Fashion Show Director: Danielle Jackson Thorn
While Thorn has been modeling on and off since she was 16, this is the first time she has ever attempted to put on a fashion show. Her other Loving Your Reflection body-positive events, however, put her in community with a lot of women-owned businesses that were both body-positive and fashion-oriented, which made the fashion show seem feasible and desirable.
The fashion show itself platforms models between the sizes of 14-26. She explains, “I have a lot of plus-size friends. I wanted to showcase them and create a space that celebrates all bodies.” Size alone is not the only thing that makes this particular fashion show stand out. Out of the 16 models and six performers, “We have every kind of variation of plus-size there is: smaller plus-sizes, larger-plus sizes, scars, tattoos, etc.” Thorn goes on, “My aim is to challenge the way people see their bodies and learn to love them in whatever incarnation they are.”
Runway Model: Sarah Grumet
Sarah Grumet says she’s been following Thorn’s other body-positive work, and as soon as she heard about the show she immediately reached out. She comments, “Knowing her, I wanted to be a part of it.” More specifically, Grumet says, “I love her constant emphasis on body-positivity and self-love, and acknowledging whatever journey you are on.”
As someone who has worked for a major clothing retailer, Grumet strongly believes, “In general, we need more examples of body-positivity and diversity of bodies, especially when it comes to fashion.”
Drag Performer: Morrigana Regina
Femme drag performer Morrigana Regina will provide entertainment during the show. Regina describes her performances as an exaggeration of female identity. In her words, “Drag is like a fantasy. The character, the extra-ness. I wanted to be extra, extra as fuck.”
And that desire is also fueling her craving to be a part of a plus-size fashion show. She says, “I want to show a realistic fat body as a heightened expression of femininity.” Ultimately, she hopes that her performances will send a message to women that they should be comfortable in their own skin. She also hopes that she will be able to inspire other women and femmes to “take a baby step into the extra world.”
Vendor: Lesa Rumbalski
In addition to walking the runway herself, Rumbalski’s pinup company, Retro Rosie, is providing lingerie for several models in the show. She will also have Retro Rosie pinup clothes and lingerie on display for the audience to buy.
Part of her motivation for both buying the company and participating in events such as this is to share with others how embracing pinup modeling positively impacted her own life. “The first time I did pinup I was a pretty broken person,” she says, “But when I started, and I saw the images that came from it, I started to heal. I want to give that kind of community and fashion to everyone.” As such, her goal is to provide plus-size pinup options for women up to size 30, and ultimately “to change the dialogue around pinup” to be inclusive of all bodies.
There is a growing body-positive community in Pittsburgh that intertwines fashion, burlesque, and small business. Thorn sees the fashion show as an opportunity to bring together diverse people who are all working toward the same ends. She says, “We may not have traditional body types, but we are strong, and even stronger when we work together.”
For more information about the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/717963518575842/