Velvet d’Amour makes waves in the world of fashion. She’s the only “super-size plus” model to strut down Paris runways for John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her modeling expertise informs her career as a photographer, and she is dedicated to displaying the beauty of diverse bodies—no matter race, size, ability, or gender. Velvet is also a friend of BUST. A few years ago, she turned her prodigious skills to spreading her message of inclusive fashion in the form of a magazine called Volup2. And we’re obsessed.
In addition to stunning photography, Volup2 is a fascinating read. It features interviews with all sorts of folks, from artists, to educators to toymakers. You can also find listcles of body positive blogs, designers, and even an “Ultimate Plus Size Guide to Alaska.”
Velvet hopes to set an example for the fashion industry to follow. “Volup2 is throwing down the gauntlet to more traditional publications, insisting that fashion can be diverse and inclusive," she writes. "The truth is that while there are all sorts of bodies representing fashion on a daily basis around the world, media outlets consistently negate the vast majority of humanity, instead ever opting for the same young, white, cookie-cutter size 2 model. IF we do see a plus size model, 9 times out of 10 they will be featured in conventional catalogue style imagery, rather than the edge, grit and sheer beauty of editorial images.”
London blogger and influencer Hayley Stewart of Curves & Curls models handcrafted gowns by Lady Hartnell in an English countryside estate. She frolics through the grounds of Sugnall Hall much like the editorial’s namesake did in the Elsinore of Hamlet. You can easily imagine her singing idly of flowers without a care in the world. Hopefully, her free spirit isn’t the result of grief-driven mania like Shakespeare’s Ophelia.
“Live the Full Life Of the Mind” features Zimbabwean-born model Netsai Tinaresse Dandajena. She sports vibrant couture looks from size-inclusive designer Sara Brown in a photo shoot inspired by a Hemingway quote. “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.” Neon colors and mixing textures and patterns result in psychedelic eye-candy fashion.
Dandajena said of her experience in a press release, "It's one thing to work with one of the best plus size models ever, but it's another to work with a photographer who understands you as a model. My Volup2 experience gave me a vision bigger than my wildest dream—a plus size model doing editorial. One might think it was a challenge, but I declare it to be the most uplifting experience."
We definitley want to see more of this in the world of fashion, and we're so glad Volup2 is setting the standard.
Top image: Velvet d'Amour/Volup2
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Anna Greer was an editorial intern spring 2018 and is a senior at the University of Tennessee, where she studies comics and human rights. When she is not engaged in feminist activism, she usually can be found wearing Doc Martens and looking at Star Wars prequel memes. Follow her @activistanna42