As you will have seen in this post, a few months ago myself and eleven other blogs were flown to Milan by plus size luxury Italian brand Marina Rinaldi to partake in their ‘Women Are Back’ project. The slogan of the project isn’t mean to encourage the dreaded body snark or anything negative, it simply exists to celebrate how women of all shapes, sizes, ages and races should and can and do dress how they want too. Women who do not allow fashion rules to dictate their wardrobe choices, women who do want to mix lace and leather, navy and black, women who are bigger and yet still wear tight dresses, patterns, crop tops and mini skirts – women who are breaking and re making the fashion rules.

This time around the 12 of us were lucky to be in Milan for the tail end of fashion week, and Marina Rinaldi threw a stylish soiree to celebrate the opening of their new store. When the 12 of us arrived at the party location, we were greeted by 12 amazing portraits: (please excuse the ‘orbs’ my camera created)
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During our last jaunt to Milan we had been lucky enough to each have a photo taken by the amazing Roccardo Vimercato. And there we all were, looking beautiful and amazing. Quite a few tears were shed as I think the enormity of the project hit us. Yes, we are all larger women but so what? Does that mean we are not beautiful? Not sexy? Not fashionable? And also, not so much more than out body size and shape. It was a very surreal moment and I am so glad I had no make up on!

The night of the party passed in a blur. We met jorunalists from around the world, and the next day were were featured in Vogue Italia. To see people oohing and ahhing over our portraits was something else. I have to once again express my gratitude to Riccardo Vimercati and everyone who worked with us on those shoots for capturing each of us so perfectly. For me, it took a while for me to really love the image as I am so insecure about the size of my arms. But now, I no longer see my arms, I see the whole portrait and whilst I can’t confess to looking like that every day I can at least say that there was once day when that was me, that was how I looked and I am really proud.

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On a personal note: the project has really made me think about things differently. The other women were very inspiring, strong and confident and it was so refreshing to be around so much sense. I’d like to also thank them and Marina Rinaldi for allowing me to partake in this project, for dressing me in some exquisite clothes that felt like they were made for me and for allowing all us women to feel beautiful, but also to feel like we are so much more than our appearance. It all sounds very wishy washy and ‘peace out’, I know, but it really stirred something unexpected in me and I am ineffably grateful.

Below are a few snapshots taken by myself and by the roaming crew of photographers that followed us round. The red dresses you see me in are by Marina Rinaldi, as is the short sleeved green dress. Reviews will be posted in due course.

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