Hey Fatty and Friends Plus Size Vintage and Recycled Fashion Fair!

I spent Sunday at Hey Fatty’s Plus Size Vintage and Recycled Fashion Fair, a part-market-part-festival body positive afternoon featuring stalls of second hand, vintage and vintage-inspired clothes and accessories for sizes 16+  I’ve got to say, I’ve only had access to fat-positive shopping and clothes swapping events for a couple of years now, and I absolutely LOVE them.  The sense of camaraderie and community from being in a room full of fatties who love fashion as much as I do, people feeling safe and comfortable enough that even among total strangers they can shimmy down a catwalk or strip off in the middle of the hall to try on a shirt, or waltz out of the change rooms to show off how smoking hot they look in this dress/bathing suit/bondage skirt…it’s fucking amazing.  It makes me feel all glowy.  Melbourne’s fat positive community is growing all the time and I’m so excited to be part of it.

Anyway, I took some photos at the fair, met some awesome people, and got a sneak peek at Gisela Ramirez’s upcoming collection, which I want to share with you!

The Chub Republic stall at the Hey Fatty Fair, two racks of colourful clothes and rad Chub Republic fatties Kate and Jackie striking a pose in the middle.

I was on duty at the Fair with Chub Republic, helping to staff our stall to raise funds, as the sign says, for rad fatty events in Melbourne.  Chub Republic is a collective of fierce, unapologetically fat folks working to build awesome fat community through events and general awesomeness.   So far, the Melbourne chapter has run clothing swaps, began fat burlesque troupe Va Va Boombah, and brought Aquaporko – fat femme synchronised swimming team extraordinaire! – to Melbourne.  When we heard about Hey Fatty’s fantastic fashion extravaganza, how could we not get involved?

A brightly lit church hall with polished wood floors, a vaulted wooden ceiling and windows along both side walls. The room is full of tables and racks of clothing, and people milling about.

The Marji and Jean stall! Two racks of colourful dresses and two women standing between them, one in a blue floral dress with a long black cardigan, the other in a 1950s style sundress with a nipped in waist and flared skirt, in a deep green fabric with big white polkadots.

I had the pleasure of discovering Marji and Jean at the Fair, an excellent new vintage-styled label selling beautiful dresses in lovely and quirky prints.  Pictured are the designer and her daughter modelling two lovely Marji and Jean designs!  How gorgeous is that green dress?  The label is soon to be launched on Etsy, and I can see many many Marji and Jean dresses in  my future.  You can keep up to date on the Facebook page until then.

Kate of Bombshell Vintage, wearing a dress and jacket ensemble in a brilliantly bright floral print.

Bombshell Vintage had a stall as well as a fatwalk show, showcasing Kate’s fun and whimsical style and encouraging everyone to dress for fun and express ourselves, not feel limited by our size.

One of the Bombshell Vintage models, wearing an eclectic ensemble of black tights, short leopard print skirt, cat face top and cape/poncho in reds and oranges, with a red hat. She has brightly coloured eye makeup and glasses, and the heels of her black high-heeled boots are shaped like vertebrae!

A second Bombshell Vintage model on the catwalk, wearing a black velvet dress with a glittery belt, black tights with glitter pieces sewn onto them black high heels and a sparkly silver crown. She has long brown hair and her face is painted with a large red lightning bold like David Bowie.

A third Bombshell Vintage model with bright pink hair, shown from behind. She is wearing a bright turquoise dress with a green belt, and pale blue leggings with multicoloured pompoms attached to the backs of her calves. She is also wearing black and white high heels and a blue flower in her hair.  Audience members below the catwalk are smiling and cheering!

There were a number of other looks in the Bombshell Vintage show that I haven’t included, some because I just didn’t get very good shots of them, but a couple because I was uncomfortable posting them here.  I think Kate is doing wonderful things with Bombshell Vintage, but it is important for fat activists to make sure we’re not reinforcing other forms of oppression while we celebrate fat liberation and that was what I saw in the “indian” feather headdress and sugar skull makeup that were featured in the Bombshell Vintage parade.  There has been some discussion of the incident on the Facebook event page for the fair, and both the Hey Fatty team and Kate have apologised for what happened.  I think it’s being handled well by everyone involved, but it’s still a good lesson for all of us to learn as we continue to celebrate fat fashion.

Next on the fatwalk was an awesome mini-show of three looks from Hey Fatty.  The models were sassy and fabulous and looked like they were having the best time!  This was one of the highlights of the day for me, seeing models who were not only closer to my own size than the others we saw, but who looked stylish and were clearly having a blast.  Flashing their Hey Fatty granny undies at the end was pretty fantastic too!

Three models for Hey Fatty Found Fashion strut their stuff on the catwalk. The woman in front is wearing a black and white polkadot dress, a string of pearls and red tights with black high heels. Behind her are a woman in black pants, boots, a yellow shirt and a blue jacket with short spiky hair, and a woman in a white dress with black patterns and a red sash who is also wearing sheer red tights.

Last on the fatwalk were Va Va Boombah performers Harlotte Bronte and Charity Case modelling a sneak peek of Gisela Ramirez’s second fabulous collection!  What we saw was a selection of fresh, fashion-forward looks with a focus on crisp white and vibrant digital prints, just right for spring and summer.  The collection makes me think of sunny beachside towns and summer cruises.  I’m already coveting half of it!  See for yourselves:

Harlotte Bronte in an ensemble from Gisela Ramirez’s new collection; a white tailored top with a peplum waist and a tight, stretchy white skirt with a short solid underlay and longer sheer overlay.

Charity Case striking a pose in an ensemble from Gisela Ramirez’s new collection; a white tube top and a white knee-length pencil skirt with a peplum waist.

Harlotte Bronte in another ensemble from Gisela Ramirez, the same white peplum top as the previous photo but this time with full-length leggings with a neon yellow and black digital print of huge, halftone shaded roses.

Harlotte Bronte and Charity Case both posing in outfits from Gisela Ramirez. Harlotte is wearing a fitted, strapless jumpsuit in an abstract red and pale purple print. Charity is wearing a knee-length pencil skirt and a cropped bodice/longline bra top, both printed with a green, white, red and black kaleidoscopic print that looks like flowers from a distance, but close inspection reveals the pattern is made up of hands giving the finger!

All in all, the fair was a wonderful day and Hey Fatty should be proud of themselves for what they’ve achieved.  I am thrilled by the way Melbourne’s fat positive community is growing and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

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4 thoughts on “Hey Fatty and Friends Plus Size Vintage and Recycled Fashion Fair!

  1. rhyannon says:

    Wow. Those clothes are AMAZING. I think I am completely in love with the green dress with white dots. What a brilliant event!

  2. Kitty says:

    Not a bad photo of me on the catwalk there. I had so much fun. I can’t wait to do it again.

  3. I wish I could have been there. Some fab fatty community is what I need at the moment.

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