Not many designers deign to create garments in plus sizes, but for spring, award-winning designer Isabel Toledo has teamed up plus-size clothing retailer Lane Bryant for a really pretty capsule collection.
Just last week, Isaac Mizrahi was talking about how condescending the fashion industry can be to plus-size shoppers. Toledo has a very different outlook from your standard fashion insider, telling Fashionista it's her "duty" to serve that customer:
For me, it's really important that women are given the opportunity to be eccentric… The liberty, the freedom, the right to be eccentric, to be their size, and to have the freedom or the opportunity to enjoy fashion at any size [...] I can't imagine not having that, so I feel a duty to provide it.
Cuban-American Toledo — of whom Michelle Obama is a fan — created a collection with plenty of day-to-night options, mostly in the vein of chic dresses with matching coats. Some of the options are very reminiscent of the Toledo coat/dress combo FLOTUS wore Inauguration Day: Textured, lace-inspired, tailored. These are not the sack-like shapeless garments many plus-size retailers offer. And while there are a couple of tentish pieces, they're definitely in the minority.
In the video above, Toledo explains what she likes about a dress/coat combo is that "it's very put together. It's not mix and match — you don't have to work so hard. It's one of those things that you can turn to when you're in a hurry."
Lane Bryant CEO Linda Heasley told WWD that this collection marks the beginning of a new Lane Bryant; they'll offer a Sophie Theallet-designed lingerie collection in the fall, and more Toledo to come. As Fashionista reports, Isabel's husband Ruben promises this won't be the last customers will see:
Isabel has already designed and completed four collections, to debut over the course of this year. "This is just a sliver for the whole year," Ruben said with a smile. "This is like a taste."