Christian Siriano show features plus-size models

This fall’s New York Fashion Week has been nothing short of revolutionary. Beyond the cutting-edge styles featured, we’ve seen models in hijabs for the first time, and thanks to Christian Siriano, we’ve now seen all sizes represented on the runway.

According to Glamour, Siriano sent five plus-size models down the runway for his fashion week show, while also dressing plus model Ashley Graham who watched the show from the front row.

This all comes on the heels of several attempts made by the designer to make fashion available to all sizes and body types. Glamour not only points out the now-famous red dress he made for Leslie Jones to attend her Ghostbusters premiere, but also the wedding dress he custom-made plus-size blogger Nicolette Mason as examples of his efforts to promote size diversity.

But beyond designing stunning looks for actresses, models and bloggers, Glamour says Siriano is also making his design talents even more accessible through his new collaboration with Lane Bryant. The limited-edition collection features everything from midi dresses and wrap coats to jumpsuits and jeans, and pieces start at $38.94 — a truly accessible line for all price points and sizes.

Telling Glamour about his runway show preparation, Siriano shared just how he and his team made sure their sample sizes would fit curvier models.

“We preplanned a little bit,” he told Glamour. “We knew we wanted to have curvy girls in the show, so we pre-made things that I thought would work on their bodies. I made 12s, 14s, and 16s in pieces I thought would look good on those sizes, and then we altered them on the girls. Who, by the way, came in our normal casting. It was amazing. We saw 450 girls!”

Now that Siriano is all about making style attainable for all sizes, he mentioned to Glamour that he hopes to broaden the range of sizes he offers in the future.

“We go up to a 14, in general,” he said, “but I would like to stock size 20 and 22.”

But for now, Siriano is still slowly plugging away at an industry built on size exclusivity — and he’s doing it one design at a time.

Quereshi opens FTL Moda show at NYFW

Showcasing the newest styles from renowned designers wasn’t the only thing on the agenda for this season’s New York Fashion Week — at least not for one model.

NBC News reports that 19-year-old Reshma Quereshi opened the FTL Moda show on Thursday, Sept. 8, wearing a white embroidered gown by Indian designer Archana Kochhar, but Quereshi’s trip down the runway was about more than showing off the gown. It was instead a moment to prove that she is not defined by her circumstances.

Quereshi “suffered severe facial burns and lost an eye two years ago after being attacked with sulfuric acid by her estranged brother-in-law and two men,” reports NBC News,  prompting a string of skin graft surgeries and even stirring her to contemplate suicide.

But after meeting the founder of Make Love Not Scars — a “group that helps survivors of the gender-based crimes” — NBC News says Quereshi became the face of the organization’s online campaign, which resulted in a video that’s been viewed over 1.3 million times, not to mention her stint at New York Fashion Week.

Speaking on her time in New York (which happens to be her first), NBC News says Quereshi told her translator, “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me … In that moment I felt extremely happy.”

But beyond her excitement, NBC News reports Quereshi hopes her appearance at FTL Moda’s show “will inspire hope and confidence in other acid attack survivors and spur countries to regulate the sale of cheap and easily available acids.”

“No one else understands what an acid attack is except the survivors themselves,” she said, according to NBC News. “I do not want this to happen to anyone else.”

 

‘Bold and Bald’

Dayna Christison began modeling when she was younger, but never considered pursuing it as a career. But when a friend asked her to model for his fashion photography portfolio, she immediately agreed, hoping to define beauty in a different way from the norm: “bold and bald.”

According to Today, the now 25-year-old model was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012, right in the middle of her senior year at LIM College, a school that focuses on the business of fashion in New York. She went on to graduate from the college, only to learn that her cancer was not Stage II as originally diagnosed, but instead a much more severe Stage IV.

Christison underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy at the expense of her hair, and even received two stem cell transplants after learning that the cancer spread to her lungs.

That April, Today says that Christison entered a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. However, around the same time, she also signed a modeling contract with Major Models after she appeared at an open call for the agency.

Fast forward a year later, and Christison not only landed a modeling contract, but also walked down the runway at New York Fashion Week and modeled in a string of Urban Outfitters television commercials, something Today says she does in between the cancer treatments she receives every other week.

Christison explained that despite working in the fashion industry in production and styling positions since her graduation from college, she decided to model upon realized how it could inspire others, especially other cancer patients.

“I definitely wanted to go into this for other people. That was the main reason I started,” she said.

Receiving positive feedback from other women enduring cancer treatments lets Christison know that her impact is felt. “Cancer is such a terrible thing to deal with and process, but to have someone say that I helped them feel, even a little bit, more comfortable with what they looked like, just because of my own confidence? It’s so amazing when that happens,” she said.

As for Christison, Today says her treatments are going well, and she hopes to continue inspiring others through her efforts.

“People need to see it’s still okay to live your life if you have this disease. It’s not the end of the world. You just have to push through and persevere,” she said.

Thank you, Dayna Christison, for being a model of beauty and strength redefined.

 

 

She Leads, You Follow: Lauren Conrad

New York Fashion Week is known as a showcase of high fashion designs courtesy of the world’s top designers. And while these designers have garnered much attention for their couture looks, there are other, more accessible designers who have attracted just as much, if not more, attention.

Enter Lauren Conrad, who participated in Fashion Week for the first time ever with her LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection. All of the designs she debuted at her runway show are available at Kohl’s, making her line one of the most accessible and affordable collection to hit the runway this season.

Looking as stylish as ever, Conrad attended her show in an ensemble of her own designs, wearing a scalloped lace crop top paired with high-waisted wide leg trousers.

Conrad’s effortless-chic look speaks to the overall quality and aesthetic of her Kohl’s collection, making us want to drop everything and hit up our nearest Kohl’s to take her look for ourselves! And if this look makes you want to do the same, we’ve hunted down the exact pieces Conrad is wearing so you can take her exact New York Fashion Week look for your own.

Looking lovely in lace, Conrad’s Fashion Week look begins with her LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection Scallop Lace Crop Top in natural. This top features a delicate, intricate lace with a scalloped detail not only on the sleeves, but also on the hemline. The shirt’s hemline hits right at the natural waist, allowing the straight-cut top to still define your waist and create shape. For only $45, you can get Conrad’s Fashion Week look on sale from its $60 regular price.

The LC Lauren Conrad Collection Scallop Lace Crop Top, found on Kohls.com.

The LC Lauren Conrad Collection Scallop Lace Crop Top, found on Kohls.com.

The LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection High Waist Wide-Leg Pants complete the look, adding a modern flare that contrasts the classic elegance of the lace. The waist of these pants meet the hemline of the crop top, further defining your waist, while the legs of the pants fall straight down from the widest part of the hip; these two features combine to create the illusion of a long, tall, lean silhouette. These pants complete her look for a sale price of only $51.

The LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection High Waist Wide-Leg Pants, found on Kohls.com.

The LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection High Waist Wide-Leg Pants, found on Kohls.com.

Lauren Conrad’s first-ever New York Fashion Week runway show seemed to be a complete success, and her crop top/wide-legged pant duo was certainly a success in our book! If you love her look, you’ll be thrilled to know that the separates only cost a combined $96 — now you can take a Fashion Week look as your own for under $100.

Happy Shopping!

A True Role ‘Model’

Fashion week is officially upon New York City, and while this usually means dozens of runway shows featuring looks from the industry’s top designers, one designer, is making her unique models the star of her New York Fashion Week appearance.

According to the New York Daily News, designer Carrie Hammer is putting on her fourth “Role Models Not Runway Models” show at Fashion Week; as its name indicates, the show doesn’t use traditional runway models to showcase her designs. Instead, Hammer features ” female CEOs, an Olympian, activists and entrepreneurs in order to change the face — and figure — of beauty,” says the Daily News. 

Explaining her decision to use nontraditional models, Hammer said, “We always want to make sure that every woman sees herself reflected and represented on the runway.”

After searching for models for her first runway show two years ago for her “office couture line,” Hammer realized that the industry’s standard models didn’t align with her brand’s “power-woman image.” So the Daily News says she reached out to clients and others in her network and ended up enlisting the help of Danielle Sheypuk, a psychologist. In modeling Hammer’s designs in February 2014, Sheypuk became the first model in a wheelchair on the runway of a New York Fashion Week.

Hammer received many emails thanking her for featuring Sheypuk in her fashion show, including one from Kate Driscoll, who according to the Daily News is a mom of six and the founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, an organization that “encourages the media to fairly represent people with disabilities.” Driscoll requested that Hammer feature a model with Down syndrome in her next show, and Hammer heeded her request by asking Jamie Brewer of “American Horror Story” fame to model for her line last February.

This Fashion Week will be no different, with Hammer set to feature a list of accomplished and inspiring women in her show. The Daily News says that those modeling Hammer’s spring/summer 2016 styles include “Olympic figure-skating gold medalist and “Dancing with the Stars” champ Meryl Davis; TED executive producer June Cohen; comic Maysoon Zayid (top), who has cerebral palsy; UN communications adviser LaNeice Collins; and city International Affairs Commissioner Penny Abeywardena (above), who’s coordinating the Pope’s visit this month.”

Hammer, who’s been named to Forbes’ “3o Under 30” list, explained the goal of her nontraditional models in this way: “We want to make sure we’re casting not only diversity of looks and age and ability, but to also provide a lot of different careers and things you can do as a woman. So if she can see it, she can be it.”

Thank you, Carrie Hammer, for teaching us that we can rise to be whatever we desire to be, and that powerful, inspiring women are beautiful women.