When The Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto released her first plus-size fashion collection earlier this year, my only question after “Was it made ethically?” was, “When will I get to see more?”
Such impeccable design rarely comes in seasonal fashion for us plus-size ladies (despite all of our highly vocal protestation), and I feared that Ditto’s premiere collection might be a one-time thing. Thank McQueen and the other fashion gods and goddesses that this was no one-hit-wonder. Ditto’s second collection dropped this week and it doesn’t disappoint.
“We deserve the option to shop for ethically produced clothes that will last,” Ditto says on her website. I couldn’t agree more. After watching her walk red carpets and catwalks with the likes of renowned designers Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul-Gaultier, I wondered when I’d get to see more designers extend their muse beyond the show and into stores. The closest we’ve come yet was Ditto’s corset tee collab with Gaultier, which went up to size 30. But really, a couture designer doing a t-shirt, clever though it may be, hardly counts as groundbreaking.
For as long as I’ve shopped for plus-size fashion (practically my whole life), I’ve never found a designer with such a keen and truly personal understanding of what it feels like to dress a plus size body. As the proud owner of the Lola Dress from Ditto’s first collection, I can attest to the precision of each stitch in her beautifully structured garments. It’s like therapy. It’s a body-con dress you want to hug back.
Where her previous collection promoted bright patterns cut in bold and dynamic silhouettes, her latest offering, created in collaboration with stylist Frédéric Baldo, continues to accentuate all of the positives of being plus with a razor-sharp sense of structure and shape in starker shades. The hallmark of great design will always be versatility, and I have my eye on her high-waisted stretch denim Klaus skirt and pants for their function (Pockets! Frock YES!) and their fresh take on the classics. I’ve already thought up about a million ways to wear them, some of which involve sequins.
I’m also deeply impressed and relieved to see Ditto has maintained her commitment to creating clothing ethically. Plus size shoppers have been continually overlooked by much of the ethical fashion industry, leaving us few stylish-yet-humane options. While most fast fashion and major plus-size brands offer little transparency on their supply chain — and virtually no comment on or commitment to garment workers’ rights — Ditto offers fashion for sizes 14 to 28 with a clear conscience. It’s such a relief to see a designer who cares about the wellbeing of everyone who makes her line possible.
Any designer who doubts that high fashion can be properly worn by bodies over size 12, take note. Ditto and Baldo’s new collection, in all of its lash-batting whimsy, proves once again that there’s magic in designing for bodies, and not just hourglass ones, either!
My only real complaint is that, once again, I’m anxious to see what’s next. If she could just go ahead and design a crystal ball next, that would be great.
Beth Ditto’s plus size collection is available on her website at BethDitto.com.