Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Taking Shape, New Collections And #skinnybird

Its been quite an "interesting" few weeks for Plus Size brand Taking Shape. I've been a fan of this quirky Australian brand for a couple of years due entirely to the beautiful Liverpool store which is run by a wonderful woman called Paula. 
With Taking Shapes Liverpool Store manager Paula-She is ace

This store is an absolute gem. Beautiful space, fantastic customer service and a vibe of real body positivity and style at any size, shape or age.

So I was really surprised to see the brands #skinnybird stunt where members of the PR team in London  dressed as Bird watchers with binoculars spotting "skinny birds" during LFW. 
Someone obviously thought this was a "hilarious" idea but as soon as I heard about it I felt very uncomfortable. 
Treating any woman as if her body should be the subject of unsolicited scrutiny is never humorous and I hoped they would rethink it but sadly no, they saw it through and the backlash was as you would imagine, quite fierce.
 I had arranged this store visit before they had revealed the #skinnybird stunt and I was quite conflicted about whether I wanted to continue to openly support a brand, even one that I love as much as this one, when they feel quite comfortable partaking in body shaming. 
Ultimately after discussing it with some other bloggers I decided that the amazing Liverpool store had only ever been hugely supportive of the plus size community and it would be unfair of me to ignore this grass roots behavior because of one PR stunt gone wrong.
The welcome at the Liverpool branch was as always incredibly warm. If you are ever in Liverpool I really recommend popping in. I didn't discuss the #skinnybird incident with the staff there and instead concentrated on the new lines they have in.So lets take a look at the clothes.

Shadow Eternal Dress £49 Buy Here

How it looks on the website
One of the things I always love about Taking Shapes clothes is how they incorporate layering and unusual hem lengths in their dresses and this is a great example. Its semi sheer so I teamed it with a grey teeshirt dress.and a long scarf for  a really soft ethereal look. I love how casual but also well put together this looks.

Ethereal soft layers and black and nude, a great colour combination

Fall into line dress £59 Buy Here and the Shadow Mix it up Top £45 Buy Here
How it looks on the website

If you prefer to not wear clothes that are too clingy, but still want shape then  this dress is perfect. Its semi fitted but doesn't cling and the stripes are perfect for a bit of Breton inspired chic. I really like this "Mix it up" sheer top which worked perfectly over the top and is a great alternative to a cardigan.

A patchwork of stripes-it shouldn't work but it really does

Rose Bloom Tunic £55 Buy Here with Career Cardy £49 Buy Here
How it looks on the website
Taking Shape are always great for offering clothes with really strong colour and this Rose Bloom tunic is incredibly eye catching. I put it with the Career Cardy which yet again has beautiful flowing lines.

A rose by any other name....

Evita Top £45 Buy Here
How it looks on the website
I confess that I picked this top for its colour and I'm not sure about the style on my small frame. the fabric is beautiful though, just not for me.

Beautiful colour, just not sure the draping works on my frame

Citrus Punch Trousers £45 Buy Here and Ponti Jacket £65 Buy Here

This was probably my fave outfit from my session. I adored these Citrus Punch trousers as soon as I saw them. They are such a great shape. This Ponti Jacket is also really stylish. I felt very lovely in this.

How stylish is this outift-the long necklace is the perfect finishing touch

Alexis Top £35 Buy Here and Shadow mesh Leggings £25 Buy Here

How it looks on the website

Paula Taking Shapes store Manager was wearing this top and looked absolutely fantastic so I had to give it a whirl. With its pleather shoulder details its quite minxy and I also love these mesh leggings. Who says black is safe.

Back to black

Fleur Long Coat £108 Buy Here
How it looks on the website
Taking Shapes coats are always a joy and this one which is the same design as my absolute fave coat by them the "Victorian Rose" one. These are such a great fit and with the structured collars and ruffled hems ridiculous in a totally fabulous way.
OTT and absolutely wonderful

Trellis Lace Dress £17.50 Buy Here

How it looks on the website
This was my final outfit and what a cracker it is. Beautiful colour, fantastic lace detailing, just a wonderful vava voom outfit.

How glam is this

I asked Taking Shapes PR Team for a quote about #skinnybird  and received the following:

"At Taking Shape, we believe all women are beautiful whatever their shape or size. Our stunt during London Fashion Week was meant to convey this, and our only aim was to highlight that ALL shapes and sizes should be treated equally on the catwalk. As a brand, we are incredibly passionate about embracing fashion and women's body shapes. We had absolutely no intention of offending anyone during our stunt and we can only apologise to those who felt personally upset by our activity. This was a light hearted initiative and whilst this tone came across in person on the day, we can see the message didn’t translate well on social media. We celebrate all women all shapes and sizes."  

I'm really pleased that they have apologised. Its not the full and robust condemnation of the stunt I  would like but it acknowledges it was ill judged.
 I have always felt Taking Shapes marketing doesn't show how beautiful the clothes are and I have spoken to them a few times about working more with bloggers on campaigns. 
I think now would be the perfect time for them to really embrace the plus size fashion community. Not just to help rehabilitate its slightly battered image but to let the fantastic clothes get the styling they deserve.

*I wasn't paid for my store visit but was gifted a voucher to spend in the store. This was not conditional on me promoting any particular views and all views expressed in this post are my own.

Check out my Plus size Teeshirt Range at Nicky Rockets

Including the brand new "Plumpy Paws" Design. Does your pussy love Donuts? Limited edition-Buy Here

Only £15,designed and made in the UK my tee shirts are  a celebration of the power of the curvy woman.Available in sizes small-5XL in a range of cuts and styles Shop here

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Pamper (aka Perelandra Beedles) unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog

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