March 01, 2011

Kinki Gerlinki Makes My Day

Inside my curvy, plump, 5ft 7 (and a half!) frame, there is a petite ballerina, with strawberry blonde hair, struggling to get out. She longs to wear delicate, semi-transparent silks, crocheted netting, and light, airy dresses which float about her in an ethereal manner. I will be out and about, then see a beautiful dress that she aches to try on, so I humour her and give it a go. It almost always ends with both of us disappointed; my hips plump the skirt out too much, too tautly, or my bust threatens to rip the princess seams; my heaving, poor-postured ribcage pushes out the fabric in a bumpy mess, whilst my wide shoulders are given no room to move; my legs look like wooden stumps, and my ankles appear sturdier than Miss Piggy's. Sizing up produces similar, comical effect, creating the illusion that I have no waist, and am a curved-corner rectangle with gigantic bosoms.

Personally, I blame 'fit models', or rather, I blame those who choose who will be their clothing line's 'fit models'. A 'fit model' is basically a model on whom the designer bases all their designs (and sizes) around; their measurements become crucial when the designer sizes up or down, as all they do is add an extra few inches of material to the 'standard' bust-waist-hip ratio set by the fit model.

Of course, this isn't the model's fault, nor am I trying to make a case for 'skinny vs curvy' or anything silly like that. Having met quite a few fit models, though, I do question why they get chosen in the first place. You'd think a designer would choose a more common body shape wouldn't you? Often women considered to have more 'ideal' body shapes are chosen - and when I say 'ideal', I mean fashion industry ideal, supermodel ideal, 5% of the population ideal. When I've compared my measurements to a fit model's, I can automatically see why there really are some brands whose pants never suit me, and why in some brands I'm an AUS size 8, and others an AUS size 14. There is no true standardisation anymore (for more information, look up 'standardised clothing''s an interesting subject), and this makes things frustrating for the modern, western woman and the current ways in which we shop. It explains why online and vintage shopping is very popular too, as bust-waist-hip measurements are more likely to be given with online garments, whilst vintage garments tend to offer a more curvaceous shape (though often petite) that offer more tailored looks.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, my issue is that I often can't squeeze my larger frame into a lot of modern-day fashion, and that the more delicate, sweet, ethereal kinds of fashion always seem to be tailored for those who are already quite small in stature. Look at Anthropologie. I love those garments greatly, but know that, on me, they just wouldn't follow the same silhouette. And so my little, inner ballerina dies a little.

I have a similar problem with Kinki Gerlinki clothes. I love the shop, the premise, and can certainly fit into the funky, retro accessories they tend to stock. But I want to fit into their more delicate ranges, and I often can't. Many a Kinki-Gerlinki skirt I've tried on has looked great, but I've been too scared to sit down in it.

Thankfully, Kinki-Gerlinki is great at getting feedback from customers. They do try their best to make quirky designs that will suit all shapes and sizes. And that is how I've come across this dress:

50s Wattle Print Frock
Image from Kinki Gerlinki

My inner petite girl goes squee, and yet my heaving bosom thinks "I could wear that print easily!". There is something so wonderfully daggy about the print too - very Dame Edna - very Australiana, but in a joking kind of way. I think it's a fabulous dress! And I'm sure I can fit into it better than other floral print dresses from Anthropologie.

To be honest, I am still to try the dress on. I know that, once I do, I will not want to take it off, and I just really have no sartorial need more dresses. I just love this for all it is. I've gone beyond just loving dresses purely for how they make me look....

This could get expensive.

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