Pop Up Plus founder Cami Newman rearranges racks of curve-friendly clothing at last weekend’s plus-sized fashion event at Gallery 263 in Cambridge. (Tiffany Probasco photos)
|Sonya Williams and Danita Lee check out the eclectic jewelry at Pop Up Plus’s shopping event.|
Some would say curvy women have it better than they used to.
With the prominence of Oscar winners like Octavia Spencer and Mo’Nique and Cover Girl spokeswoman Queen Latifah, one would think the stigma surrounding women with larger frames is diminishing.
Although these women have been instrumental in breaking down barriers in Hollywood and changing the idea of what it means to be beautiful, they have a team of beauty experts behind them, carefully shaping how they’re portrayed.
It’s more difficult for women out of the celebrity spotlight to deal with the complexity that comes with having curves — especially when it comes to fashion.
Traditionally, plus-size clothing isn’t meant to celebrate curves; it’s meant to cover them up.
Shopping in large department stores can be a daunting ordeal of sifting through hodgepodge plus-size sections where the focus is on size and not style.
Pop Up Plus is hoping to change all that. Created by Cami Newman, the shop is a catch-all shopping experience for women sizes 14 – 24.
Frustrated with small selections and tired of going to multiple stores just to put together an outfit, Newman decided to simplify the process, take on the “grunt work” of finding fashionable clothing and bring it to women — boutique-style.
Last weekend, Newman brought the concept to an event in Cambridge at Gallery 263. Women were treated to light hors d’ oeuvres while they scanned a jewelry table and racks of clothes designed by the likes of DKNYC, Michael Kors and Design History.
No sign of muu muus in bold Hawaiian print — everything was on trend for fall, from faux fur vests and sequined minis to the ever-popular peplum dresses.
“It’s not an organization, it’s a movement,” said LaShawn Waiters, founder of Boston-based Curve Appeal, which works to encourage and empower curvy women to embrace who they are through fundraisers, community service and fitness education. “We came out to support what Pop Up Plus is doing because it is in alignment with our goals as well.”
The most noticeable aspects of the event were the smiles and sighs of relief as women walked through the door and flipped through the styles. At one point, a woman came out of the dressing room and suddenly all eyes were on her.
“Does it fit?”she asked almost timidly about her outfit.
Everyone took her in and then burst into oohs and aahs, shouting, “Yes girl, you look great!”
This sisterhood of women is not just embracing their body image — they are celebrating themselves, and that looks good in any light.
To find out more about Pop Up Plus, visit their Facebook page “Pop Up Plus NY.” To learn more about Curve Appeal, call 617.369.1722 or visit their website at www.PinkCitySisterhood.com.
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