Canadian plus-size fashion blogger Allie Krystal talks to us about her style icons, becoming a designer, and the backlash to her “period” pants.
The blogger-turned-seamstress recently came under fire from misogynistic trolls of all genders, who attacked her for sewing red velvet patches on the crotch and rear of her otherwise pristine white pants as a playful feminist fashion statement. For this StyleCrush, we discuss the incident and the politics of fashion as a feminist statement.
WYV: How do you describe your personal style?
WYV: How long have you been blogging and designing clothing? What influences your work?
AK: I’ve been blogging “Outfit of the Days” (OOTDs) for about four years, but I’ve only really started adding new content and looking at blogging as part of my career in the past year or so. I’ve been designing for about two months! My partner bought me a sewing machine for my birthday last year and I never thought I’d be any good, but I love it. It’s just a hobby, but the fact that I can literally make whatever I want, for my own body, is so amazing to me.
I’ve always been super into fashion — I would plan my mom’s outfits for her when I was like six, though they usually involved neon tights and temporary tattoos — and realizing that I could turn a passion into a career was pretty cool. I was also never fat as a kid/teen, but once my 20s hit and I developed PCOS and went on a thousand different antidepressants, I put on about 130 pounds. I guess I realized, whoa, now that I’m fat, I genuinely have like, no clothing options. Cute plus-size clothes are fricking RARE. Everything has a cold shoulder or a keyhole or “Live Laugh Love” written on it. So when I found something that was actually cute, I wanted to put it on the internet and share it with people.
WYV: What is one of the most bizarre fashions that you have latched onto in the past or the funniest wardrobe malfunction that you have experienced?
AK: I was 22 the first time I decided to take a stab at “designing and making” clothes. I had no idea how to use a sewing machine and I didn’t really have the patience to learn, so I went out and bought some fabric glue and went to town on old blankets and vintage clothes. I would literally cut a blanket to fit my waist, glue the sides together, and wear it. In public. Who needs to hem their clothes?! I’ve thankfully learned a lot since then.
WYV: Who are the people close to you that have shaped your style?
AK: My mom passed away three years ago, and I miss her like crazy so I’m constantly looking at old photos of her, since I have about a million. Her style throughout the decades was SO cool and so interesting, especially the ’90s. I’m huge on ’90s fashion (I guess it’s a nostalgia thing) and I kept most of her clothes after I sold her house, so it’s really nice to see my mom wearing a sweater in an old photo and to be able to wear the same sweater myself. She had this really great (slash awful) yellow crewneck sweatshirt with pink flamingos all over it from like 1991 that’s hanging in my closet. It’s probably my favorite thing.
WYV: What makes you feel most powerful?
AK: I love just sitting at my sewing machine for an entire day, listening to an audiobook, and making something that I love that I can wear. It’s like, I’m sick of seeing an amazing outfit on a straight-size person and not being able to own it because it’s sold at Aritzia for $800 and it only goes up to a size medium. It empowers me to be able to see something cute on Instagram, screenshot it and re-create it to actually fit me, for way less money.
WYV: Who are your top 3 celebrity StyleCrushes? What about each of them draws you to their style?
AK: I don’t really follow the goings-on of celebrities, to be honest. They always have people whose job it is to style them anyway. For me, the people I follow on Instagram are my biggest sources of style inspiration. Definitely Kelly Augustine is amazing (@kellyaugustineb) — she has such a fun and unique way of dressing. Literally every outfit makes me yell “YESSSS, GIRL!” in bed. By myself. Probably eating chips. Steffi Foo (@stylesteffi) always puts together amazing outfits that I’m constantly screenshotting, and Lydia Okello (@styleisstyle) wears the coolest tomboy outfits and yet they’re still pastel-y and girly and perfect.
WYV: Which designers or brands are some of your fashion faves?
AK: I love brands that have either really minimalistic clothing or stuff that’s really “out there”: lots of text/fun fabrics like faux fur and neoprene — my favourites are definitely Acne Studios, Opening Ceremony, Ashish, Kenzo and Mikhael Kale.
WYV: Regardless of whether they are in the plus size market or not, if you could work with any designers, who would be your dream collaboration?
AK: Of course, all the big fancy famous designers. Like, whether or not I love every collection they put out, I’ve read every book on Dior, D&G, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, etc. — all the classics. Though also, any designer who’s ever shown at any fashion week, really. I just think that’s such a cool and amazing accomplishment and I would love to pick their brain.
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*i wrote a blog post about them so feel free to read, link in bio* Period Pants- I designed and made this outfit out of silk jersey and red velvet for the period stain ❤️. will post photos of the whole thing taken on my ~fAnCy cAmErA~. P.s if you want to say something rude about my pants then please go fuck yourself first thank u
WYV: Recently, you have had to deal with a lot of misogynistic trolls and attackers. Can you tell us a bit about what went down? How do you combat their negativity and what advice would you give someone in a similar situation?
I thought they’d just be a cute, fun pair of pants to wear but people on Instagram and Tumblr DRAGGED ME REAL HARD. I had people saying they were going to find me and kill me, people saying I was gross and disgusting, people asking WHY a million times (why not??), people comparing it to a dude getting semen on his pants and proudly wearing that around — just hundreds of really rude, closed-minded and terrible comments. I felt the need to acknowledge the more common responses in my blog post, but yeah, it was pretty hard to ignore it.
I’m a sensitive person in general, and while I have zero problem ignoring the losers who call me fat and ugly on a daily basis, it really hurt my feelings to have people attack me as a person and something I created that I was really proud of. The way I handled it was to send the URL of my blog post to every person who said something rude about my outfit, which I would not suggest — I suppose it’s a little excessive. I’m not very good at being bullied, evidently.
WYV: Do you think that fashion can be a form of resistance or protest
AK: Definitely! We had a few women’s marches here at Toronto’s city hall last month to protest the Trump administration and it was so amazing to see all the outfits all around the city. People really took the time to make t-shirts and whole outfits, really, to get their messages across, as a form of protest. It was like everyone came together for a day, we were all like a big unit.
WYV: How do you think that the attitude towards plus-size bodies differs in Canadian culture as opposed to American culture?
AK: I do think that, in general, Canadians are just … nicer people? I think we’re more accepting of different genders, cultures, body types, and so forth — at least in Toronto. I haven’t traveled too too much around Canada, but I’ve been to every single state in the U.S and I find we’re a lot more accepting here. I actually don’t think I’ve ever met a Conservative (more or less our version of a Republican) in person. I’m very lucky to live in the most diverse city in one of the most diverse countries.
WYV: How do you wear your voice?