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Fashion's love-hate relationship with everything plus-size rages on with latest bit of industry gossip from print goddess Mary Katrantzou, who told the Evening Standard that Net-a-Porter has approached her about adding larger sizes to her line. The British designer says she's totally on board: "I was looking at a size 14 [US size 12] woman wearing our dress and I thought, 'I can't believe we don't go bigger than that size!' because she looked tiny."
Most high-end designer lines don't make garments larger than a US size 12, however, and many brands claim that production for larger sizes would cause special challenges in terms of design and fabric costs. And for Katrantzou in particular, the prints might come with their own set of issues. "You might have designed differently because then the body shape is different...You wouldn't want the typewriter [referring to a print from her autumn/winter 2012-13 collection] to be there [she gestures to her chest area] on a size 20—we would need a lot more thought about the prints."
Her thoughts seem to echo what style guru Tim Gunn told Marie Claire a few months ago when he famously weighed in (heh) on the state of plus-size fashion: "Have you seen most of the plus-size sections out there? It's horrifying." he opined. "Whoever's designing for plus-size doesn't get it. The entire garment needs to be reconceived. You can't just take a size 8 and make it larger."
In Katrantzou's interview with the Standard, however, she puts the onus on the buyers, not the designers. "Sometimes designers are blamed for not going to a size 16, but it's not that: it's that there isn't demand [from buyers]. So I think if buyers were more brave to try it for a couple of seasons, they would sell more and designers would produce more."
Got that Net-a-Porter? It's up to you and your ilk to make this happen.
· Mary Plus [Vogue UK]
· Tim Gunn's New Day Job [Marie Claire]
· That Was Fast: Mary Katrantzou for TopShop Landed Today and Is Almost Completely Sold Out [Racked]