insider

Commentary By Rachel Bernstein

This is the beautiful winner of the Cover Model Search. Her name is Teslyn Butler and her modeling skills show everyone that big girls can do it to. This is the beautiful winner of the Cover Model Search. Her name is Teslyn Butler and her modeling skills show everyone that big girls can do it to. Welcome back to The Style Insider. In this week's issue, I will be discussing a very important event for which I volunteered last week. This event was the first of its kind and it reached out to a market that had been ignored and sometimes even looked down upon.

Full Figured Fashion Week began on June 25 and ended on June 27, 2009. Even though this event was technically not a week long, the amount of effort and heart put into it made it seem like it should have been. Last Tuesday, I traveled into NYC and met with the production team that included Gwen Devoe, who was the producer of the entire affair. Among her numerous talents, she also trains and sends out plus size models. Just meeting with the production team made me really feel like I was part of this occasion instead of just a volunteer. She filled us in on what to expect at the fashion show and how it came about. By networking, Devoe was able to create an event that will continue to impact the plus size industry as a whole.

As students, we were able to choose which day to work at the event. I chose Thursday which was the designer showcase and networking event. This day was not as huge as the fashion show that was highly anticipated by celebrities, media outlets, and designers, that was to take place on Saturday. However, it was a chance to meet and greet people in the industry and those who were interested in fashion. Along with six others from my school, we were assigned either backstage or at the door. I was assigned, gratefully, at the door.

We were able to meet with everyone before they entered the fashion show and when everyone had arrived, we were able to join the party and watch the fashion show. This was my first experience at a fashion show and it happened to be one of the greatest experiences I have had during my school career. I met many company executives and independent designers. I even got the chance to meet the Cover Model Search winner, Teslyn Butler, along with her very excited family. They had numerous sponsors at the event and one in particular caught my eye as a future career. A magazine called Manik sent over a writer and photographer to cover the event. She handed out Help Wanted flyers looking for curvy women with style. I saw this as an opportunity for my future. However, that was not what the night was for.

After everyone had arrived, my associates and I made our way to the bar to grab a drink and joined the group of guests for a night of fun and fashion. The first designer to hit the runway was Ashley Stewart. Walking to the beat of "Freakum Dress" by Beyonce, model after model, who by the way were all sizes, shapes, and skin tones, strutted their stuff in gorgeous outfits that ranged from denim pantsuits to dresses paired with leather jackets. When the fashion show ended, Devoe thanked everyone for attending and gave a sigh of relief that this part of the event was finally over and was more successful than she could have anticipated.

I want to thank everyone that made Full Figured Fashion Week possible and for giving me this opportunity and remind everyone that fashion is not just for those who wear a size 2, but for everyone who shares that passion for fashion.

Got tips? Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Email me! Fashion @Rockawave.com .

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