A Fat Fashionable Mannequin

You’ve heard me talk before about those standard size 0 mannequins that dress designers and manufacturers us to measure and fit dresses. Well surprise, there aren’t  too many Barbie-sized women out there. In fact the average American woman is a size 14 now…..that’s considered plus-size. If 54% of the women are a size 12 or larger, what does that say about the clothes for those of us in the 14-24 size range, or even larger. And you wonder why some of the clothes are not much better than a tent.

PlusSize dress formWell,  a team of innovative Cornell apparel design students came to the rescue this week with news of something that really shouldn’t be all that remarkable. Sophomores Brandon Wen and Laura Zwanziger embarked on a class project to design for an almost completely overlooked market, plus-size women. What they discovered is not only are there an incredible lack of clothing options for the more heavy-set amongst us, but there’s not even a realistic set of full-figured dress forms to make them on! Even the plus-size mannequins that do exist are just amplified versions of the thinner models, enhancing their already absurd Barbie-like proportions to new extremes

PlusSize dress mannequinAt their final class presentation, Zwanziger, Wen and exchange student Abbey Jennings unveiled their collection, called Rubens’ Women, after the Flemish painter famous for his illustrations of full-figured women. It features four jackets and a skirt and pants tailored to complement the curves of larger women.

Wen, the lead designer on the project, said he hopes such a line could alleviate the stress many plus-size women face when browsing in stores or online, where their shopping often ends in frustration due to ill-fitting clothes. Read more here

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