Embrace your curves, designer urges
IRISH women should revel in their curves "because that's what feminine bodies are about: curves."
That's the advice from top international fashion designer, Ben de Lisi, who was in Dublin yesterday, giving style tips and showcasing his Principles fashion collection at Debenhams, Henry Street.
The man responsible for Kate Winslet's memorable red Oscars gown in 2002 designs for both ends of the style market. He has an exclusive couture business where red-carpet dresses cost thousands, but he also designs under licence for high-street store Debenhams where affordable dresses are sold from €50.
One-third of his turnover is for petite-size clothing for smaller women; but his new Principles collection, which launched in February with plus-size mannequins in windows, is available up to size 22.
"Women come in all sizes and shapes," said de Lisi. "I know there are designers out there who won't cut over a size 12 but come on, wake up, this is the real world.
"I have not met a woman alive, no matter how beautiful and perfect their bodies may be, that are happy with their lot."
Happy to share advice with customers yesterday, de Lisi had pointers on how to "play up your assets and play down the detriments.
"For women with a fuller, rounder figure, I would talk about plunging necklines because I think rounder women tend to have beautiful bust lines. They should revel in their curves."
When it comes to petite women, he recommends taking care not to divide their body with neck lines, waist lines and print designs. Otherwise they risk 'telescoping' their body.
He said fellow designers should forget different body types "at their peril".
"Everybody has assets, no matter who you are, and you just have to have the right person to be able to notice those assets and to concentrate on them."