After a Bad Experience With A Trainer, A Brazilian Fashion Designer Made A Collection That Embraces All Her Body Rolls
While most plus-size fashion is made to accentuate the quote-on-quote good curves — breasts, hips and backsides — while slimming the flabby parts we are told to be ashamed of — arms, back fat and thighs — Brazilian designer Karoline Vitto’s latest collection is doing the opposite: embracing all the rolls and bulges.
“I wanted to question why we submit ourselves to constant body modifications, or tight lingerie, or why we body shame ourselves so much, when we could see our bodies as something that could be appreciated by its natural texture, form, or lines,” The London-based Latina told Bustle of her collection, which debuted at the Royal College of Art 2019 MA degree show.
She does this through her designs, going beyond the typical bodycon and using cutouts, straps and cuffs that not only ensure our fat is on full display but that it’s the center of attention.
Many ensembles feature cut-outs on the back to highlight rolls. Some reveal underboobs to challenge the ideal of perky breasts. Others, like a dress that highlights underarm bulge with a brass plated ring, is meant to be a decorated adoration of flab.
“It’s about decorating this area in the same way that you would put a necklace around your neck to frame your face, or a bracelet to decorate the arms. It’s about treating this area as a thing of beauty,” Vitto said.
The idea came after a frustrating experience with a waist clincher a few years back. At the time, Vitto was in a body image funk and thought that shapewear would smooth her silhouette and make her feel better about her physique. The waist trainer did alter parts of her body, but not in the way she had hoped.
“The piece was so tight that it took both my mum and sister to help me put it on,” Vitto said. “And the result was that, despite having a smaller waist with that piece, some rolls would pop up on my back and some would pop down. And suddenly you see yourself buying a specific type of bra to tuck the back rolls in. And then a compression top to go with that and tummy tucker pants … and it never ends.”
In 2018, she decided that she would celebrate all the bulges that formed when she initially put on the waist clincher. To do so, she pulled it back out for a photoshoot that intentionally focused on all the fat poking out of the tight undergarment.
“I wanted to question why we submit ourselves to constant body modifications, or tight lingerie, or why we body shame ourselves so much, when we could see our bodies as something that could be appreciated by its natural texture, form, or lines,” Vitto said.
The photos eventually inspired Vitto’s latest collection.
With fabrics, cutting, straps and jewelry, she is putting a spotlight on the areas of our bodies that we have been taught to disguise and minimize. Through this, she hopes people can start recognizing the beauty in their bodies as they are and become more kind and gentle to themselves.
“I wanted to propose finding beauty in what we tend to see as ‘flaws,'” Vitto said.
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