However when I received the email inviting me to Evans HQ in London to spend the day browsing the SS13 collection something in me snapped in a very good way! I really really wanted to go; it was such a good opportunity and for the first time in a long time I felt able to do it.
So, last Thursday I hopped onto a train to London completely on my own! I met up with Becky from MrsBeBe blog at the other end who only helped me feel calmer. We thought we had ages but thankfully she is as good at talking as I am (:D) so once we'd had a bit of lunch and wandered round Primark it was time to head over to the Arcadia HQ.
Something that really stood out was how incredibly warm and friendly the Evans lot are. They made me feel so welcome and seemed genuinely excited about the afternoon ahead. And rightly so because it was brilliant! We were pampered with free flowing bubbly that was topped up before I even noticed it was empty most of the time (thanks Tom!), delicious canapes, the opportunity to have our hair and make-up tweaked, a professional photographer on hand and most importantly, the upcoming SS13 collection.
I was talked through the collections by the lovely Carina. I got to have a nose at the new pieces from Collection, Alex Monroe, Live Unlimited and Scarlett & Jo, all of which will be available from February onwards. I'll be honest and say I'm really fussy with clothes. I like what I like and unfortunately it's usually quite difficult to find on the high street but there were a few key pieces within all the collections that I loved as well as a few that made me want to try something a little different.
There was one dress though that definitely took the limelight for most people and it was this beauty from Scarlett & Jo.
|Callie, Bethany and Georgina|
It took another 3 glasses before these were taken but I never, ever would have stepped in front of the camera if it weren't for Caroline. She was so kind and encouraging without being pushy like most people are when it comes to things like that. She told me I needed to see myself how everyone else was seeing me which was just such a wonderful thing to say because doing that broke down a big barrier for me. I'm fine having my husband take my photo at home but to do it where other people can see me with lights on me and no cat to hide behind, that's something different! However, once the first couple of photos were taken, I bloody loved it. I want to do it again and again! Caroline, you've created a monster...
|Caroline and I in our Dolores dresses!|
On a personal level it was a big day for me. I proved to myself that I can do it and that it's not as terrifying as I think it's going to be. Yes, things are going to be a little scary sometimes but if I can just get over that initial panic, I am going to get to do things that make me so happy! I got to meet so many beautiful women, some of whom I felt I already knew and some I didn't. If there's one thing that is apparent within the plus size community it's how incredibly supportive and friendly everyone is. I can honestly say I've never met such a genuinely lovely group of women so I owe Evans a big, big thank you for arranging the day and making it such a massive success!
And on a less personal, more YAY PRETTY CLOTHES level, there are some brilliant things coming from Evans so watch out! Expect lots of beautiful patterns, lace trims and general prettiness. Goodbye frumpy tunics, hello sexiness!
A few photos...
|Wendy, Becky, Rivkie and Danielle.|
|Becky and myself.|
|The gorgeous Callie and myself.|
|Having my make-up re-touched.|
Mrs D x