Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Sunday 26 July 2015

StyleXL 2015 - and new adventures

Hello there,

This time last weekend I was at StyleXL in Birmingham having an amazing weekend. The only problem is, it feels like a lifetime ago already. It's taken me a week to find the time and the words to describe the weekend. So here goes - there's lots of pictures and lots of words and thoughts.

I'd been to StyleXL last year in Leicester and was struck by how much fun it was. And the models! People just like you and me looking beautiful and being confident. When I saw this years event being advertised and the call for models, I'd thought I'd give it a go, never expecting anything to come of it. Famous last words - I had an email from the lovely Leah Shafik saying I'd been chosen - cue months of excitement and nerves.

About a couple of months beforehand, we all started finding out who we were modelling for. I was lucky enough to be picked for Topsy Curvy, Clarieabella's Closet and A Rose Like This Designs.

Up and early on the Saturday morning, I managed to do a few practice walks down the catwalk and get a few pics in before everyone arrived

Topsy Curvy

This was the first outfit I was given to wear on the day. I knew I was going to be wearing their aztec playsuit. I have to admit here, I did panic. Me and jumpsuits have never got on. Short legs, wide thighs and being smaller on top than the bottom hasn't normally resulted in success! But after some reassuring emails and the promise of a few different sizes being available on the day, I felt much calmer. And you know what? I needn't have worried. It fitted just perfectly and I felt amazing. Thank you Topsy Curvy !!

Photos: Topsy Curvy, Deb Judic & Alfie Brownson-Smith

A Rose Like This Designs

Rosie Astbury was showcasing her amazing graduate collection. I knew swimwear/beachwear was possible so was intrigued to see what I'd be wearing on the day. I think, if you had told me before that I'd be wearing a crop top and short skirt, I'd have squeaked and ran for the hills. But with one catwalk under my belt, I was ready for anything! In one outfit, I faced two of my greatest fears - thank you Rosie xx

Photo: Alfie Brownson-Smith

Photos: Jen Robinson

I'm gutted I missed out this group shot with the lovely Rosie! Myself and a couple of others were at this point rushing to get changed ready for the next catwalk.

Claireabella's Closet

I was dying to see what I was wearing for Claireabella. I love so much on her website. There just might have been a loud whoop when I saw this:

Tartan...Voodoo Vixen....all in one package!!! And to top it off, a dress with pockets. Heaven.

This dress was definitely something I would buy for myself. In fact I may do just that...I couldn't stop swishing around with my hands in the pockets.

After (reluctantly) changing back, I finally had a chance to slow down, get a drink and start chatting properly to people and watch the remaining catwalks

The Lady Voloptuous models

Bloggers photo and obligatory jazz hands

I'd love to show you lots of pictures from Saturday evening, but I didn't take any. I just wanted to relax and enjoy the entertainment. The evening catwalks were amazing so I'm a little bit sorry now I didn't take any.

Sunday was a much calmer affair. Jewellery making, an intro talk on You Tube and an inspirational talk from the beautiful Daisy was just what was needed after a hectic day.

Photo: Kat Henry

So that was my weekend. Leah Shafik asked me if I would it again. In a heartbeat was my answer. I'm short and way older (at 46) than the 'normal' idea of a plus-size model. But I loved every moment. I don't know if I'll ever get another chance to do something like this again so I'm glad I grabbed this opportunity with both hands (even if I was ever so slightly terrified). I've met some great people and got so much inspiration. 

Thank you and a big hello to everyone I met for the first time, all those I met again and all those I missed. Thank you to Leah Shafik for organising such a beautiful and inclusive event. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I've tried to credit everyone who took the photos in this post. If I've missed anyone or got anything wrong - let me know!

Thanks for reading

(the playsuit came home with me - I loved it so much I had to buy it)


  1. Was lovely to see you! Sorry didn't get a chance to chat more, it was such a busy weekend! You looked lovely though, so glad you enjoyed it! x

    1. Thanks Debz xx The whole weekend was hectic, esp Saturday! Next time I'll make time to chat more

  2. I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to speak to you! You rocked the catwalk and hopefully I will get to see you again soon x

    1. Thanks Nikki xx Saturday was a bit manic! Next time we'll have more time for sure :-)


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