Blog / curvy

  • Sorry, Not Sorry - Fat Activism Through Art

    January 30 marked my debut as a visual artist, at the opening of the Fat in Public art show put on by the Fat Girl Food Squad.  My partner is an incredible artist and together we like to spend a lot of our time being creative, always with multiple projects on the go.  It wasn't until the announcement of this event that I really felt a desire to show my stuff, almost immediately sitting down to sketch and work out ideas.  The plan was to create a small installation that responded to the common notion that fat bodies are "gross" and should be covered in flattering clothes and the constant messages that plus-size women have to wear clothing cut to make the body seem taller, slimmer.  Originally I was going to construct a dress made completely out of chain and have it pinned to the wall.  I wasn't totally set on that idea, as I had envisioned something a little more 3-D and a 4 am brainstorming sesh with Ron ended with me shouting "A-HA! Clear vinyl!" louder than my neighbours would have liked (probably).
    My first sketches for the piece I ended up calling "Sorry, Not Sorry".
    The first attempt at the underwear, I had never worked with clear vinyl before and it was quite the challenge.  I am being too nice by putting it that way, it was a nightmare!  In order to achieve the 3-Dness I added steel wire "boning" so the garments could be molded into the desired shape and stay that way.
    Putting the pattern pieces together for the bustier.
    This was the night before the opening, Ron is helping me put together the installation while 2186 Dundas Gallery owner Andrew Williamson takes pictures.  (Photo courtesy of show co-curator Megan Stuhlberg's instagram @meganstulberg).
    Carefully joining all of the pieces with chain (Photo courtesy of 2186 Dundas' instagram @2186dundas)
    Finally the outfit was assembled and ready to be hung!
    I was so honoured that "Sorry, Not Sorry" was hung front and center in the gallery window for all to see.  The opening was a great success for the Fat Girl Food Squad and everyone involved, getting crazy press from the CBC and Mashable (check out the awesome article!)
    Ron submitted beautiful new paintings, the set was titled "Marriage Barrage" - I wish we could keep them all!  More of his work here.
    So much gratitude for all of my lovely friends to came out on the chilliest, snowiest night for the show.
    And a goofy shot from opening night.  Thanks so much to the Fat Girl Food Squad for including my piece and putting on such an important show for the body positivity movement.  It really opened a new dialogue in Toronto and it was so great to see all types of bodies at the show, responding to the art work about fat identity and visibility.
    Read more →
  • UM+ Fall/Winter Lookbook: Behind the Scenes

    On a very chilly December morning, a bunch of hot babes gathered in Toronto's beautiful Necropolis for the Ursa Major+ FW Lookbook shoot.   I had been wanting to shoot there forever - opened in 1850, there are over 50,000 graves spanning across it's huge perimeters.  The day was more than brisk but we made the best of it and the ladies were absolute troopers in cropped tops and skirts.  We had lots of fun while working efficiently and were able to finish literally at the moment the first snowfall of the season started, which was more like brutal hail. 

    I love taking pictures and have quite the assortment of analog and old polaroid cameras but this was my first time doing a big shoot with my little Canon Rebel XS.  I am by no means trained in photography, mostly picking up bits and pieces as I work on making my store better and better.  The light was really tricky that day, giving me another opportunity to learn and I look forward to figuring more out and developing my skills.  That being said, I love working with photographers and if you are interested in collaborating on a project please feel free to send me an email (amarina@ursamajor.ca)!

    Here are some behind the scenes shots from the shoot and be sure to check out the lookbook and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.  Hope you like it!

    xoxo Amarina

    Bitch face attempts. 
    Big thank yous to my two beautiful models, my dear friend Rebecca and my partner Ron for helping me pull off another rogue UM+ shoot.
    Read more →
  • Looking Unique in Sweater Weather

    As much as I try to appreciate all of the seasons, I am just not a winter woman.  Alas, living in Toronto (and I recognize Toronto winters are mild compared to other Canadian cities and beyond - but I am a baby about it), I look forward to small joys like steaming earl grey tea, stompy leather boots and sweaters. Especially sweaters.  The problem I have with a lot of the plus-size designs - and this is so very common for women of size - is the lack of selection and diversity.  Fortunately over the years I have learned to expand my options with some non-traditional shopping strategies. Here are a few body warmth offerings around the interwebs alongside an Ursa Major+ gem that I've brought in for you babes. 

    SHOP MENSWEAR - so many companies cut mens clothing in a broader size range than for women.  I will be the first to complain about stores that carry a men's XL yet the ladies clothing only goes up to a large, but my point here is that I can often fit into men's clothing in stores where the gal's stuff wouldn't even go over my head.  This season I am loving the Narcolepsy sweatshirt from Stolen Girlfriends Club, even though it's definitely on the pricey side.

     

    SHOP "OVERSIZE"/"ONE SIZE FITS MOST"/"LOOSE FIT" - When it comes to wanting something stylish outside of the traditional selection of plus-size, I would totally go for this shaggy oversize sweater from Nasty Gal.  Oversize in some styles means it could fit me just right, regardless of what the original intention of the garment was.  I mostly just want to encourage you to explore stores that you might have ignored in the past, perhaps assuming that nothing they offer would fit.

    SHOP HANDMADE - There is such a huge world of indie designers out there who are creating amazing clothing in a wide range of sizes, or are offering custom size options.  I love shopping handmade because I know I am getting a product that was likely created by the same person who designed it and shipped it to me.  It's a great way to support emerging artists and creative hobbyists while maintaining your individual vibes.  And come on, the Pretty Snake Crazy Kitten Sweater is SO EFFING CUTE (and this one is an XXL).

    SHOP VINTAGE - It doesn't get more unique than finding previously loved treasures to incorporate into your wardrobe.  You can't beat the thrill of the find (even online!) and it's highly unlikely that you'll be seeing tons of ladies in the same garment.  This Chain Link Sweater is so amazing and can be found right here at UM+.  Be sure to check out our sweater offerings, with even more being added as it starts to get colder outside.

    Stay warm and stay stylish!

    Read more →
  • OOTD - Pleated skirts and sneaky announcements

    This weekend, I took advantage of some summer evening light to show off one of my favourite skirts ever.  EVER.  I'd been wanting a pleated chiffon skirt for a long time but was unwilling to pay an arm and a leg for one, mostly because I've been a broke student for the last two years.  When I found this sweet gem I am sure I let out an embarrassing squeak of excitement - it was only $8!  I love that I can dress it up (I wore it with a fancy top to my convocation), or down (bra out) and it always feels right.

    Very obsessed with these shoes, I love the happy coral soles!

    Since I've been talking vintage a bit here, I'm going to take this opportunity to announce that my PLUS SIZE VINTAGE ONLINE STORE is almost ready to go!! I'll be posting about the launch in the very near future.  Be excited ladies!

    On the bod:

    Tank - Old Navy

    Skirt - Thrifted

    Shoes - Dolce Vita

    Bag - Thrifted

    Jewelry - Vintage and Hibou (made by me)

    I can't believe that summer is almost over, enjoy every moment!

    xoxo Amarina

    Read more →