Throw out your grandma’s notions that you can’t wear white after Labour Day, and throw on one of indie designer Liesl Binx’s fresh new looks from her recent fall 2014 collection. New customers receive 25% off their first order and there is free shipping in the USA, so you should pick your favourite and order now!
Personally, I’m in love with this white sheer organza dress, but there are plenty of great pieces in her new collection to choose from.
I got in touch with Liesl recently to talk about her inspirations, the plus size fashion industry, and her advice to new designers.
1. Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?
One of my biggest fashion inspirations is honestly my little sister. She is 100% FASHION if you know what I mean. She inspires me to always push the envelope with my personal fashion as well as when I design. She keeps me in the loop with fashion as a whole instead of just “plus size” fashion, which I think really influences my point of view. She’s also one of those people who can always make something look better (whether that’s an outfit or your kitchen). She has a true eye for detail and whenever I am unsure of something I run to her!
2. What was the inspiration for the fall 2014 collection?
I gave this collection a very serious tone because I wanted to express a high level of sophistication. I wanted it to be feminine but not in an obvious way. I am really inspired by menswear i.e. clean lines & tailoring so I combined the two concepts. It has masculine silhouettes and is feminine without frills.
3. Is designing a collection for the plus size woman any different from designing for the straight size woman? Are there any particular challenges specific to plus size design?
It’s my personal philosophy to design the same things for a plus woman that I would for a smaller woman. Many designs for plus woman are watered down versions of the real thing and I just don’t think that’s fair! It can definitely be challenging doing this because I have been told many times to lengthen sleeves & hems in order to make more sales but I am unwilling to do this. I really want to challenge people to be comfortable in their own skin.
4. This is an exciting time for plus size fashion, with growing numbers of plus size bloggers, retailers, and advertisement in mainstream media. Where would you like to see more plus size representation?
It sure is exciting! I would like to see more plus representation in physical form meaning in retail stores and mainstream magazines. There is this huge boom online which is amazing but there are SO MANY plus woman who aren’t aware of the online plus community.
5. There is nothing currently in the plus size industry that has the world wide recognition of Vogue magazine or a runway collection from Marc Jacobs. Do you think the plus size fashion industry will remain a niche with its own culture and community, or do you see an opportunity for the community to merge with the straight size industry?
I think that at some point they will eventually merge but I don’t think that will be anytime soon. There is more to the markets being seperate than consumers realize. It takes different patterns, marketing, money and expertise in order to be succesful within the plus market. I think that companies that specifically cater to straight sizes will continue to do that because in a lot of cases it doesn’t make financial sense for them to expand into plus size. However, I do think plus size will become more accepted in the mainstream fashion realm.
6. Starting your own collection directly after finishing fashion school is a hard challenge, and many young designers discover that the reality of the fashion industry is very different from school. Do you have any words of advice for anyone starting their own label?
Many of my mentors in school warned me not to start my own brand right after school. I did it anyway because I felt they didn’t understand the boom that was/is happening in the plus market. I thought that if I didn’t get started I would be left in the dust. I’m happy with my decision and my advice to others is to do what you feel is right and remember to take advice with a grain of salt.
Where can we find you online?
I welcome anyone to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org as well!
TUMBLR: Liesl Binx
FACEBOOK: Liesl Binx
During August, I decided that my instagram needed some more love. I’ve started to post every day and I’m loving it! In fact, I may be addicted. I enjoy sharing the many sketches that don’t end up featured on this blog, and I like showing my works in progress and my sketchbook.
I hope you’re all following me and enjoying all the extra plus size sketches in your day! I’ve been running a contest all month with Curvy Girl Chronicles to give away a free illustration if you follow us and tag your photos with #CurvyChroniclesSketch, and it’s been great to see all of the beautiful photos that you’ve shared with us. Contest ends tomorrow on Aug 31 and I can’t wait to see who the lucky winner will be!
Here’s a showcase of some of my favourite and most popular images I’ve shared on instagram this month.
This summer has gone by really quickly. I can’t believe that it’s almost fall already, even though the September issue of Vogue is winking up at me from my night table.
There are still a couple of more weeks of nice weather ahead, so go enjoy it at the beach one last time before we’re all shivering in cardigans and eternity scarves.
You might want to check out my other fatkini illustrations of Denise Bidot and Gabi Fresh.
This is another sketch I did about a year ago, but had never painted or inked the final illustration. Awhile ago I bought a few new tubes of Windsor & Newton watercolours, and this fashion illustration uses my new favourite – Opera Pink. I’m craving new bright colours, which means a trip to the art store soon!
I saw this amazing photo of plus size model Carmina Suzanne over the weekend, and knew that I had to illustrate it right away. It’s from a photo shoot in the Empire issue of Surreal Beauty Magazine, and I love it. I think this dress is really beautiful and it was fun to illustrate something so pretty and so unique.
If you love this painting and want to win a FREE watercolour illustration of yourself – don’t forget to enter the giveaway by Curvy Girl Chronicles and Curves Illustrated! Just follow Curvy Girl Chronicles and Curvy Sketches on Instagram, and use the hashtag #CurvyChroniclesSketch when posting your awesome fashion photos. You only have 2 more weeks to enter, so don’t forget to post before Aug 31.
You can ALSO automatically get 15% off any purchase in my etsy shop for the month of August, just by subscribing to Curvy Girl Chronicles.
I moved to a new apartment last month, and for the first time, I have a little studio for my art (this was tremendously exciting for me). I was unpacking all of my supplies and my old illustrations when I found a little stash of half completed illustrations from last year.
I decided to finish any of the ones that had promise, which included this illustration. It had already been painted, but there were no finishing details, so I added a little more paint – and remembered why I shelved this sketch. The watercolour paper quality is abysmal.
When I started Curves Illustrated, I didn’t have that much experience with watercolours. I was more skilled at rendering my illustrations with art markers, like Copics or Prismacolours. Markers are expensive, however, and I love the look of actual watercolour paint, so I went through a lot of paper to practice painting. I bought the cheapest paper on the market. It has a very heavy noticeable texture, it’s thin and warps easily when any water is applied, the paint bleeds everywhere, and paint lifts very easily from the page when you’re brushing it onto the illustration.
At the time, I thought any issues arose from my own inexperience, so I didn’t realize how bad the paper was until I bought better paper. The difference is very noticeable – now I buy cold press fine grain paper, and it doesn’t warp and the paint stays where I brush it on. It really makes a huge improvement.
This was my first week back to work after a 2 week vacation, so I have work attire on the brain right now. Of course, I work in the fashion industry, and my company doesn’t have a strict dress code, so I don’t get decked out every day in Office Wear (on the contrary – at my work, you see people from all stages of Anne Hathaway’s transformation in The Devil Wears Prada). I don’t know if this outfit would be appropriate for all offices, but big jewellery and a cute top would definitely get a nod of approval at mine!
I’m so excited to share these illustrations today. I’m a huge fan of plus size model Katana Fatale, and had started drawing a few images from her pretty fabulous tumblr (there was a wealth of gorgeous photos to choose from – I’m going to have to go back and do a few more soon).
Then, while I was still sitting in my studio after browsing her site and sketching, she actually commented on one of my instagram posts and said that it would make her month if I sketched her! Strangest coincidence I’ve had since I started illustrating. It was great.
Go check out her tumblr and follow her instagram – both are full of great images.
I love how regal and confident this pose is. (And I love taking a fan with me as an accessory on hot days, so this was an instant favourite image for me).
This image is of Katana and another model, Kanda. Beautiful women on a beautiful day. I love how it looks like they’re sharing secrets about the neighbours as they hang out together. Definitely a fun summer past time.
Finally, I also did a pencil portrait, which I love doing lately. Pencil sketches were always what I loved doing best when I was a kid just getting interested in art, and they have a special place in my heart.
I found Mary Burgers’ tumblr site recently and I can’t get enough of her aesthetic. Sometimes when I find a new fashion blogger I just can’t stop sketching, which proved to be the case yesterday – resulting in these 3 sketches.
Summer time is still in full swing here in Montreal – lots of blue skies and heat this week. I’ve enjoyed it, as I’ve been on vacation from the day job. Monday it’s back to work in the fashion industry, but for now I’m enjoying sundresses and refreshing drinks on the balcony!
I love this pink dot sundress and I think this illustration captures the spirit of summer.
I also love this librarian chic look. A good polka dot skirt is always a great find, and who doesn’t love an ascot neckline?
**** REMINDER ****
Curvy Girl Chronicles and I are having a giveaway! You can win a custom watercolour illustration of YOU by following Curvy Girl Chronicles and Curvy Sketches on Instagram, and posting a photo of what you would like to be illustrated. Make sure to use the hashtag #CurvyChroniclesSketch when posting your photo! I’m so excited to see everyone’s submissions. The contest is only open until Aug 31 so hurry up and enter!
You can ALSO automatically get 15% off any purchase in my etsy shop for the month of August, just by subscribing to Curvy Girl Chronicles. So if you want a custom illustration, a fashion print, or a fashion gift card, go subscribe – and happy shopping!
A little while ago, Kristina from Curvy Girl Chronicles contacted me about doing a feature on my work. The feature is now up and running – I’m the Curvy Girl of the Month!
We’re doing a giveaway to celebrate all of our curvy girl readers. Follow us on Instagram (@CurvySketches and @CurvyGirl_Chronicles). Then post the photo you would want illustrated, using the hashtag #CurvyChroniclesSketch for your chance to win one of my custom watercolour illustrations! Contest ends at the end of the month.
I’m also giving a 15% discount off anything in my Etsy shop all month long to Curvy Girl Chronicle readers, so go there subscribe if you want the code for this great discount on custom illustrations and greeting cards.
I was flipping through DARE Magazine yesterday and saw a fantastic swimwear photo shoot with the always lovely Denise Bidot. She’s one of my favourite plus size models and she looked amazing, so I dug out my pencils and sketchpad and did a quick illustration.
Later this week I have plans to head to the beach. I’ve been looking forward to it all summer and I can’t wait to relax and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Hope you all get the chance to escape to the beach this summer!