You know when you go to something and the minute you walk in the room, you’re like, holy shit. This is amazing?!
That was my experience at Knock Out PDX, plus size pop-up and fashion show.
I literally had chills walking into the space at the Wonder Ballroom. A lot of power and glam all in one place. A lot of solid ’90s jams. A lot of hot babely babes mixing and mingling, dressed to impressed, spending money on indie designers who are thrilled to be creating for them.
It’s powerful to walk into a room full of women who are traditionally so put down, so made fun of, so bullied, so ignored and see such explosive joy. To see that dusty narrative turned on its side. To see the new story. Such diverse visibility. Such community. Such a breath of fucking fresh air!
As someone who has struggled with the size of her body from childhood, I found myself getting emotional from time to time throughout the event – from walking around and seeing all the independent women business owners kicking ass and taking names, to the beauties gracing the stage, to the designers making such lush and gorgeous works of art, especially for bigger bodies.
And when all the models came together at the end, how amazing it was to witness the cheers and love from the audience. Every one of them owned their outfits and embodied such strong self-love and pleasure, it was palpable. So when the crowd of 200 went crazy in admiration and excitement, it was a powerful moment. They remind us: No more will we settle for less. No more will we wear shitty clothes because that’s what the fashion industry makes for us and expects from us. No more will we be reduced to the corner rack. No longer will we be quiet, try to fit in, take up less space. No longer will we tolerate and wear shit that is considered traditionally “flattering.”
These clothes were made for our bodies. And because of that, those beings glittered up on that stage, like the gems of Portland they are. And they worked that music DJ illordess was spinning. Beats. Rhythm. Pulsating to bring the designer’s vision alive. The ATTITUDE penetrated!
I was standing next to someone who was also taking photos and we were oooohhing and ahhhhing the entire show. It was impossible not to. I mean, dreams are going to be manifested in these pieces. Businesses will be launched wearing these styles. Strategies will be implemented. Important, impactful conversations had. Desire will be discovered wearing these designs, love expressed.
That is my synopsis.
You need to know and realize, the fashion was BRILLIANT n’ BREATHTAKING.
Have I made myself clear?
Let me give you the rundown of details you need to know. The event, now in its second year, was organized by Claire Doody of Copper Union. Her line was paraded out at the end, punctuated by a gold lame jumpsuit that just screams “the world may be on fire, but this boss won’t be taken down!” The MC was Jes Baker, a Tuscon blogger and author of “Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living.” The keynote (!) was given by Anna O’Brien of Glitter + Lazers, Instagram influencer and fashion blogger.
“We don’t have to dress to disappear,” O’Brien said. “We can be seen. Hold onto those words. We can take up space. We can own a room. We can be boisterous and happy.”
Everyone I am listing here was involved in the show. Write these names down and add them to your Instagram feed. You won’t regret it.
Allison Rae Mirek, Anna Chapman, Ashleigh Elizabeth, Bea Trumann, Coco Madrid, Katana Fatale, Fox Kimmons, Frankie Breaid, Kanda Mbenza-Ngoma, Keri Atkins, Kiersten Williamson, Saucye West, and Summer Brown.
Also. Did I mention the vendors? One particular that caught my eye was Make Good Choices by Alex Simon. Boobs as planters with 24K painted nipples. Do I even need to say more? Plus her booth was tight. Check it out.