Photos: Carsten Belmondo
From October 28 to 30, it was finally time for the Plus Size Fashion Days again. I’ve been super excited because this year, I was booked more often than last time, got the chance to present a piece designed by me and was part of the → “BODYLOVE” walk by Silvana Denker and Happy Size (which meant: getting almost naked again!).
Like last year, because of the catwalk training, fitting and rehearsals, unfortunately I had no time to visit the workshops and daytime events around the show, so I can’t tell you more about them, but I visited the opening party and on the last day, I was able to have a look at the marketplace. All in all, these were some super busy and positively stressful days, just like last year. The feelings are intense during the preparations, it’s a mixture of happiness (especially because of all those amazing people, the atmosphere is super friendly and helpful and I absolutely appreciate this! ♥) and nervousness, a bit of fear (“Will I trip on the catwalk?”) and loads of excitement. The adrenaline level seconds before the first walk is incredibly high and the feeling when you step out into the light, pose and see all the faces looking at you is amazing. Oh, the goosebumps! It’s simply great. And the best reward for everything you’ve done the days before the show.
We started on Thursday with our first catwalk training with our new catwalk trainer and choreographer Alessandro Cococcia. He was an amazing trainer, calm and super friendly, professional and helpful. It was great to have him with us! Thank you for your patience – we all know how crazy and not too easy it was to coordinate everything, but you did an amazing job!
On Friday, in addition to the catwalk training, we had our first fittings – this means: trying on lots of clothes and seeing your outfits for the first time. I remember that last year, we had the chance to choose sometimes (for example at Manou Lenz). This year, it was all final and still I was super happy with my looks. ;) Lucky girl! The only funny thing is that I got to wear pretty similar outfits, not too many differences, but that’s fine – I kind of learned to love pants that night. ;) For me, the fitting was also very special because I got to try on my own skirt for the first time. In May, Katja – the designer of mable – asked me if I’d like to design a piece for her SS17 collection “Witchcraft”, and I said yes, of course. At the show, I got the chance to present my own piece for the first time and the feeling when I went onto the catwalk was incredible. I was crying tears of joy inside (trying not to ruin my make-up). Thank you so much for this, Katja! You’re a pioneer of German plus-size fashion and I know that you’re gonna get far! ♥
Saturday was super crazy – still catwalk training, some last fittings, make-up and hair sessions and finally: the final rehearsal of the show.
I was uber-excited when we did the final rehearsal because I knew how many walks I’d do and how many quick changes this meant. I did five walks before the break and two afterwards. Before my last walk at the show I even had a hypo and had to stuff myself with marshmallows backstage to be able to do it. Super crazy! For the rehearsal, we just did shoe changes to get in the mood for the show, but it was definitely not as intense as during the show. We only had a few minutes to completely change our outfits and be ready to step on the stage again but (and I’m so happy to say this) we made it. :)
So here’s what happened on October 29 – the night of nights of plus-size fashion…
• mable •
If you guys don’t know → the label “mable”, you better change this right now. Because mable is THE thing. In my opinion, there’s no better plus-size brand (and it’s even an all-size brand!) in Germany and the designs are so amazing, so full of life and simply great.
I had the pleasure to not only walk for mable but also for myself – because this is the skirt which I designed for and with Katja. It was the first time that it was shown to the world and I’m so incredibly proud of that. It was my first opportunity to create something, to design something, and seeing it on the catwalk is so cool. But now think how crazy it is to be the one wearing it on the catwalk! ;) As I already told you, inside I was shivering and crying tears of joy. Especially when everybody cheered and I saw that what I did with Katja was actually good and people loved it, I was so full of happiness that I didn’t even think about all the stress that would be coming right after my first walk. ;)
Well, my skirt will not be available before March, but I’m so glad and proud to already show you this amazing piece and I really hope that you’ll love it as much as I do. I brought in all textures of the “Witchcraft” collection: red patent leather, emerald green velvet and transparency with black tree branches. It’s definitely a statement piece and yes, I know, not for everybody nor every day, but it comes right out of my mind and heart and I love it so much. I also adore the top that Katja created and which looks amazing in combination with the skirt. I’ll be shooting this look as soon as possible for you so you can see all details in a proper blog post, I just guess the weather right now won’t let me shoot this without dying in the cold, so please be patient – I’ll try my best. And I’ll also try to do a different styling with my skirt so you can get more ideas of how to wear it if you’re interested. ;)
Again: thank you Katja for trusting me, for letting me do this and for making my little dream come true. ♥
Wearing my look at the after-show party with my husband, Micha and Claus. Photos by Jules.
• Best Fashion Blogger 2016 •
I don’t wanna lie – the biggest surprise of the evening was winning the award as “Best Fashion Blogger 2016”. I was changing my clothes backstage and in a “hurry, hurry!” mode when suddenly everybody told me to go on stage because I won the award. I couldn’t believe it and when I stepped out, everybody was cheering and clapping and I had really won this award, I was speechless! After almost 8 years, this is the first prize I’ve won with my blog and the work I do with all my heart and I can’t tell you how proud I am. How happy I am! And how I didn’t even understand this until the next day. ;)
The award means so much to me and that’s why I need to tell you something: I was struggling so many times this year, doubting myself and the blog, thinking about actually quitting it all because of so many reasons. Blogging has always been the most important thing for me because I know how much you can move, how many people you can reach and influence to live a happier life. I already opened up a bit when I told you that I was so sad about the shortage of feedback – to be honest, this was one of the reasons why I thought about quitting. But what has been bothering a lot this year (and also last year, when I broke up with a brand with which I had already been working for a long time until they treated me like shit) was how brands treated me and my work. How brands expect me to do everything for nothing in return – knowing that they will reach you through my posts and hopefully get you as customers while not wanting to pay. I get that some people don’t understand the value of bloggers and their work. I even get that – especially in Germany – many people don’t want others to earn money with things they like doing (and this is some horrible thinking!). I know that there are still too many brands out there thinking that bloggers are stupid little girls taking photos of themselves and that you can seduce them with free products so they’ll do everything for you when you just send them a watch, a pair of jeans or simply nice words about a post blogged years ago. I also know that unfortunately, there are enough bloggers who actually “work” like this and it’s not even their fault because there are bloggers who like doing it like this. But brands often don’t select with an open eye. And it is still a huge problem that at blogging, it’s all about the numbers. The higher the numbers they see on your pages, the more likely it is that you get (paid) jobs. And while this is getting better in the “regular” fashion blogger world, the plus-size blogger world is still maaaany steps behind. Some years ago I had already written a post about this but never pushed the “publish” button. I don’t want to sound ungrateful or greedy. I just simply want my blog to be appreciated when someone comes to me and wants me to do something for them. I know my value, I know the blog’s value and I know what you, my readers (in business terms “my reach”), are worth. And I won’t give this away for free or a 25% coupon (which I can only use when I spend at least € 50 – what means that I’ll be paying the brand for what I worked – are you serious?!) or just a few bucks that don’t even pay my cell phone bill for a month. So, truth is, I was pretty frustrated and wasn’t sure if I still wanted to do this. Because you’ll all agree with me: if there’s nothing coming back in return for all the love, work, time and money you invest, it will start to suck. Hard. I was starting to give up, thinking about drawing a line under it all and quit at the end of this year.
And then, there was this award. People cheering. People smiling at me. People clapping and being happy for me. And after the show, there were so many people coming to me, shaking my hand, hugging me, telling me how great I am and congratulating me. Telling me that they love what I do and what amazing work I do for the plus-size world. Telling me that I deserve this award.
It made me realize that what I do really has a meaning. It’s not in vain. And even though I don’t earn enough with it, it’s so worth it. Because I do it for you. And you give me so much back. It’s the comments, the e-mails, the conversations with you,… Somehow, I had forgotten this and the award brought me back to why I’m here. Because what I do matters. And if brands don’t see it, so be it! I do all this because I love doing it and – yup, self-praise! – because I’m good at it. And because I want to change something, change how the world sees plus size and change how plus-sized women see themselves.
So thank you. Each and every one of you. Thank you for being here, for already following my journey for 8 years. For being by my side and always telling me what I made you do – because you all deserve to feel free and happy and beautiful. And these feelings don’t depend on your body shape. ♥
Also thank you to Tanja and the sponsors Ulla Popken, Happy Size, Studio Untold, Soulfully and MIAMODA – thanks for believing in me!
• Happy Size •
Right after I got the award, I had to come back onto the catwalk again – this time, for Happy Size. Walking for Happy Size was already fun last year and this year it was great again, especially thanks to my outfit. I’ve already shown you → my look in a special post. There’ll be another one coming next week. ;)
Photo from my Instagram
Photo by Silvana Denker
• BODYLOVE by Silvana Denker •
The next walk was very special (and the hurry before and after was intense – taking off all your clothes and getting completely dressed within only a few minutes afterwards – phew!). When Silvana started her → BODYLOVE project last year not much time before the PSFD 2015, I already wanted to be a part of it, but unfortunately couldn’t do it when she was here in Hamburg for the first time because I was sick. This time, I told her that I really wanted to participate and I’m glad that she and Tanja had already planned to ask me. I decided to show my pump on the runway – because this is what you see when I’m half-naked. You don’t see my catheter though because the only nice black panties I have are high-waisted and they’re covering my site, so there’s just my little pink pump saying hello in front of all those people. And it was uuuuh-mazing! ;)
I love how this project stands for diversity and body acceptance – it’s not a project about plus-sized people (as you can see!), it’s about ALL bodies and that we all deserve to love ourselves. And even though it seems to be hard to find enough people of color to participate here in Germany (you need to apply for the project and can do it whenever Silvana announces on her Facebook page where she’ll be next!), I’m glad to always see so many different people. I was also pretty stunned that we had an older lady participating, it was so cool to see her rock the runway with us! And of course, it’s always great to see men being a part of the project – they seem to be a bit shyer than women, so it’s amazing that we had two of our lovely German plus models as our frame. ;)
Photo by Silvana Denker
Photo by Silvana Denker
Photo from my Instagram
• Kurvenhaus | crispy •
Unfortunately, there’s no official photo where you can see me better, but there’s a pic from my Instagram. ;) I wore a cozy fall look for crispy, a plus-size shop here in Hamburg. Super fun with a mushroom blouse! I guess I wore more pants that evening than in the whole year – these jeans were the first ones and they fit great. Don’t know the brand, though – but if you’re interested, just ask the ladies at the store, they sure know which one it was. ;)
Also, I need to say a huge thank you to the owners of Kurvenhaus for helping us models so much backstage – they coordinated everything and helped us change our clothes (also a huge thanks to my “own” little helper Emely ♥)!
Photo from my Instagram
• bonprix •
(with → Joleen)
This look was definitely something different for me – leather pants in a super cool bordeaux shade and a leather jacket! So not me but I totally loved it!
Fun fact: I was wearing huge boots – size 40 while I usually wear 37.5 – and was super scared to fall because of that, but everything worked out well. ;) All in all, I must say that this was one of the things that made me realize once again what real models go through – if the shoes don’t fit, you don’t mind and go out wearing them too small or too big. You don’t complain. Period. And I felt like it is my responsibility to act the same in this case. Somehow, this year felt very professional, even more than last year – I guess that’s why the whole event gets bigger and better every year and it’s amazing to be a part of this. In the end, that’s also my only opportunity to be a model for a day (I’m too tiny…) and it makes me happy. :)
Photo from my Instagram
• sheego •
Ah, you guys know I like sheego – and I was so happy to walk for them in such a great look! I even loved my pants so much (crazy, crazy!!!) that I own them now. ;) And these are the most amazing jeans I’ve ever worn, they fit so perfectly and the length (it’s petite) is just right. I also heard that many girls loved the coat at the market place – I love it too! If I didn’t already have so many coats, I’d totally buy this one, but for now I first need to find an excuse to get it, haha! ;)
From my Instagram
• MIAMODA •
My last walk was for MIAMODA. A very casual look with another pair of jeans that fitted perfectly. I can’t believe that I wore so many pants on that day! ;) And actually liked it! So here’s a little secret: there’ll be more pants in my next blog posts – I already got two looks planned and hope you’re gonna like them!
Photo by Cetin Yaman