New York Fashion Week has historically been dominated by straight size designers showing off their luxe, high-end apparel. While I glean much inspiration from collections even outside of my size range, I love the recent shift towards body diversity on the runway. Better yet is attending a presentation full of high end clothing made specifically for plus sizes. The PLY Apparel presentation in Bryant Park was just that.
It is so wonderful to see luxurious, aspirational designs in plus sizes. I often see the word “aspirational” used as a justification for only showing clothing on the thinnest of models, but there is so much more to aspire to be than *skinny.* While PLY offers clothes at a variety of price points, some their showstopping pieces are above my current price range – something I aspire to change. The supple patchwork leather crop top, for example, just feels rich.
The evening looks are red carpet ready, with this bold fuschia gown taking the proverbial cake.
The separates were versatile enough for everyday wear, yet presented a strong aesthetic. This ankle grazing vest is giving me so many outfit ideas:
PLY’s styling for the presentation was fantastic as well – I all of a sudden found myself needing a high bun and dark lipstick.
This was not my first encounter with PLY Apparel – a few weeks before the NYFW presentation I had a chance to stop by their showroom in the Garment District. The husband and wife team behind the brand, Pamela and Lamarr Nanton, were there to discuss the upcoming collection. I also ran into one of the top plus stylists in industry, who was there with her client, one of the stars of Orange is the New Black. The atmosphere was great, but the quality construction and quality fabrics are even more impressive in person. This vest was somehow structured and oversized at the same time – perfect for the minimalist dressing trend.
This cape is on a whole other level, though. It is made of the softest, most perfectly draping wool I’ve ever encountered, and the cut is impeccable. I couldn’t stop twirling around in it. At the risk of sounding like hyperbole, this is literally the best garment I’ve ever had on my body. I get a little giddy when I see it. It is just that good. The price is unfortunately out of my budget, but I am happy that luxe, fashion forward options like this exist in plus. There are women over size 14 who have luxury budgets. I can’t afford Valentino or Rick Owens, either, but I don’t resent those brands for existing.
If you want to buy some PLY of your own, you can shop on the official website, or you can order from my favorite plus size e-boutique: Hey Gorgeous. They just started carrying the brand – both the main label and the lower priced PLY 428 line – and you can take advantage of their great shipping and free returns.
The high low hem on this dress is so good, and perfect to pair with bold color tights or printed leggings. The fuschia brocade is even more striking in person, and everything in the collection is cut specifically for plus.
If you love what PLY is doing but their prices are outside of your range, consider picking up a $7 breast cancer awareness tee from them. Designer Pamela Nanton is a survivor herself, and dedicates pink pieces from each season to raise awareness. A portion of the proceeds from the tee will be donated to breast cancer awareness groups.
What do you think about PLY’s designs? Which is your favorite?