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!
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?
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.
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.
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!
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:
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!