In a move that many industry professionals and consumers have been waiting on for years, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) finally showcased plus-size labels in a dedicated runway called The Curve Edit last week, featuring pioneer plus-size supermodel Robyn Lawley.
The Curve Edit showcased six designers that catered from sizes 12 to 26 and a bevy of local curve models from talent agency Bella Management, which organised the showcase. Brands that showed on the runway included Vagary, Harlow, Embody Women, Zaelia, 17 Sundays and Saint Somebody.
According to fashion industry expert and consultant Rosanna Iacono, The Curve Edit was “a gamechanger for size diversity” during AAFW.
“This runway as part of the official schedule was instrumental for driving the conversation around how curvy fashion needs to be integrated with mainstream fashion, within the the key events on the industry calendar,” she told Inside Retail.
“But what was also very encouraging was the fact that numerous other designers incorporated plus-size models in their shows during the week.”
Indeed, other labels outside of The Curve Edit that featured a range of body shapes and sizes included Gary Bigeni, Nicol and Ford, Dyspnea, Mariam Seddiq and Iordanes Spyridon Gogos.
In recent years, AAFW has been criticised for its lack of size diversity, making The Curve Edit a welcome change. However, entrepreneur and curve model Blaise McCann pointed out that ideally, in the future, inclusion would be embraced across the week’s schedule and all labels.
“Although the show was groundbreaking, there is always more that can be done to bring inclusivity into the fashion world in a more authentic capacity,” she wrote in an Inside Retail article. “Instead of settling for a separate show that requires a supermodel to garner attention, it would better serve not only the curve community, but also the Australian fashion community to normalise and include all bodies in all shows.”
Iacono expressed similar sentiments.
“Eventually, we’ll be seeing many more designers simply integrating a broader range of sizes into their sample collections, to be able to showcase them not only on the runway, but in other photographic shoots and showroom settings,” she said.
“We need to get to the point where size diversity is simply a hygiene factor, and always to be expected. But there is still a way to go before we reach peak integration and normalisation of size diversity.”