Wednesday, 31 December 2014

FashON. FashOFF.

When people find out I work in the fashion industry I am usually greeted with a (very poorly hidden) shocked reaction. Fat and in fashion? This cannot be so. But unfashionable and in fashion... scaré bleu.

When I was younger I was probably the least fashionable person, ever. Aged 4 I was frequently mistaken for a boy - it could have had something to do with the afro like hair cut or the hand-me-down rugby shirts. A lot of it had to do with the fact I didn't fit into any of the Disney princess dresses. A young wart hog some may say (well, Baz may say...proudly).

Aged 12 it wasn't much better. The age of Bootleg shoes. The only cool-like school shoes because they had a heel, but best of all you got a pencil case whenever you bought a pair from Clarks -just to boast on your desk that you had a pair of Bootlegs. Of course I didn't have a pair of Bootlegs. There was no way I was squashing my square, fat, little, hobbit feet into a pair. No, I had the pleasure of velcro grandma shoes from Ecco. Mother fucking Ecco. Comfortable and sensible the words every 12 year old craves. Throw in a budding monobrow and a Per Una skirt for non uniform day and you had the least fashionable 12 year old.

Aged 15 I was really hoping for a transformation and make up was going to be the solution to all the tom boys years. That was going to be the tool to the new me. Forget the naps on the bus every morning to school, instead I was going to perfect the feline flick, the ruby red lip and the lashings of mascara. I had seen Annie do it for years how hard could it be to copy? Hard. My first outing to MAC to get myself the tools of the trade I came back with an eyeshadow called 'Electric Eel' - think bright blue, but brighter. In hindsight a subtle shade would have been an easier introduction. Carefully applied to my ENTIRE eyelid and underneath just to be extra sure everyone saw it my bold eye was complete. C'est chic, non?

Aged was about bloody time, right? Nope. Outfit of choice for a night out: wide leg linen trousers. Not even joking. To make it even better - paired with a wide tan belt that did as much for my figure as the wide leg linen trousers. I won't divulge on the crotchet bolero jacket the image is frightening enough.
Sponsored by middle aged M&S shoppers

Aged 18. I'll spare you the guessing game, I still didn't have my shit together. University is where people experiment with their clothing so the fact I wore cowboy boots with EVERYTHING is totally fine. Sequin dress with brown cowboy boots. Tshirt dress with brown cowboy boots. Leggings with brown cowboys boots. It seems the only thing I didn't wear where with my cowboy boot was blue jeans, probably because that would have actually looked ok.

These boots weren't made for outings. 

Or the classic pink bra under see through tops...classay.

Look different coloured cowboy boots 

Pink bra don't care. 
The more concerning part is that very little has changed since 4 - apart from the pink bras they have gone. The time came for me to finally up the fashion stakes when I was a very last minute addition for the British Fashion Awards. For those who do not frequent Daily Mail (what do you spend your mornings doing?) the BFAs are the Oscars of Fashion.

I was told at 2pm I was going to the BFAs.The event started at 7pm. There was no time to go home. At that precise moment in time I had greasy hair, very little make up on, ripped jeans and trainers. Basically only something Miley Cyrus would wear on the red carpet and get canned for it. Heart palpitations, a panic attack and mega sweats ensued. The previous 'what do I wear?' battles in my head didn't have a patch on this, I was actually near tears.  I don't think I said anything to anyone for the next hour aside from 'what am I going to do?' 'What am I going to wear? 'How do I shed 4 stones is 5 hours?!'

I was calmed down and a plan was formulated and went a bit like this:

  • Get a motorbike courier to my house and pray that Juliet can find me something to wear, but more importantly that she can find a pair of tights that aren't ripped/laddered. 
  • Ring around everywhere and book an emergency blow dry (this was the most difficult task) 
  • Try and get my make up done 
  • Do my actual work 
  • Don't cry 
  • Practice walking in a straight line so I don't humiliate myself later 
  • Don't eat (I caved on that one and had half an fash) 
  • Don't what ever you do....fuck up. 
And whilst all of this was going on I had to find something to wear (aside from partially laddered tights). Juliet was sending options but they were not options that I wanted to wear. Ordinarily if you work in fashion, you are a sample size and then it's a piece of cake. You ask to borrow a dress. If you are not sample size then life gets a little more tricky. If that's not an incentive to get to sample size I don't know what it...the Dolce dream Billie, remember the Dolce dream. As soon as I have got there and worn the Dolce dream, then I can revert to ice-cream for breakfast lunch and dinner. Until then it's just ice cream for breakfast.

Bianca Balti...that's the Dolce dream. 

The time came and I was inadequately suited and booted, and of course true to form entirely unfashionable. As predicted Kendall Jenner did not bat one single eye lid at what I was wearing nor did anyone else for that matter. BUT at the after party Hilary Alexander (google her) not only sang a range of songs from Oliver Twist to me and David Gandy, but also said I had great style. Holy moly. Of course I immediately text Geeta telling her I had made it and was totally cool now. To which the reply was go to bed it's 1am on a Monday night. It is perhaps fair to say that Hilary had had one or two glasses of champers, but that was not going to rain on my unfashionable parade. 

So instead of striving to fit the fashionable mould Hilary and I have both agreed it's best to stick to what I know best: dress other people and certainly not myself. 

Victims line up. 

Fatty BB xxx

P.S. If you think the make up got better after the disaster of the blue eyeshadow...think again. Although this time I blame the blusher on alcohol.


  1. Billie you are hilarious and I just LOVE your style! Laura (JF's cousin) xx

    1. Thank you Laura! Hope all is going well, will be seeking some interiors inspo for the new year! xx

  2. Im currently working on a essay for my uni work about being plus size in the fashion industry, and fair to say i cant praise you enough in it!! absolute inspiration! Probs the best/honest thing ive ever read! xxxx

  3. Ah thank you so much, that's amazing to hear!