Friday, 26 July 2013

International Fuller Woman Expo: Canadian Edition

On July 14, I had the pleasure of being involved in one of the most inspiring and meaningful projects I could ever imagine existed in the plus size community, The International Fuller Woman Expo.

It all started when I read a post on Marie Denee's blog, The Curvy Fashionista which showcased The Fuller Woman Expo, US Edition. After seeing this, I went to the FWE website, and saw an advertisement for an open model call in Toronto. I attended the audition on June 1st to check out the scene. I had never modelled professionally, let alone walked the runway before so I was extremely nervous. Ultimately I got called back for a second audition and landed a part in the fashion show! After this, frequent rehearsals took up a chunk of my schedule, but in the end it was worth it to see my hard work and practice paid off! 

The mission of the FWE is to "empower the plus-size woman to recognize her internal and external beauty; to educate and motivate through workshops and seminars, while providing information on the products and/or services available to them through various companies across the world". There is no doubt in my mind that The Fuller Woman Expo: Canadian Edition achieved just that. 

The Fuller Woman Expo was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I learned more about myself in the past month and a half than I have in the last few years. I have never had this much confidence in myself in my entire life. Since the expo, I have been inspired to share my story of being a curvy woman and the struggles and triumphs I have experienced throughout my life. I have taken an active stance to be the best role model I can be to women of all sizes and advocate for equality within society. 

I learned a number of lessons about the plus-size and fashion industry since becoming involved with the expo, and I am so grateful for the guidance and education I received throughout this experience.  Not only did I learn how to strut my stuff on the runway (with some serious coaching I might add), but I realized how much planning and dedication it takes to organize and run a show of this magnitude! I would like to give thanks to Georgia Greenwood (Founder and Canadian Director of TIFWE) and Cassy Jones-McBryde (Director of the American TIFWE) for all of their hard work organizing this day of positivity and celebration of curvy women. 

Designers and Boutiques Showcased in the show included:
Ming Ling

For any of you wondering, it is absolutely chaotic, fast-paced and exhilarating behind the scenes of a fashion show. What an adrenaline rush I had by the end of the day! I met so many great women at the audition, and made many long-lasting friendships. I am most definitely looking forward to next years expo and staying in touch with some wonderful model friends and designers! 
                  
SexyPlus Clothing's Rack of Clothes [Photo C/O SexyPlus Clothing]
Model Rebekah Wilson modelling a dress from SexyPlus Clothing [Photo C/O SexyPlus Clothing]
Model Tiffany Smith with Karen Ward, owner of Your Big Sister's Closet [Photo C/O Your Big Sister's Closet]
Models from L to R: Chian, Ophilia, Erica (lower), Tessenie, Christine & Sasha after the show
Erica Howard (myself) modelling Pheline Designs [Photo C/O of Ashley Meerkins]
All of the models after the Expo!

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