amaze plus size magazine

VSG (very stylish girl)
by kimberly suggs

Well ladies in this issue I wanted to share a realistic report of New York’s Spring 2006 Fashion Week, from my seat. Not that the reports haven’t always been “real.” (Girls you know I keep it real with you 24-7!) Twice a year the entire fashion world comes to the park and plays in a tent. The ‘playground’ is in Bryant Park on 41st Street and Sixth Avenue in the middle of Manhattan. It was non-stop action with the shows beginning as early as 8am and the last show starting at 9pm. Each of the 87 shows ran about 30-40 minutes a piece; and each is filled with its own unique excitement. 
Everyone except VIP’s (that means Celebs who will be possibly wearing these looks down the red carpet runways for their movie premieres, newest music videos and Hollywood events) must stand in line and present invitations with an assigned seat number before entering one of four theaters. All the tastemakers of the retail and publishing worlds await their favorites to be unveiled. The anticipation of  “what’s next?” is intense. The waiting line is like old home week meeting up with colleagues past and present, exchanging the 411 on who’s hot and who is best in show.

The European designers are 'ahead of the curve' with the inclusion of models
of size diversity in shows -- which is divine as seen in the closing finale bows
at John Galliano for Spring 2006 in Paris!!! Photo courtesy of

The lights are always dim and the seats are tight and seconds before the music cues there is a hush in the room, an electric silence. It is that magical energy reminiscent of the first drop on a big roller coaster. The lead outfit sets the tone of the Collection but it is usually another outfit number that is the “WOW!” I attended 41 of the 87 tent shows and 48 of the more than 100 off site shows with all my notes in hand. Out all that information here is my list of what size 14 and above women should look for in Spring 2006.  I would also like to introduce and share with you the name of one new Designer who showed in the tents: Vlassis Holevas. He is from Athens and does the most beautiful cocktail dresses and is planning to do a collection in plus size next season - So keep a watch for him!

Clean lines were the dominant trend. After seasons of much needed color, color, and color its time to relax with natural shades and nude skin tones. The silhouettes are feminine with an indulgent, luxurious undertone. This visual palette creates a balancing platform for both the sweet, soft mood of yesterday and tomorrow’s dreamy future super-women.  The title of this season’s spectacular was “Picture Yourself in this” so here are my favorites:

My “Fabulous 5” silhouette picks from the Catwalk

The Knee Length Dress: This item is a must have. Everyone can wear this style, no matter what your height or proportion. Be sure to go for an open neckline and a sleek hip line. Look for new styles with the Empire baby doll feel and be sure that the bust line fits easy and doesn’t pinch.

The Short Trench Coat: Here balance is very important. Essentially: do not wear your ankle length dress with this style. It works best with your new dress and any style pants, also watch your skirt lengths and volume. This season the overall theme is less color so try white or a cool pop print just have some fun.

The Tailored Tunic: The day of the oversize top to cover up is gone, girl. Skimming your best self is in fashion so go ahead and get a tunic but be sure that it shows you off. Remember bigger is not always better so try different underwear and go down a size to make your silhouette look sleek.

The Short and ¾ Sleeve Sweater: Sweaters, traditionally, are for fall and winter but this season the fabrics are so soft and light that cashmere is a good thing.  Do yourself right and go bold with colors and cool textures.

The Detail Story: This season the exit is very important, there is and overall feel of fuss-less ness.  The season has a clean, clear, organic and fluid sensibility. There is beading but in wood, and also details like crochet and lace trim still showing up.  But the new look is with a more homemade feeling. You have to try it.

From the fringed dresses of the hey days of the 1930’s to the flower print mini skirts of the Love Children during the sixties, fashion has played a big role in how we feel. This year has been filled with lots of change. We are still at war, we’ve been devastated by lots of floods and natural disaster have rewritten our world. Even the NBA players have a mandatory dress code, now that is change!  New York’s Fashion week is now, oddly enough, always falling on the week of 9/11. I had a reality check that night after six shows in the tents. I raced over to (Radio City Music Hall) to the Baby Phat show. Yes, Mrs. Simmons rented the entire hall for her event. As we all exited high off of a phenomenal show and still worked up. The show’s attendees were greeted by the sound of bagpipes and kilted members of New York’s Bravest and Finest walking arm in arm with family members in a memorial parade to pay homage to the fallen thousands on that unbelievable day.

A passionate life doesn’t have a script and we have lots of work to do to make things better.  Fashion marches on and the beauty of fashion is that it is most times, a mirror of our collective mind, a reflection of us on many topics.

about kimberly suggs

Kimberly is the head of Very Stylish Girl and Style Eternal LLC, a fashion consulting company. She is a media veteran and retail fashion buyer for some of the most prominent retailers in the country.

She certainly keeps busy! Kimberly just finished styling for one of TV’s hottest shows, TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” She is an adjunct professor at her alma mater FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and also teaches professional image seminars for the Dress for Success organization. Kimberly handled the design and merchandising of the Brooklyn retail phenom B2 Gear, a concept store that gives back to the community. Located in Brooklyn's notable Fort Green community, B2 Gear is a specialty project created by the non-profit organization Youth America to assist urban youth in learning the structure and practical skills of entrepreneurship.

kimberly suggs

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