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Meet our #MODELIGIGI Contest Winner: Nicole Simone, a Modern Day Mae

Posted by on May 1, 2015

NICOLE SIMONE

[MODEL]

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“IT’S ALMOST LIKE THE CURVIER YOU ARE, THE MORE BEAUTIFUL YOUR  MOVEMENTS ARE BECAUSE IT’S A LOT OF HIPS AND SHIMMYING AND IT’S JUST REALLY BEAUTIFUL TO SEE THAT.” 

I await Nicole Simone at the IGIGI headquarters but she arrives ten minutes early, which she tells me is her personal standard for any appointment: “I’d rather be early than late.” Over our morning chat, Nicole has an upbeat, girl-next-door kind of mien, but the kind who’s also effulgently well put-together. Her red lipstick is perfectly painted on her bow lips and her hair, which was swept in waves in her #MODELIGIGI photo, is now a perky chin-length bob. The outfit she smartly wears is very French: she’s dressed in a black-and-white striped shirt, tan cardigan, a black circle skirt and leggings with Fluevog black lace-up booties that turn out to have replaceable soles. The aspect of her stage persona is suggested by her graceful swoops and gestures. 

Nicole’s enthusiasm in winning #MODELIGIGI’s first successful campaign extends to all the other areas of her life. She tends to her goals the way someone peacefully waters plants on a rainy day. Her confidence “at any size” (she says her weight fluctuates and she’s at the largest she’s ever been, but her response is merely, “Bring it on!”) and optimism go together like bread and jam, undoubtedly her amulet for scrutiny from others that someone else with less resolve might find overwhelming. She’s started her own hashtag #anysizeconfidence to add to the lexicon of the #pluspositive movement. Nicole specifies that she doesn’t care for labels or numbers; she is a model regardless. Despite her cheerful aura, her awareness of the challenges of the plus-size world is apparent. For her part, she admits to having had an existential crisis of sorts in her youth and not knowing where she really “belonged” after letting go of her dream of going to college on a softball scholarship (she was that good: tensile arm strength). Her gateway drug was Plus Model Magazine which she credits on her professional website website as having opened up her eyes to a world in which she could inhabit comfortably. She connects the dots explicitly for all the signposts that led to her current success: cousins who are models, body awareness and dexterity through sports (specifically baseball: second and field positions), fluctuating dislocated knee, award-winning belly dancing, Plus Model Magazine. Nicole is a humble team player but you definitely want her on your team. –Jane Yu

Jane Yu: Tell us about your background.

Nicole Simone: So I have always had an interest in modeling. It’s something that runs in my family. I’ve had two successful cousins who are models. But I’ve always been on the curvier, thicker side so…

JY: Where are you from?

NS: I was born in Sunnyvale (California), down south for twelve years and moved back up here to the bay. Pageants were huge in my family. My aunt and uncle were huge players in the Hawaiian Tropics pageants for thirty years. I’ve always been around it but I just never really thought, “Oh, it’s something I can do” because in the fashion industry, you just didn’t really see girls who were curvy like me. So I kind of put that dream aside for a little while and in 2000, I started getting into belly dancing so I’ve been belly dancing off and on for like, fifteen years. And that’s really where I started gaining my confidence within my body and accepting myself, my curves and having the passion to perform and everything. In 2012 I actually stumbled upon Plus Model Magazine. Then I saw that, I was, like, “What is this vibrant world of curvy women?” I felt like I hit a goldmine! I was like, “That’s it. I’m going to pursue it. Because I’ve always wanted to do it and now I’m gonna do it.” And I did. In 2012 I just started booking with photographers and started shooting and building my portfolio and yeah, I just haven’t stopped since. I used to work in corporate sales for, like, twelve years and I decided… I actually knew for a long time that I wasn’t happy in that industry. It just wasn’t my passion and especially being an artist and going to college for art–fine art, photography–I didn’t finish college but I knew since I was young I’ve always been an artist. So I just knew that’s where my passion was. I said to myself, I’m going to take a risk, live a dream. Every year it tends to get a little better for me. I keep getting more opportunities or more people are noticing me. I feel like as long as I keep working towards it, really hard, and not giving up, not giving up on myself, that something will come eventually.

JY: Are you a full-time model right now?

NS: Yes, I work at the Academy of Art as well as a life model so I do that. I also model for designers here and there. One in particular, up in San Francisco: Dark Garden and Unique Corsetry. They’ve been around for over twenty-five years making custom and couture corsets so I was modeling for them as a plus-size.

JY: What’s the experience of being a life model versus a commercial model?

NS: Life modeling work is kind of hard. It’s really taxing on your body. You know, having to hold poses for twenty minutes and then getting a short break, twenty minutes. It’s one of those jobs where you get into a pose and you think the first three minutes, “Oh, this is comfortable. I can hold this.” But then, like, ten minutes into it you’re thinking, “My limbs are going to fall off.”

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JY: But you’re allowed to sneeze.

NS: Well, you can fidget a little bit, but for the most part you have to be professional and stay still. I like it. It’s really fun. It’s beautiful to see the work that the artists create of you and then sometimes you don’t want to see the work that they create of you. [laughs] Because you’re like, “Oh no, that’s how you see me…” But it’s fun! It’s a different medium of art.

JY: I think it’s great.

NS: Yeah, I enjoy it. I’m one of their only curvy models at the Academy of Art so…

JY: What about the others?

NS: They’re thinner, they’re older… I think I might be the first younger of the curvier. But all the instructors and students really love me. They’re always, like, “We want Nicole Simone back!” so it’s kind of fun. I enjoy it. It’s good. It’s a good experience and it pays the bills so that’s nice.

JY: What were you like before you discovered dancing and the confidence you gained through it? Did you have another outlet?

NS: Yeah, I just wasn’t sure where I belonged, you know? I was just kind of here, existing, not really feeling a part of anything. I have a background of being an athlete and playing sports and I’ve had knee injuries so I’ve kind of had to let go of that dream ‘cause of the recurring injuries I have on my knees and so, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I loved playing sports so much and it was a great way of keeping me in shape and thick and hot.

JY: What sport were you into?

NS: Softball. Yeah, softball and swimming were my two things. But then in 2000 I stumbled upon belly dancing and thought, “What is this magical performance art? These women–they’re all different shapes and sizes and they’re loving their bodies and it’s like a sisterhood.” I was, like, I get to be a part of this.

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JY: Does belly dancing encourage a diversity of people more than other dance forms?

NS: Well, belly dancing is definitely an art form that is accepting of all sizes and shapes. I think what I’ve really enjoyed about doing it is that it didn’t put too much stress on my knee. I could be free to express my emotions through movement and know that I was in a safe place, that no one would judge me. Actually, it’s almost like the curvier you are, the more beautiful the movements are because it’s a lot of hips and shimmying and it’s just really beautiful to see that. It’s just been something… I haven’t been able to do it for a little while because I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on modeling but I’ve slowly started training and taking dance classes again. I’ve been doing it off and on for fifteen years so I feel like it’s always in me, to just come back! [laughs]

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JY: How did you discover IGIGI?

NS: I would say about three years ago through Plus Model Magazine actually. I thought, “Wow, these clothes are beautiful.” I needed a dress for a wedding so I was looking and saw the Ambrosia Dress in black. I just was in love with it. I had to buy it. It’s still one of my favorite dresses today. The one thing I did notice is that the clothing sizes run actually big. Generally… right now I’m 18 but I can fit into size 12. So I noticed that they do run a little bigger but I mean, hey, I still fit it. I don’t care. A number’s just a number to me. What I care about is the fit on my body and how I look. I think the quality of the material is fantastic. When I go to spend the money before the outfit, I don’t feel like I’m spending too much on something that isn’t quality. I think the quality matches the price.

JY: How would you describe your own personal style?

NS: I’ve always been drawn to the pin-up style. The very form-fitting pencil skirts, cute tops. It’s still something I always lean towards. I try to step outside of the box and try new things, like half-circle skirts. I’m always afraid… I think, “Isn’t that going to make my hips look bigger?” but then it’s like, you know, I’m going to try new things.

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JY: Do you mean the pin-ups of the 1950s?

NS: Like, ‘50s. I like of the era styles. I mean, I really love the ‘20s and ‘30s but the outfits on those eras aren’t very shapely so I tend to go a little more to the ‘50s with the cute cigarette pants, the pencil skirts and the high-waisted belts. I think it’s just a very flattering style for my figure. I feel sexy and confident in it but I also feel I look classy, too. Like, I could go to a corporate job if I was still working and wear that outfit but I could also go out.

JY: Do you follow any style icons? Does belly dancing influence your style at all?

NS: I would say belly dancing influences the jewelry I tend to wear. I love that tribal, bohemian… the heavy jewelry.

JY: You wear it with your pin-up clothes?

NS: Sometimes I do. But the way I’ll style it will look like it just goes. I always have a mix of everything I like infused into my style. But the belly dancing… usually my style comes out on stage, you know, in my costume and my designs. I’m very influenced by old Hollywood actresses like Mae West. She was very curvy for her time. I’ve been kind of getting dubbed as this “Modern Day Mae” with some of my new photos. I did a photoshoot last year and I did an ode to Mae West. I kind of had the whole look of her and everything. I actually did a belly dance performance where I was Mae West on stage. She’s someone I really admire and I love the way she dresses. The dresses she wears–oh my god. She’s quite the saucy woman. But, you know, I follow styles… I’ll get inspired by that show, Mad Men. Christina Hendrix. I love the way she dresses and I always look outside of the show to see what she wears on a daily basis. I always tend to look at women who shaped like me because my waist is so small and my hips are so much larger. I’m always looking for women who have a figure like mine that I can see how they wear clothes and how their clothes look on them.

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JY: Do you have any tips for other women with your body shape?

NS: I would say for me, I always dress in what is form-fitting. What I try to never do is hide my waist because I feel like my waist is the highlight on my figure. It’s small in comparison to my chest and hips. I tend to wear form-fitted shirts and skirts that are high-waisted that I can bring up or maybe accentuate with a belt. I tend to wear just a lot of pencil skirts or cigarette pants or dresses like the Ambrosia (that I wore for the #MODELIGIGI contest) that are just super elegant, sexy, and form-fitting. But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try new things. I’m still trying new things–full skirts, half-circle skirts to play. I think half-circle skirts would look really nice, too, because when you look up it’ll still make your waist look smaller.

JY: What else would you like to share with our IGIGI audience?

NS: Confidence is key no matter what size you are. I think if you just own who you are and continue to work on yourself, whatever that may be… Confidence is the number-one thing to keep you happy. I think balance for me is really key in life. To keep my ego in check, to be compassionate, to stay balanced and I think being just well-rounded in all those areas–self-love comes naturally. I don’t fight that. I really try to live this “Zen” motto, I guess. That keeps me away from a lot of the negativity that the world wants to, like, shoot at me all the time and I think that way I’m just constantly working on myself. If you have self-love you have confidence, you know? It kind of comes hand-in-hand. I’m at a point in my life where I’m actually the heaviest I’ve ever been and that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful. It doesn’t mean that I can’t still model or pursue my dreams. Someone out there is going to appreciate me. So I just continue to work on myself and work on my path but continue to have the confidence all the way through. Keeps me happy.

 

 

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Bridal Look: Say “I Do” with Style

Posted by on April 22, 2015

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The love of your life has just asked you probably the most memorable question of your lifetime, and you made someone special very happy.

Congratulations! It is now time to prepare for a wedding to remember. There are so many details to cover, but none is more pressing than finding the most important dress you will ever wear. Picking your bridal gown, accessories, hairstyle, and makeup can bring up a spectrum of feelings ranging from excitement to anxiety. However, having a guideline to follow makes things go a lot more smoothly, so we thought you would really enjoy this checklist of top five things to consider getting ready for your big day. Enjoy!

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5 Styling Tips for Brides

1. Know your body shape: Are you an oval, a triangle or an hourglass? Choosing a gown that fits and flatters your shape will create a beautiful look. Don’t know your shape? Check out our ShapeStylist tool to figure it out.

2. Check out different dress styles: Trying out different kinds of fabrics, embellishments and colors is a helpful way of determining what weight of fabric looks the best on your particular shape, height, and complexion.

3. Highlight your assets: Do you have shapely legs? Is your décolletage a head- turner? Do you like to show off your arms? The style of your wedding gown should emphasize your best assets. Strapless gowns are great for a nice décolletage while shorter versions offer are a nice way to boast those great legs.

4. Pick the right undergarments: Once you have your dream dress, it is important to have the right undergarments that provide both comfort and a flawless look on your big day.

5. Play with hair, makeup, and accessories: Consider trying a few different combinations of hair, makeup and accessories with your dress to determine what you love the most and what works the best for comfort.

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“This is the Eugenia Vintage Plus Size Wedding Gown from IGIGI in a US size 14/16. I cannot stress just how beautiful it is in person. The detailing on the skirt is beyond beautiful, it’s heavy and luxurious and keeps it’s shape wonderfully, and I felt very boho-bride in it.”

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“The bust area is stretchy and so it’s quite accommodating if you are busty. If it weren’t for the sash then the waist would no doubt be too big for me, and so it’s a nice touch. The V-neck does require a plunge bra underneath, but I didn’t feel like I was flashing too much or too on show.”

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“I am 5’7 and I did find the dress pretty long – which is what most people will want on their wedding day. I would personally have it shortened but that’s because I am clumsy and would want to show my shoes off! However, you could always keep it long and your shoes hidden – something blue…”

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“All in all I think that this dress is a very reasonably priced, stunning, plus-size option. The gorgeous bead work on the skirt makes it one stunning garment, and the fact that it’s a viable option for big boobs makes it a winner.”

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Interview with Kailee O’Sullivan: A Natural Beauty

Posted by on April 15, 2015

KAILEE O’SULLIVAN

[MODEL]

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“I ALSO LIKE TO SEE THE MORE UNDERSTATED… JUST SO THAT THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE WOMAN SHINES ON ITS OWN.” 

With the face of an ingenue and a figure that’s reminiscent of a starlet from Hollywood’s Golden Age (luxurious curves), Kailee O’Sullivan sits patiently as the make-up artist preens her face. We’re afforded expansive views of the Pacific from the terrace room at San Francisco’s famed Cliff House but despite all the warnings of a storm and the crashing waves, the sky is already visible and the natural lighting perfectly adjusted for a photoshoot.

In her mid-20s where her modeling has already gathered steam over ten years, Kailee’s particular aesthetic is composed, serene, and attuned to nature. Her public Instagram feed @kaileeo (the digital snippets to one’s life behind-the-scenes nowadays) implies a non-grandiose understanding of her relation to the world, focusing on capturing the light emitting through trees or the soft trails of winter snow. She seems, in fact, for someone who’s photogenic and beautiful in real life with plentiful fashion spreads, to be disinterested in the casual vanity of posting numerous selfies that’s all too common as a modern aspiration or habit: the ratio of a non-human photo to a person/people photo (including hers) is 10 to 1. If the plus-size industry has always prized a colorful, loud glamour–then Kailee is what happens when glamour is tempered by subtlety.  She wears a relaxed navy cable knit sweater and black, wavy pants that encourage carefree movement. The ankle boots are just shy of meeting the sway of her gypsy bottoms.

The moments with Kailee are calm as if we’re both observing a painting together in a gallery. She speaks gracefully with a watchful gaze; she reveals herself at her own clear-eyed pace and sketches her background with the ease of someone who doesn’t shy away from introspection. Kailee cites anthropology and culture alongside her thespian interests. When the topic lands on the scrutiny Lena Dunham faces for her non-apologetic nudity in the HBO Show ‘Girls,’ Kailee lights up and defends her as a courageous and necessary feminist who strikes a chord with the angst-y Millenials. Or anyone who remembers what it’s like to be young and uncertain about what the future holds, especially in New York. –Jane Yu, staff at IGIGI

Jane Yu: What was it about you that made your mother push you to become a model as opposed to something else when you were young?

Kailee O’Sullivan: Well, I wouldn’t say she necessarily pushed me to become a model but she kind of was the one to push me to be more out in the limelight. I always wanted to do acting and I like being in front of the camera but I was always very shy. My mother was the one who kind of pushed me in that direction when I wasn’t really able to push myself. I would have never gone to an open call or a casting for modeling if my mother wasn’t the one saying, you gotta do it, you gotta do it. So, I’m grateful for her doing that in that sense.

JY: Is modeling your happy medium? How come you decided to pursue modeling instead of theater?

KO: Well, I did do some theater on the side in high school and I did study acting in school after in a few different colleges but modeling just sort of picked up by itself without me even trying too hard in the beginning. It really seemed like it was kind of meant to be because it just took off in its own direction. And then after that I kind of took the bull by the horn, as they say. I went with it and then made it my own instead of just riding the wave. I showed up being more myself, but not just like a young, little girl or young teenager in the industry who doesn’t really know what’s going on but more somebody who knows what she wants. “This is who I am. Here I am”– let’s work, that kind of thing. And it became a lot more fun and a lot more creative and a lot more adult. I felt like more of an adult.

JY: How old are you now?

KO: 25.

JY: And you said you studied theater after college?

KO: Yeah, I studied theater a little bit in high school.

JY: What was your major?

KO: In college? I never finished my degree. I’m kind of in and out still to this day but I’ve been studying acting and photography and writing.

JY: Creative writing?

KO: Yeah, creative writing.

JY: Cool. Creative non-fiction?

KO: Yeah, non-fiction. I don’t really… I’m not a fiction writer.

JY: What would be your alternate profession?

KO: I definitely want to do more acting. I want to be an actress just as much as I would like to continue modeling. But I definitely want to be in the acting field a lot more. And then on top of that I do have a huge interest in like, anthropology, cultures, communities, tribes around the world. I love traveling so in some ways. Somehow, eventually, I’d like to incorporate that into projects and to my career. Maybe do photographs and stuff like that.

JY: Is this your outfit today?

KO: Yeah.

JY: Boho chic–I like it. You look like a traveler… How much of your clothes has been influenced by the clothes you model from brands?

KO: I definitely think it’s influenced me to enhance and show off my curves more but in a very subtle way. It’s not always where I’ll model something and think, “Oh, I wanna wear that.” It’s more, like, over the course of doing this for over ten years, seeing different women and different body shapes expressing themselves through their clothing.

JY: So you’re into the silhouettes and…

KO: Right, so seeing how different women dress over a ten-year-period has influenced me more in a subtle or gradual way. Sometimes I’ll see something someone’s wearing and I’m like, oh, I want that but it’s rare… it doesn’t happen that much. It’s opened me to a world of how women can dress from a young age. I do have a totally separate style and taste, too.

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JY: How would you describe it?

KO: I’m drawn to textures and colors. And also something that flatters my body in my shape, personally. So even if I like something that is very trendy at the moment, I can say easily, well, you know, it’s beautiful but it’s just not for me. Like, I’m not gonna wear that. I’ll also wear something that’s not trendy, maybe, but something out of style I know that I look good in and I feel good in it. So, yeah, it’s just kind of eclectic. I definitely like colors, textures, fabrics–anything very natural. I like everything to be very natural looking and feeling.

JY: I don’t know too much about the modeling industry, but it seems like some models are more typecasted into one type of look.

KO: Let me think about that.

JY: In your pictures, there seems to be a variation to the outfits you wear and the looks you pull off.

KO: Right, yeah, that’s true. I think there’s a lot of glamour in the industry which I think is a wonderful thing. You know, I think everybody looks gorgeous and I love feeling glamorous at times but what there isn’t so much in the plus-size world is a more pared down, very natural, even naked look. Naked, quote-on-quote.

JY: Do you mean, like, rustic?

KO: Yeah, could be rustic. Rustic is a good word. T-shirts, jeans, just something that kind of shows a woman in her most natural state and how beautiful she can be and I think there’s more and more of that now. It’s coming up but I’ve always loved somebody who looks very understated. I love a glamour look but I also like to see the more understated, just so that the natural beauty of the woman shines on its own. So, that’s more of my style and I think I see it from time to time but not as much as I’d like.

JY: Is there something you wish that people knew about you since you say you’re people-shy?

KO: Yeah, I’m shy but I’m also a Leo who definitely likes to be in front of the camera. There’s a dichotomy within me or a duality where I am very private but I feel like there’s something in me that I want to show, that wants to be seen. I can’t wait to get it out and show it. It feels amazing and it feels creative and it feels like it’s an expression of the self.

JY: And how do you feel about New York or specifically, Brooklyn?

KO: I love Brooklyn. New York’s always changing which is really hard because you get attached to a certain place or certain neighborhoods, certain group of people, but the nature of New York is transient and it’s sad because it’s become more and more modernized. On a daily basis it’s becoming more modernized and a little bit more homogenous which is sad. I wish it would stay a little bit more mom-and-pop.

JY: When you say New York, though, do you mean Manhattan or Brooklyn or both?

KO: Manhattan mostly but Brooklyn for sure is on that incline, that path and all five boroughs are eventually… like, people just keep getting pushed out of their neighborhoods ‘cause the rent is so expensive.

JY: Did you originally live in Manhattan?

KO: No, I’m originally from about a half an hour east of Manhattan, on Long Island.

JY: And you were born there?

KO: I was born and raised in Long Island which is beautiful in its own way but definitely a lot quieter. New York will always be my home. I love it there but I also love to travel so I like to go away and come back.

JY: Do you watch the [HBO] show ‘Girls’?

KO: I love ‘Girls.’

JY: What are your thoughts on how Lena Dunham kind of pushes the boundaries and standards of beauty?

KO: Yeah, I’m all for it. I absolutely love everything she has done and I do hear a lot of her backlash and a lot of things that people don’t like. And I hear it. I understand. But,personally for me, we need somebody like her, and not just curvy women. Somebody who’s willing to just show all of her flaws in such a confident way. To me, it doesn’t feel forced or even too in-your-face. There’s nobody else out there who’s willing to make such a fool of themselves at this age and say, “Hey, this is okay. This is so okay. I’m struggling, I’m in my mid-20s. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with my life.” I think we’ve all been there. We’ve all been lost, we’ve all been struggling. We’ve all struggled. I mean, I think we need somebody who’s like a champion for that, to show that it’s okay. Every episode of that show I’m, like, “Oh my god, there is somebody like me and my friends!” We all find common ground with her.

JY: Do people in Brooklyn find that show to be an accurate parallel?

KO: Yeah, I think it is. There’s a lot of backlash about how there’s all this nepotism and also that the characters are spoiled. But I think if you watch the full show, if you watch all the seasons, you see that, yes, they are spoiled but this is their big wake-up call. Like, they might not have had it so hard growing up but eventually the red carpet gets pulled out, yanked out, from underneath you. Your parents shelter you growing up if you’re lucky enough but then eventually, especially if you’re living in New York, you have to learn how to live on your own. You have to learn how to hustle and struggle and nobody’s there to really catch you when you fall unless you build a group of friends which is the best part of the show. You see their own little community, their own little tribe. I think if you move anywhere long enough you’re going to develop all of that and that’s so important when you start to create your own life outside of your parents’ house growing up there. I love everything she’s done. I think she’s amazing–so smart and intelligent, brilliant.

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Blogger Spotlight and Interview: Boardroom Blonde shows how to look feminine and fashionable in florals

Posted by on April 10, 2015

*Jolene is a multi-talented body positive advocate blogger whose passion for fashion comes alive in her colorful and stylish outfits. Meet Jolene of Boardroom Blonde and check her out in some of our favorite IGIGI designs!

IGIGI Interview with Boardroom Blonde

How did the Boardroom Blonde come about?

Boardroom Blonde began with a YouTube channel. I started my channel not long after I started law school because I wanted to connect with other plus-size women who enjoy dressing beautifully. Plus-size fashion for professional women is underrepresented on YouTube, and I want to help change that. While I believe that style has nothing to do with a woman’s size, its important for women of all sizes to find ways to incorporate fashion trends into their professional and casual wardrobes. After the channel started doing well, I realized that I could combine my love of photography with my love of fashion by creating a blog and boardroomblonde.com was born.

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How do you see the plus-size fashion landscape?

Plus-size women are not only underrepresented on YouTube but on all media outlets. I’m excited to see new brands popping up and it reassures me that one day I’ll be able to step into any mall and buy a beautiful dress that fits like a glove.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m a full time law student, and a part-time blogger and photographer. I wake up each morning to a full inbox. I attend classes during the week, work with my photography clients on photo shoots, and work on my blog and YouTube content. If there’s time left over, I try to have a social life, but during finals, I’m poring over everything I learned during the semester and making sure I’m prepared to take exams. During finals season, I’m lucky if I have time for date night with my boyfriend.

“One of my favorite things about IGIGI is that many of their dresses are so beautiful; you don’t need to wear a bunch of accessories to be put together.”

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What are some typical questions you get from your readership?

Most of the comments I receive from my readers/viewers are regarding my confidence in myself. We need to know that we are people with accomplishments just like thin women. We are not plus-size women, we are women who just happen to wear plus-size clothing.

What are three fashion must haves?

A crop top, a midi skirt, and a good wrap dress. Any woman can wear a crop top with the right skirt.

What are three fashion fashion faux pas?

The only thing I wouldn’t wear is something that is ill fitting. Wear what you love in the appropriate size and you will look and feel wonderful.

What are three items you love from IGIGI collections?

I love the IGIGI wedding dresses – they are just gorgeous! The Dakota Dress in Rose Garden is beyond fabulous, and I really wish I had the Adele Dress in Noir.

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When I showed my blogger boo this dress, she said, “you look two sizes smaller!” Now looking smaller isn’t my goal and she didn’t mean that as a compliment, but rather – a statement of fact. I quickly agreed and we ooed-and-awed about every darling detail of this dress (Dakota Dress in Rose Garden).

If you could spend an entire day with a designer, whom would you choose?

I’d love to spend a day with any plus-size designer – I have so much to say.

What style advice do you have for plus-size ladies?

Don’t listen to the inner voice that says, “You can’t wear that!” Just don’t listen–and also, try it on!

What are you looking forward to in the spring?

I love pastels. I want to see more watercolor dresses!

*Boardroom Blonde, Jolene is a plus size blogger who also makes YouTube videos.

She is a body positive advocate and a law student.

–Ozlem Arpaci, PR at IGIGI

 

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What to Wear for THAT Special Cccasion: IGIGI Looks from the Red Carpet

Posted by on April 2, 2015

Spring is finally officially here! If you have some special events lined up, this post is perfect for all those RSVPs you’ve confirmed.

We love it when we see a full-figured beauty grace the red carpet in one of our designs. Two of our favorite bloggers have recently attended two different celebrations in the US and Europe.

What better inspiration than these to get some red-carpet-worthy outfit ideas for the parties ahead?

Check them out!

Beauty With Plus, Hungary

BeautywithPlus

BeautywithPlus3

 

Glamour Magazine Gala, Lakshmi Gown in Merlot

“I was pleased to receive an invitation to the Glamour magazine’s annual ‘Women Of The Year’ Award Gala where, based on the votes from magazine readers, prominent female figures (and one man) from Hungary get awarded every year. Beside the usual categories, this year was special as the magazine also chose one role model to receive the ‘Heroine of the Year’ award. Kriszta Bódis received this honor–she is a Hungarian writer, psychologist and documentary film maker, taking care of talented children in the poorest area in Hungary. Big respect for that!”

BeautywithPlus2

The event was held at the Operetta House of Budapest so my beautiful IGIGI gown suited so well the elegance of the venue. Thanks to the American brand I really felt special in this dress and apple-shaped women like myself know fully well the advantages of an empire waist line under the breasts! The top tulle layer of the dress is full of sequin embroidery which really makes this gown a real gem.”

The Art of Random Willynillyness, US

Carolyn2

Cinderella Premier, Adelle Dress in Garnet Lace

“Where do I start? Me, on the red carpet at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. Really? But it happened and it was wonderful. Once we finished our walk, we ended up at the front of the El Capitan Theater and walked into the official pre-premiere party that was amazing. Besides food and drinks, there were all types of activities for the kids (big kids, too).

There were crafts, photo stations and so much more–performers and music. It was so much fun. I saw a few celebrities like Octavia Spencer, Toni Collette, Jeremy Sisto, Molly Ringwald, Josh Gad and others. After an hour or so, we were asked to enter the movie theater because the movie was beginning. We grabbed our soda and popcorn and entered. At one point, Cate Blanchett walked right past me and I almost died. Once inside, we were treated to the premiere of Cinderella and all I can say is that it was magical!

Caroyln1

Here is my red carpet look. Thank you IGIGI!”

–Ozlem Arpaci, PR at IGIGI

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4 reasons to love igigi
4 reasons to love igigi
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