“A designer is never going to look at a body type like mine and be inspired.”

This was an editorial article I wrote for my fashion module in my final year at uni which I’m pretty proud of because it received a high mark. An article like this would probably be featured in Marie Claire or Cosmopolitan so I kept that in mind whilst also trying to slip in quotes from my interview with Violet Loveless (name was changed due privacy reasons). Oh also, my article didn’t include any photos because we were told to just write the content so I incorporated photos in for this blog post. Hope you enjoy reading it!

“A designer is never going to look at a body type like mine and be inspired.”

Gigi Hadid was slammed for being ‘too curvy’, Ashley Graham co-hosted the Oscars red carpet with E! and waist trainers are becoming the most wanted accessory. The fashion world seems to be heading in a variety of directions by promoting larger, healthier models as well as also encouraging weight loss. Lola Ameri.

(Photo taken from Tumblr)

(Marilyn Monroe. Photo taken from Tumblr)

During the 1950s when Marilyn Monroe was known as a ‘sex symbol’, size zero and four didn’t exist. Although she had the famous hourglass figure that was adored by men and envied by women, many claimed that she was a bit on the ‘large’ side even though she was a size 12 (UK size 8). In the UK, the average dress size is 12, whilst in America it’s around 12-14, yet we’re still encouraging women to lose weight. When Gigi Hadid had to vent out her feelings on Instagram after labelled ‘too curvy’ for the modelling industry, what hope is there left for the rest of us?

(Gigi Hadid. Photo taken from Tumblr)

(Gigi Hadid. Photo taken from Tumblr)

Models are constantly pressured to remain thin so they can be booked for high end runways. We’re still seeing size zero models strutting on the catwalk and printed on big billboards. As we drool over the luscious bodies of the Victoria’s Secret Angels, we sometimes forget they achieved these figures through unhealthy eating habits and intense daily exercise. The Angels are restricted to small portions of protein and long sessions of Pilates, yoga and working out with a personal trainer. Some of them even work out twice a day. As encouraging this is for women to stay fit, it can also lead to eating disorders if not dealt with correctly. With women constantly featured on magazine covers for their looks and style, it’s no wonder that we feel pressured to always look good. You could be enjoying a large pizza but in the back of your mind, you’re considering not to eat the following day or to gather up the courage and actually attend the gym you signed up for three months ago.

(Taken from giphy.com)

However bad we feel about our weight, there’s always someone who feels worse. Beauty brands are encouraging self love such as Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’. Their campaign features women of all shapes and sizes who are learning to appreciate their body. This opens the door for high street brands to encourage a plus size range. ASOS has had it’s plus size range ‘curve’ for many years and it welcomes a variety of fashionable styles. When speaking to 26-year-old, student Violet Loveless, who has been struggling with obesity her whole life, she expresses how she feels about the introduction of plus size ranges: “There’s so many plus size ranges in high street stores like River Island recently and Dorothy Perkins. New Look has been absolutely fantastic. But there’s still so many stores that don’t carry a plus size range which is so disappointing because you go online and find clothes but they’ve used size 14-16 models. So you have no idea how it actually looks on a bigger size.” Size 14-16 may seem large to the high-end fashion designers; however, it is still seen as an average size for women. Plus size ranges usually start from size 18 but aren’t modelled by women with larger figures.

(ASOS Curve taken from giphy.com)

The Kardashians are known to empower the hourglass figure, and this has pushed women to hit the gym and start putting on weight in all the right places. The Kardashians clan may have brought back the Marilyn Monroe look but with over exaggerated features. No one naturally has a bum that big with a thigh gap. We all dream of it but it’s impossible. Although the voluptuous sisters may be encouraging girls to hit the gym, they’re also promoting false dreams. We can’t all afford a fairy Godsurgeon like Simon Ourian to zap our excess fat away into all the right places. With the limelight on the Kardashians, men are lusting over curvier women again and girls are learning to appreciate their lovely lady lumps. However, they’re still not promoting the encouragement of plus size women. Kim Kardashian West may seem like she’s on the large side, but she’s actually quite petite. Her waist and bust measurements are pretty similar to Marilyn Monroe’s, except she has a larger bottom half. Pun intended. The Kim we see in photos is very much airbrushed to seem slimmer with smoother skin. A woman like her surely has stretch marks, but they’re Photoshopped away, which contradicts her message to young women.

(Kim Kardashian West. Photo taken from Tumblr)

(Kim Kardashian West. Photo taken from Tumblr)

While the Kardashians may seem to encourage women to embrace their curves; they’re still not promoting all body types. Kim used to promote slimming teas and pills as well as protein shakes. Surely if they love their curves, they wouldn’t want to slim down or go into hiding after giving birth, right? Soon, Kylie Jenner started promoting waist trainers when she was just 17 years old. Kylie doesn’t exercise yet she’s posting pictures of herself bandaged up in a waist trainer just for the promotional income. Pictures like this on Instagram are sending out the wrong message to many girls. In fact, it was proven that the waist trainer alters the body’s organs over time, which can be quite dangerous. The obsession with these ‘body goals’ on Instagram is creating three sub categories of ideal body types: size zero, exaggerated curves, and plus size. Young women are now willing to go to extreme lengths just to fit in either one of these categories in order to feel appreciated and happier with their body.

(Kim Kardashian West promoting a waist trainer. Photo taken from Tumblr)

(Kim Kardashian West promoting a waist trainer. Photo taken from Tumblr)

Late last year, Essena O’Neill, a teen Instagram star quit the app as she felt the pressure of social media taking over her life. The Australian 18 year old with over half a million Instagram followers spoke out about her life as an Instagram star and the strain it has caused on her life. Essena admitted to fabricating a lot of her images and skipping meals just so she could capture her petite figure for an Instagram photo. She never wanted to be seen carrying a ‘food baby’, unlike the rest of us who are pregnant with a large pizza. The social media star was paid for promoting tiny outfits and faking smiles just to display a happier lifestyle, which was subconsciously pushing girls towards losing weight. Its no longer just models like Jordan Dunn that are encouraging size zero, Instagram ‘famous’ accounts like Essena’s are contributing as well. Violet agrees: “these women are not representative of the British public or women in general. I do think that some models are really beautiful but they’re literally there to be a coat hanger.” They aren’t forcing women to lose weight; they’re just doing their job. Smaller sized women are known to be inspirational to fashion designers, simply for the way clothes fit on their figure. For centuries, petite women, especially ones in Europe, inspired fashion and that has remained the ideal figure till now. It will take a while before the fashion industry can adjust to a larger size range. Violet expresses her views on this: “a designer is never going to look at a body type like mine and be inspired. I accept that but I do wish I could see more clothing for my range. I would definitely buy more fashion magazines if they promoted clothes I could actually wear.” You may be thinking “well, Kim Kardashian walks around in designer outfits all day”, but those are altered and made for her because she has the money and connections for it. A regular size 18 woman can’t walk into Chanel and expect to walk out with any item of clothing. High-end fashion will always reject average women.

(Backstage at Balmain Spring 2016 collection. Photo taken from Tumblr(

(Backstage at Balmain Spring 2016 collection. Photo taken from Tumblr(

But it’s all slowly changing. Tess Holiday and Ashley Graham are representing plus size women in the modelling world. They’re encouraging designers to appreciate women of other sizes and to allow them on the catwalk. Ashley has helped to shine a sexier light on bigger women by designing and modelling her own lingerie line as well as reporting the Oscars red carpet alongside Kris Jenner at E! Not only is she becoming a role model for women to love themselves, she is also getting her name out there in the fashion world. Some people may think that Tess and Ashley are encouraging obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. When speaking to Violet, she opened up about her anger surrounding this issue: “I feel like I’m judged all the time. In a supermarket I make sure there’s a proportional amount of vegetables in my basket because so many people assume I’m this size because of what I eat , when in fact I’ve been struggling with obesity since I was a kid.” These women aren’t doing campaigns for fast food chains or encouraging girls to grab a burger every day. If you were to look at it as from a promotional aspect, then they’re promoting brown hair or blue eyes just as well as a bigger figure. It’s a state of being, not propaganda. Plus size models are breaking boundaries in the fashion world and persuading women to become happier with who they are.

(Ashley Graham at the Oscar's 2016 Vanity Fair party. Photo taken from Tumblr)

(Ashley Graham at the Oscar’s 2016 Vanity Fair party. Photo taken from Tumblr)

With the involvement of plus size models entering the blogging and fashion world, the public is developing a more open view on different body shapes. Designers will still hunt for their muse amongst skinnier women because some rules in fashion will remain the same. But this could open up the opportunity for new designers to get creative with plus size figures and create things that they can purchase straight off the catwalk. The problem is teaching yourself how to be happy with who you are without bringing others down. It’s wrong for women to be promoting ‘Skinny Tea’ and eating less just for likes on Instagram or for other women to caption their images with ‘real men prefer meat, not bones’. It’s becoming a battle of body types with no one really encouraging a healthier lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you should just eat salads all day. You can enjoy a burger whilst hitting the gym every day and working hard to love your body. Whether a woman wants to put on weight or lose it, it should be her choice as long as it’s done in a healthy way and it provides her with the confidence she needs to love herself rather than being influenced by social media. Plus size or size zero, the fashion industry is starting to show off both, but that doesn’t mean we have to all fit either one of those molds. Your happiness comes from within, and maybe from a slice of pizza. Don’t kill yourself to fit the ever-changing standards of society, have that slice of pizza and learn to appreciate yourself for who you are.

(Me. Taken from giphy.com)

Vox Pops:
We headed out to the public to see what their views are on this topic. Is the fashion industry still promoting size zero models?

 “In magazines like Vogue, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone that weighs more than a twig so I think it’s (size zero) still a huge thing for them. Even in other magazines, it’s always about how much weight a celeb’s put on or how great they look on the beach with their skimpy figures. It’s never like ‘oh she’s probably put on weight because she’s just had a baby’ or ‘she looks too skinny because she’s suffering from an eating disorder’. No one cares for the reasons.”
Barbra-Rose, 25, sales assistant, London.

“I can never expect to get something off the runway or in style but it is changing and growing in the right direction so I am excited to see what the future of fashion holds. I know I’m only size 16, but it’s still hard to find stylish clothes that would look good on me without making me look larger. But I’m optimistic that one day designers will have girls like me walking down the runway.”
Maryam, 22, student, London.

“I actually enjoy seeing the size zero models in the fashion industry. I think the clothes hang on their body much better than someone a lot larger. I know it sounds harsh but a lot of those models still eat fast foods but work their butts off at the gym so they’re lucky that they don’t put on weight easily and I envy them. They’re sort of like mythical creatures.”
Nadine, 32, hairdresser, London.
“I’ve just always assumed that people would be used to the whole ‘size zero models’ thing by now because we’ve seen it so much. Honestly, I think the models look better than they did before when the anorexia phase was ‘in’. I still think the healthier models were back in the 90s with Cindy Crawford’s clique. I enjoy looking at them but I don’t expect the women I date to look like them. That would be irrational.”
Michael, 31, engineer, London.

 

Nomani

My jumper reflects my current situation- “Ain’t Got Nomani”– so it’s probably ideal to post it now.

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Outfit Details: 
Jumper: Urban Outfitters (menswear) 
Shirt: H&M
Tights: Primark
Trainers: Puma
Boots: JustFab.com
Bag: Skinny Dip
Sunglasses: Prada
Rings: H&M and Primark

Photographer: Ava Cheraghi

Share, comment, like, follow!

Instagram: @Lola.Del.Rey
Twitter: @loladelrey
Facebook: Lola Del Rey
Email: lolaadelrey@gmail.com

Lola x

Cinderella

Ok I know it’s not the Disney princess you had in mind, but out of all the Disney princesses, I feel like Cinderella had the most wintery coloured outfits. I liked the idea of baby blue and white put together. (The jumper is actually baby blue but it came out more grey in pictures) What I love about this jumper is the fact that the colour is something between blue and grey. The big, loose turtle neck is also very big for winter. Over the summer it was all about wearing long skirts with crop tops. During the winter you can still wear long skirts, but replace the crop tops with baggy-fit jumpers. If your jumper doesn’t have a turtle neck you can try adding more layers by wearing a shirt under it. The court shoes are my favourite part of the outfit, they add sophistication. With lighter shades like this, we tried to keep the make-up quite neutral and pink so that it doesn’t overpower the outfit.

Details of the outfit:
Jumper: Primark
Skirt: Topshop
Court Heels: Marks&Spencer

Model: Ena Bilobrk
Hair and Make-up: Jessica Penfold and Lola Ameri
Styled by: Lola Ameri

Photos by Emily Williams

Photos by Abdulrahman Salih

Photos by Emily Williams

Photos by Abdulrahman Salih

Photos by Zoe Beer

Love, Lola x

 

 

 

The Serena Vanderwoodsen

This first look was inspired by Gossip Girl’s Serena Vanderwoodsen. In my opinion she had such a feminine, edgy yet sophisticated style. She always dressed right for every occasion. Her casual looks were always very chilled with knee high boots and scarves. Her party looks were always sexy and glamourous. Whatever she wore, she always looked so good! So I decided to create a look that Serena would wear if she was a real character following the trends today. The camel coat is the signature piece of the look as camel is a key colour this season. The leather shorts add to the edginess to give the look a bit of an attitude. Because the coat is so long, I decided to a bit more skin should be shown. I adore the colour of the shirt as it sits perfectly with the camel brown. We experimented with two different shoes. The faux pony fur boots are for more of a day look whereas the court heels dress up the outfit a bit more.

Details of the outfit:
Camel Coat: Topshop
Green Shirt: Urban Outfitters
Leather Shorts: Urban Outfitters
Faux Pony Fur Chelsea Boots: Urban Outfitters
Black Court Heels: Zara

Model: Ena Bilobrk
Hair and Make-up: Lola Ameri and Jessica Penfold
Styled By: Lola Ameri

Photos by Emily Williams

Photos by Abdulrahman Salih 

10 9Photos by Zoe Beer

Love, Lola x

Highst Magazine Shoot

As part of one of our assignments this year at uni (university), we are set a magazine project where in groups we have to create a magazine from scratch. Being the editors, me and Jess had a lot to sort out, but doing a photoshoot was what I was excited about the most.

My mum has always told me that I will never be able to succeed in the working world because I have such a dominating character that if I’m not in charge, I struggle working with people. I guess in some ways I agree. I can work well in a team but I prefer being in charge. I know exactly what I want. I can visualise things well. Once I can see what I’m aiming for, I can get others in the team to help me achieve it. It sounds pretty selfish but its how I work best. I guess in the future I will sometimes struggle but my aim is to be in charge and I’m willing to work for that.

Other than being in charge of the magazine, I also wanted to be in charge of the styling. Even though I study journalism, styling is my passion. I may not be able to dress well myself because I have no income and I’m surviving on student loans and therefore I’m being held back from the many outfits that I would buy. Nevertheless, I do know what looks good on others. I’m a newbie. I only discovered recently that this is what I want to do, so I am trying and this project was my first attempt.

Before I show you the photos, I want you all to know that the magazine we are creating is called Highst and it’s a strictly high street based magazine. I noticed this gap in the market years ago. I sometimes spend my lunch money on magazines instead so I’ve examined plenty of magazines. There are some magazines that are trashy, and others who are very high end. There are also those in-between who are trying to push themselves up. These are the magazines that have readers who can’t afford designer wear yet they continue to create pages and pages of expensive clothing. WHY CAN’T THEY STICK TO THEIR READER’S BUDGET?! So that’s how the idea came about. Therefore, when shopping for the outfits, I kept it all to high street. Another point, we wanted to go for a minimalistic winter look so we decided not to have any accessories other than a bag in one shoot (the bag was Michael Kors but we had to flip it over so the brand wasn’t showing as it’s not high street. It was a last minute decision on set). 

I hope you all enjoy the photos from the shoot. I’ve included some behind the scenes ones as well. We had two photographers (Abdulrahman Salih and Emily Williams) on set shooting the model and then we had a couple of photographers (Michelle Sibert and Zoe Beer) shooting behind the scenes. Me and Jess did the hair and make-up so everything was basically low budget but we are very proud of how the photos came out. I would also like to thank our model Ena Bilobrk for spending her day off and coming to the studio for us. She was under a lot of pressure with everyone there on the set watching and the heat from the lights were suffocating her. I would also like to thank everyone on the Highst team who came and supported the shoot, and the photographers who also spent their time trying to get the shots we visualised.

crewThe Highst team with our model (left to right): Zoe Beer, Lyubomira Ivanova, Lola Ameri, Ena Bilobrk, Jessica Penfold, Nicole Goldman, Emily Williams.

Love, Lola x

Lil Brighton and Monochrome: Lola Edition!

Hey dolls!
Heres the (very late, I know) outfit details for the previous two shoots!
The white summery one was what I was most comfortable in as it had a hippy, casual twist, however, the heels were EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I absolutely love the photos though!

The second (most recent) shoot, I decided to go for a sportier look with a hint of gothic rockstar. Its a great look for dressing up jogging bottoms and you’re both comfy and chic!

Let me know which outfit you preferred!

Love, Lola x
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OOTD: A Mix of Hippie and Sophistication

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Photos by: Abdulrahman Salih

For details on our outfits, please check out our personal sub-menus at the top of the page labelled “Lola” and “Jessica”.

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