This week’s StyleCrush is the inimitable Kobi Jae of the Austrialian body-positive blog Horror Kitsch Bitch. Hailing from Melbourne, the young body-positive activist and plus-size fashion blogger is making an impact globally. She is also a founding member of the Alternative Curves online community, which can be tracked using the hashtag #alternativecurves; alternatively, there’s a small group of members who use the hashtag #whatfatgirlsACTUALLYwear.
Horror Kitsch Bitch began as a creative outlet and documentation of Jae’s love of plus-size fashion and her process of learning to love her body. What she did not expect was for it to become one of the greatest loves of her life and an integral part of the body-positive movement in the southern hemisphere.
Name: Kobi Jae
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Blog/Brand: Horror Kitsch Bitch
Where can we find you on the web? Instagram and Facebook, as well as #alternativecurves and #whatfatgirlsACTUALLYwear.
WYV: How do you describe your style? What informs it?
Kobie Jae: The last time I was succinctly able to comfortably answer that question (perhaps with some slight wishful thinking), I said “Fran Fine meets Lucille Ball with a healthy dose of Wednesday Addams after she’s been on a school excursion to Harajuku!” I still totally feel that response, but to elaborate: it’s just a wild mishmash of experimentation and color that is heavily influenced by my mood, the day, something I’ve seen, the weather, what’s clean … Haha! I especially love being trashy and defying conventions — trying things i’ve never tried before and, when I’m in the right mindset, things i’ve been afraid to try in the past.
WYV: What inspired your blog?
KJ: I’m super passionate and creatively inspired by so many things, and I (without consciously realizing it) searched for a long time to make sense of that. When I found blogging, it became an outlet and way of “cataloging” my creativity to myself, so that it’s not all a huge mess in my brain. If that makes sense? When I became exposed to the world of plus fashion and bopo blogging, it literally changed my life. It educated and inspired me in incredible ways, and I really wanted to be a part of that and contribute to creating an even more widespread culture of fat representation and unapologetic personal expression.
WYV: Who are your three top StyleCrushes?
KJ: Soooo many bloggers and basically everyone you’ve ever featured in this StyleCrush section. Otherwise: Iris Apfel, Leigh Bowery and every John Waters character that’s ever filthified the silver screen!
WYV: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands/designers?
KJ: I thrift A LOT and I make some of my own clothes (and plan to launch my own clothing brand next year). Aside from that, my favorite designers include Chubby Cartwheels, Domino Dollhouse (may she return at some point), Candy Strike (who IS returning in June!!), Rue 107, Isolated Heroes (who aren’t plus, but do custom sizing), Shop Tunnel Vision and Re/Dress. And so many others: but that’s a really great list, if I do say so myself!
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
KJ: Following the same thread of why I started blogging, I not only felt inspired to contribute, but I also felt (and continue to feel) a personal responsibility to represent the things that I personally embody … which are some of the things that I want to see more of. And I feel like I get to do that (i.e. “wear my voice”) every single time I publish a blog post or an Instagram photo, or engage with people who don’t yet “get it,” or even just wear something that mainstream society considers “brave.” I believe that fashion is political, especially when it comes to the fat experience, and although not everyone needs to actively engage in that if they don’t want to, we are all contributing to the cultural landscape — willingly or not. I like to think that I’m part of the team that sees the shit things about that landscape and is trying the be the change it wants to see.