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Photos: Plus-size models on the runway

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  1. Let's hear it for curves!

    OneStopPlus.com celebrated a variety of shapes by producing the first-ever plus-size-only runway show during New York Fashion Week Spring 2011. Designers sent 36 spring trend looks down the runway, from lace and denim pieces to draped dresses. Actresses such as Nikki Blonsky, Gabourey Sidibe and KayCee Stroh joined plus-size icon Emme in the audience. Click through the gallery to see key looks from the show, plus all the stars who sat front row!

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  2. 'Precious' pose

    "People act like plus-size women don't buy clothes — we do!" actress Gabourey Sidibe said. "So for a show like this to happen it really, really shows that we are here. Fashion options for curvy girls are getting much better and it's nice to see the fashion world finally opening up."

    "I'm all about the Spanx!" the "Precious" star said of her red carpet style secret. "And knowing about what I can and can't wear. To be part of this historical moment is an honor — I'm going to celebrate tonight!"

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  3. All laced up

    "In Milan they have a fashion show dedicated to plus girls... New York was behind the times," model Whitney Thompson told InStyle.com. "I actually flew in just for this show!"

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  4. Gentlemen prefer Blonsky

    "To be at this show during New York Fashion Week, one of the biggest fashion weeks in the world, is a sign that we're slowly, slowly changing the way that mainstream America thinks about size," actress Nikki Blonsky said. "My show 'Huge' is all about that. It's about being you, embracing who you are and loving and living it."

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  5. KayCee Stroh

    "When I first came to Hollywood, I was afraid that I was going to get eaten alive, but I was pleasantly surprised," KayCee Stroh of "High School Musical" said. "I was one of the first young actresses in this revolution so I think people were more excited [for me]."

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  6. Blue belle

    A feminine lace dress is presented during the OneStopPlus.com runway show during New York Fashion Week.

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  1. Image:
    InStyle.com
    Above: Slideshow (19) Plus-size models on the runway
  2. Image: Victoria Beckham Dresses - Presentation - Spring 2011 MBFW
    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
    Slideshow (16) Top Fashion Week trends
  3. Solve Sundsbo / V magazine
    Slideshow (8) Big is beautiful
  4. Image: Marchesa - Presentation - Spring 2011 MBFW
    Dario Cantatore / Getty Images
    Slideshow (21) Wackiest Fashion Week styles
By
updated 9/16/2010 10:47:31 AM ET 2010-09-16T14:47:31

Curvy girls walked a Lincoln Center runway Wednesday in dreamy mauve, shaded denim and sequined evening blush wearing clothes that accented rather than hid away their real-life silhouettes during New York Fashion Week's first-ever show exclusively for plus sizes.

Turned away from the official Mercedes Benz tents, sponsor OneStopPlus.com presented "Belle Epoque" just down the street above Jazz at Lincoln Center, drawing some of the most visible inspirations for girls and women of size — Nikki Blonsky, KayCee Stroh and Gabourey Sidibe among them.

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Models representing the low end of the plus spectrum (sizes 12 to 16) showed off one-shoulder goddess dresses and bouquet-print blouses, belted shirt dresses, cropped jackets in leather and lace sheaths worthy of the period that stretched from 1890 to just before World War I.

There was draping, but just enough, and small ruffles rather than the larger kind that often serve as shrubbery on clothes made in big sizes. Slim jeans, cargo shorts and capris celebrated fuller rears.

Using Georgette sheers, crepe and jersey, designer Zahir Babvani for OneStopPlus included something for all ages, inspired by the optimistic period in history before the Great War hit Europe. Optimism and empowerment for plus sizes in fashion were on the minds of the front row.

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"It's, like, finally!" said Stroh, who played Martha Cox in the "High School Musical" franchise. "Designers make good clothes, but who's going to wear them?"

Stephanie Sobel, president of the onsite retailer for men and women of size, said that's precisely the point. About 62 percent of American women wear a size 12 and up, she said. They're tired of being shunned or squeezed into designs created for zeros and 2s. And they're tired of being looked down upon by most denizens of the fashion world, Sobel said.

Sidibe, Stroh and curvy "America's Next Top Model" alum Tocarra Jones, who walked in the show, said it feels like the time is now for larger women in search of fashion.

"It's a very, very big step in acceptance of people of size," said Sidibe, the Oscar nominee for "Precious," of Wednesday's show.

"It's ridiculous," she said. "We obviously buy a lot of clothes. I think a lot of designers don't try. It's much easier to make a dress for a size zero, but the average woman is not a size zero. It's about making women of all shapes and sizes feel comfortable."

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Ladylike style, curves return for fall

  1. Transcript of: Ladylike style, curves return for fall

    ANN CURRY, co-host: This morning on TODAY'S STYLE , the " Mad Men " look. That early '60s feminine silhouette is back in a big way this fall, so if you have -- are a lady with curves , you're going to be very happy. We've got Stacy London , she is a lady with curves , and who's also our resident style expert and the co-host of TLC 's "What Not to Wear ." And by the way, everybody, she's also appearing in the current off- Broadway show "Love, Loss and What I Wore." Stacy , congratulations.

    Ms. STACY LONDON: Thank you so much . Last night was opening night, it was fantastic. We're going to be doing it for a month. I have an amazing cast. And it has just been such an honor to be in it.

    CURRY: And I heard you're fantastic in it. So congratulations on all that. My goodness.

    Ms. LONDON: Thank you.

    CURRY: But you still got up this morning...

    Ms. LONDON: Yes.

    CURRY: ...to show us how to do this " mad Men " kind of inspired look. It's really -- we -- I would say probably you describe it as curvy? What would you say ?

    Ms. LONDON: Well, look, I think that -- here's the thing, the great thing about " Mad Men ," and Christina Hendricks in particular is an actress who plays Joan , is that we're celebrating curves again. Now even women who don't have curves can get the illusion of curves with this look. I will say you are doing a perfect Betty Draper right here. Everybody take a look at Ann. It is about creating curves or accenting curves .

    CURRY: OK.

    Ms. LONDON: So we'll show you how to do that.

    CURRY: Well, thanks for that nice sweet compliment.

    Ms. LONDON: Yes.

    CURRY: Let's take a look at our models, though, I'm sure they've got it together much more than I do. We've got our first lady look being worn by Serena . Good morning, Serena .

    SERENA: Good morning.

    CURRY: So how -- did you make this with a belt, is that was creates this?

    Ms. LONDON: Yes -- now -- yes -- this is what's important, here is a perfect way to either get curves or show off your curves , you want a sheath dress that has this kind of princess seaming detail, the belt accents the waist, right? Look at the attention paid to the color. So if you have a smaller chest, this could still accent your chest, but here it also de-emphasizes a larger chest but still keeps the curves .

    Ms. LONDON: You always want to make the waist small, knee-length is the ideal in terms of silhouette length just to create those curves on the body. A pointy- toe shoe always elongates the leg.

    CURRY: Mm.

    Ms. LONDON: And most important, get a bra fitting because the girls have to be up and high in order to get this look right.

    CURRY: Oh! All right.

    Ms. LONDON: That's all I'm going to say.

    CURRY: OK, Stacy! Thanks, Serena . That's beautiful. OK. We've got our next look by Maryann and -- come on our, Maryann . Oh, that's very nice. I like that. That's -- it's very Jackie O , I think.

    Ms. LONDON: It's very Jackie O. It 's still based on that early '60s inspiration. Now a lot of women think that that " Mad Men " thing can only be achieved by wearing skirts or dresses. You can do a skinny pant here, that is the pant for the season.

    CURRY: Mm.

    Ms. LONDON: And I have to say if you don't have curves , if you've got a narrower shoulder or a smaller bust, a swing cardigan like this. And look at the peplum on this Ann Taylor top.

    CURRY: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. LONDON: That gives you the illusion of a hip.

    Ms. LONDON: And it gives you a little bit of curve where you don't have any.

    CURRY: What is peplum? I'm sorry.

    Ms. LONDON: Peplum is the trim around the hem of the top.

    CURRY: I see.

    Ms. LONDON: So it's a -- gives you a little bit more volume.

    CURRY: I see, I see.

    Ms. LONDON: Yeah.

    CURRY: Oh, that's really cute?

    Ms. LONDON: And this is easy, easy to wear for day or for weekend. And you'll see the knit itself is kind of that nice flat knit, easy to pack, easy to take with you to travel.

    CURRY: Again with the pointy shoes.

    Ms. LONDON: Yes, always, the pointy shoe. And notice the kitten heel , this is a very short heel, this is the new style for fall. It's not about the sky-high platform anymore, even though we both love it.

    CURRY: All right. OK. Now our next model -- thanks a lot, Maryann -- Dawn is showing off some very serious curves because she's also expecting a baby.

    Ms. LONDON: She's expecting a baby. Can you believe that?

    CURRY: No.

    Ms. LONDON: I mean, look at this body with expecting a baby, I mean, shut up. But what I love -- what I love is this is the new length skirt. Now a lot of people are afraid of this because they think they can look dowdy, but I really like to think of this as long as you are accenting the waist, as I said, with a wider waistband, doing some visual interests here with the plaid, which is also very big for fall, and the nice pointy- toe shoe , this is ladylike, it doesn't have to be dowdy.

    Ms. LONDON: Keep it light with something tighter on top so that the volume is only in one part of the body, otherwise we lose the body's shape. And this is how you accent curves again. If you didn't have hips, this is a great way to give yourself the illusion of hips because it looks like you have a small waist and a larger hip.

    CURRY: This also plays into the neutral theme of this year all on top.

    Ms. LONDON: Absolutely. Neutral . Camel in particular is the new neutral. But you will see color as well. I'm actually showing these in neutral tones because when you're doing a plaid this big, if you did it in a bright color it might feel a little overwhelming. Neutrals are always a great base, they're a great investment, and then you add color as you go. Jewel tones are very big this season.

    CURRY: Dawn, thank you so much . Our next model is Zoe .

    Ms. LONDON: Now this is Zoe , who is one of my best friends and works with me. And we had to put her in something, she loves a beehive! But animal print is super important this season. And I wanted to talk about that because this is an H&M cardigan, around $24.

    CURRY: Hm.

    Ms. LONDON: You can get animal print inexpensively and do it even if it's a bolder animal print, but don't be afraid. Animal print doesn't go out of style. So even it's much more popular this season, but it may not, you know, be as popular and you can always have this in your wardrobe, great investment.

    CURRY: Let's bring all of the models out. And so the bottom line on a lot of this is that we're accentuating the waist as much as possible.

    Ms. LONDON: That is correct.

    CURRY: And also, we're channeling our '60s kind of little cartouches, again the pointy shoes.

    Ms. LONDON: That is correct. Pointy- toe shoes , accented waists, and you will have curves all season long.

    CURRY: Stacy London , such a pleasure. And congratulations on all your success.

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