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Clothing for Plus Size Ladies – An Interview with Jazmin

Plus size clothing for festivals by Plus Equals

When we were approached by Plus Equals to join our site we we’re immediately impressed with the bold and bright colours of it’s collection and we’re more than happy to introduce a plus size brand to our website. Whilst websites vary with stats, most do suggests that the average UK woman is a size 14. So why do we always look to petite models to represent how clothing will look for the average woman? Most of our festival inspired clothing caters for size 6 through to size 16, and now we’ve added plus equals, we’re now able to cater to up to size 32 for plus size clothing for festivals.

View Plus Equals collection here

We spoke to Plus Equals founder, Jazmin, to find out a little more about her, and her story.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My names Jazmin, I’m the founder & creative director at Plus Equals. I’m a 25 year old Creative based in Brighton. I’m enthralled in all things creative, music, art, fashion, and base my life around all of those things! Plus Equals began in my Grandpa’s living room and has now expanded to my own mini studio situated in my bedroom! I’ve always battled with the image of plus size women and men in fashion and how our style is portrayed, which was a big catalyst to be starting up Plus Equals, we aren’t all about the beige, camel and black clothes! 

 

What inspired you to create your brand?

Firstly, I guess, was my desire and need to pursue my creative passions. I wasn’t able to intern at uni or as a post-grad, I was plagued with commitments and my own problems, stuck in my 9-5, and Plus Equals developed from there. Initially I started selling vintage and up cycled garments, which I still do, as I’m very passionate about pushing sustainable and eco-friendly fashion, I’m big on recycling and caring for our environment, but it somehow became a design label that now makes made to order fashion. The visual aesthetics came from my love for styling, that’s how I trained. I’ve always been conflicted with how women are portrayed in fashion, particularly plus size and minorities – I guess as my nana said “if you need a job doing, do it yourself!”. As a plus size girl myself, I know the struggle of shopping with a creative mind, there’s definitely been some improvements, but I wanted to bring designs to people that were special, unique, inspired. I’m really influenced by pop culture, David Bowie, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Prince, I wanted to show them that you CAN wear crop tops, you CAN wear a big sequin kimono, and no you shouldn’t care what people think! That’s what I’ve always found the beauty of fashion to be – it’s an art form. And for an industry that has always saved my soul and accepted me so readily, it has also made me feel dirty and wrong – I wanted to shake things up a little bit.

 

We love your bright and bold prints, are you a party girl?

Haha maybe back in the day! Not so much anymore – I’m a workaholic, very mundane! I believe that life should be lived in colour. We shouldn’t be afraid of wearing textures just because gossip columns and the Fashion Police tell us we should be in black with a cinched waist (no shade, I love Joan Rivers so much, rest her soul.) It’s a bit of a homage to my late mother and grandmother, who were such present and prevalent figures in my life full of life and soul, their style influenced me beyond measure, still to this day, and it’s always stuck in my mind. “Fuck what anyone else thinks” that’s what my nana used to tell me, most of the time anyway! If we can spend less time worrying about which black dress is perfect for our body shape and more time on wearing what we want to wear, we can enjoy ourselves more – and that, to me, is what fashion is all about. Enjoyment, excitement, art, shock value maybe.

 

Do you feel there is enough fashion for plus size ladies?

I think there’s definitely movements in the industry – and things are constantly changing. It’s great to see things moving forward, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. I think that comparing it to five years ago, yes there’s definitely more choice, but I still am not sure it’s enough. High street labels are making a lot of improvements, as are a lot of bigger labels, but there’s still a long way to go. Even the bigger brands that are “standing for all” aren’t really standing for all. There’s this conception in fashion advertising that “good fat” sells, “white washed” campaigns sell – and by that I mean this notion that there’s only one type of plus size body or one type of woman, which is so far from the reality. The truth is that we need to embrace all forms of plus size bodies, we need to give more of the spotlight to BAME and women of colour, this is a time for us to truly take ownership of previous mistakes and challenge beauty norms – that to me is what the plus size industry should be about – highlighting all the ridiculousness of societies beauty standards and pushing forward to true diversity.

 

With so much emphasis on petit, Kardashian perfect models, we love the fact that your models represent real women. What kind of response have you had to your brand?

It’s been truly humbling and overwhelming. All the things I’m able to do now as a creative director are things I’ve wanted to put into motion for years, all the changes I’ve wanted to see in the fashion world are things I’m now able to do. People are so on board this journey with me, and it’s wonderful. Having worked with my darling friend Megan at Babydol Clothing since the pre-launch and still to this day, I’ve been able to blend the barrier between this “skinny vs. fat” war that seems to be happening, and show the people who follow and support me that there is no line. Every BODY is beautiful, and that’s the embrace I want to carry on. People get it, this is the problem with fashion sometimes – we discount our demographics and shoppers as stupid, they’re not. These are the very people who are pushing for diversity and more realness in fashion, we gotta give the people what they want! It’s also something I see as a duty to us fashion labels to teach our next generation of men and women, and their next generation, that these outdated standards of beauty are unattainable, love yourself, love your flaws, love your reality. There’s change happening, we just have to be the revolution we want to see in the world.

 

Plus size clothing for festivals and the brave has become more of a reality thanks to Jazmin’s vision. Get in touch, we’d love to hear your view

Written by Katie Hobbs
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Thailand / Singapore 2017

 

After spending an awful night at Gatwick airport (yes for some reason we decided to sleep in the airport!) we were off on our way to Phuket. I’d been to Thailand once before but couldn’t wait to get back there and see how it had changed and to explore new places. The heat hits you the second you step off the plane! The hot Thai air felt like a warm shower, especially after coming from the cold English winter. We had decided to explore Thailand by driving from place to place ourselves so the first thing we needed to do was to pick up our car rental. If you are contemplating renting a car in Thailand I could not recommend it more. We rented the car from a well-established company to give us peace of mind but still found that it was very cheap. The driving itself was pretty straightforward, the cars drive on the same side of the road as us here in the UK, the roads are pretty good and I wouldn’t say driving around Thailand is unsafe unless you’re driving around the main cities and you have to watch out for the hundreds of tuk-tuks! Our first trip was to Ao Nang in Krabi, this is somewhere I had not been before and was very excited to visit. Driving along the highway with brilliant rock formations exploding into the sky either side of the roads I couldn’t help but think how much I wished my usual commute to work could be this beautiful.

When we arrived in Krabi we stayed at the AONANG CLIFF BEACH RESORT, a fantastic resort situated on the Cliffside in Aonang. When we first arrived at Aonang cliff beach we were whisked away in an electric buggy to the back of the resort to an open-air reception where we were checked in by friendly, welcoming staff. Next we were shown to our room, wow, it was bright, luxurious and spacious with all the mod cons, the highlight though had to be the bath on the balcony (yes you heard me, the balcony). You can gaze out over Aonang and the Andaman Sea whilst soaking in the tub. Once we’d unpacked we wandered down to the pool area. The pool was my favourite part of Aonang cliff beach resort, it’s a stunning infinity pool high up on the cliff side with views out to the coast. There are even sun loungers in the pool so there is no need to ever get out! When you step outside of the resort you are amongst everything that Aonang has to offer, a great range of Bars, Restaurants and shops and just a short walk to the beach, yet when you’re relaxing by the pool it feels like you’re a million miles away from civilisation on your own tropical island. On one of the nights we were staying at the cliff beach resort we had dinner at the huge buffet that the hotel restaurant puts on every night. The buffet has a wide selection of barbecued meats, seafood and some Asian dishes. The food was good but I would have liked to have seen a few more vegetarian options available for us non-meat eaters. To see more on this great Hotel or to book a reservation click here .

                                 Infinity Pool View
                                     View of Ao Nang
                                Tip of infinity pool
                 Pool wearing Pink High Rise Body
                   Pool wearing Pink High Rise Body
                                   Room with a view

We thought that the area of Ao nang itself was nice but maybe a little bit too touristy for our tastes, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants to visit in the evening and there are a lot of great day trips to go on, the beach is ok but you can easily get to some really beautiful ones (such as Railay and Tonsai). All in all we really enjoyed our stay in at the Ao nang Cliff Beach Resort, if you are in the Krabi area I would definitely recommend a stop there. After spending around a week in Krabi we decided to set out and explore some more of Thailand. We drove along the coast and then hopped on a tiny car ferry over to our next destination; the island of Koh Lanta (which is actually two islands). Koh Lanta is known for its coral-fringed beaches, mangroves and limestone outcrops, our first stop was Khlong Khong beach on the West coast. We had planned on staying in Koh Lanta for 3 or 4 days but ended up staying for 2 weeks, we loved it that much. The vibe on Koh Lanta is very chilled out and un-touristy, it was a nice place to relax after the hustle and bustle of Krabi.

During our time at Koh Lanta we stayed at the fantastic Eco Lanta Resort, located on Long Beach at the north of the island. The resort had a very charming, family run, natural, friendly feeling to it. The accommodation at Eco Lanta is made up of a series of bungalows set just back from the beach. The bungalows were spectacular, they were made almost entirely from bamboo (with the obvious exceptions of the toilet, mattress etc.) and decorated beautifully. Each bungalow has a porch area with seating and hammocks to relax in. Whilst we were staying at the Eco Lanta we had the unique experience of stepping outside our bungalow to see an elephant wandering around on the beach. SAMUI KATI After 5 weeks of travelling around Thailand we then hopped on a short flight over to Singapore. I had previously visited Singapore and can’t get enough of this diverse, clean and cosmopolitan city.

                         Pathway to beach
                                Room interior

The first hotel we stayed at in Singapore was the Parkroyal on Pickering. The hotel is located on the edge of China town in close proximity to many of Singapore’s most famous sites such as Raffles, Marina Bay and Clarke Quay. In a city filled with skyscrapers the Parkroyal really sticks out in the Singapore skyline with its unique design that highlights its commitment to being green and eco-friendly. From the moment you step inside you are taken aback by the spectacular interior design that brings to mind images of Asian countryside and rice paddies. It’s really nice to know that the architectural design is matched by real environmentalism; the hotel collects rainwater, uses solar power where it can and uses light, motion and rain sensors to try and be as self-sustainable as possible. When we arrived at the Parkroyal we were greeted by very friendly staff waiting to check is in whilst we sipped on a refreshing complimentary lemon grass drink.

We stayed in one of the Orchid Club rooms, the room was simply stunning, decorated in tasteful greens and natural woods and large enough to contain the most comfortable king sized bed in the world, a work area and a sofa. In the large modern bathroom there was a bath tub big enough to go scuba diving in. Staying in an Orchid Club room also comes with some great privileges; champagne breakfast, all-day soft drinks, afternoon tea, evening cocktails at the roof top terrace and a whole host of other benefits. We really were looked after very well! When we wanted to relax we headed to the fifth floor and the infinity pool where the bird-cage like cabanas offer a unique place to soak up some sunshine.

                                 PARKROYAL Pool
                          View from street
                         Nighttime pool pods
                                    Outside Room
                                View of exterior

                               Interior of reception

After PARKROYAL we spent the remainder of our time in Singapore staying in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel which was a spectacular experience, it wasn’t great for the bank account but this place is on the bucket list. The reception was something I was not expecting, it was very much like being in an airport with huge groups of people running around with suitcases, however the staff were very helpful and even gave us a free upgrade. Once we had checked in it was actually very easy to find our room (surprisingly). The rooms were HUGE and very modern; I guess I was expecting something a lot smaller as we were staying in such a well-known hotel, and the view from the balcony was a spectacular view of the Gardens by the Bay. Part of the Maria Bay experience is going up to the Sky Park where you can bathe in the infinity pool (which was soooooooooooo amazing) and you can chill on the pool side with great cocktails.

After Singapore it was a hop on the plane and back to rainy UK. Below are more photos of our trip and an aftermovie.