Breaking Barriers and Body Positivity in Fashion

While recently browsing through an online retail store, I found it to be divided between three categories: women, men, and plus size. The last category struck me and got me wondering why a special section was in place for plus size clothing, even in 2018. I could not understand why plus size fashion was still seen as something uncommon and had to be differentiated from ‘regular’ size clothing. This was something believed by Malia Indigo as well; founder of the Toronto Plus Size Fashion Show where she showcased great power in eliminating the differentiation between what is considered regular fashion and plus sizes. After attending this prestigious runway event, held at Artscape Sandbox in Toronto on the 10th of November, I firmly believe there are no boundaries in fashion, and those established by society are to be banished.

The show started with a group of wise and talented fashion influencers, designers and ambassadors of body positivity. They held a discussion panel where they spoke on topics like body positivity, the impact of social media in today’s perspective of beauty, and the ways in which the plus size industry could make waves in the Canadian Fashion Industry. Designer Tawana Wilson from Anelehs Atelier commented on the existing perspectives of beauty in our society and that in order to see any change, our definition of beauty had to be changed. She rightly stated, “We don’t come in the same cut, everybody is different.” Fashion designer, stylist and plus size trailblazer Gwen Devoe who has done incredible work for the plus size industry in New York discussed that growth and success for this industry in Canada only happens when we support each other and put in hard work along with dedication.

The lively discussions ended with the start of the fashion show, where the glamorous work of Lesley Hampton opened the runway. The ramp showcased colorful garments by Dassah Couture, accessories by NAGYE, creative fashion by Maker Nelly, and a grand finale by the spectacular Anelehs Atelier. The beautiful, glamorous and confident models in the show, along with the fabulous creations by the various designers truly made it clear that fashion belongs to everyone and should not be confined to a certain range of sizes.

The show closed with the encouraging words of Gwen Devoe pushing fashion for all regardless of one’s size, and a beautiful final performance by Malia Indigo who worked for years to provide a platform for the plus size fashion industry in Canada. It was an honor to be a part of such a captivating show where we could all take something home about the importance of this emerging industry, and the barriers it was breaking.


Written by José Henríquez

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