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The Plus Size Pieces In This Bridal Collection Show “Sexy Has No Size”

Fashion

Check out Theia’s Fall 2018 show

There's a soft buzz circulating the showroom as we wait for the beginning of Theia's Fall 2018 bridal show. We just found out that the brand launched a plus size capsule collection that will be available exclusively at Lovely Bride come January, and the excitement is palpable. The bridal industry is notorious for being unfriendly to larger women and every step to counteract that feels essential right now. The program reads, "Embracing all women, eager to see their inner goddess shine is the core of the Theia brand philosophy, so it was a natural progression to do so with a plus size bridal collection."

As Don O'Neill, the brand's creative director and the mastermind of one of my favorite bridal collections of all time, appears on the runway to open the show, the crowd goes instantly silent. "Sexy has no size at Theia," he says. "We want to embrace gorgeous women and all of their curves." Coming from him, it doesn't feel "woke," it feels genuine, not least because O'Neill has dressed the likes of Oprah, Gabourey Sidibe, Ashley Graham, Danielle Brooks, and Rebel Wilson on numerous occasions in the past. "We've always designed wedding dresses for plus size brides," he tells me separately, seemingly rejecting any pat on the back for showing and designing for realistic body types. "Now we're just putting them on the runway where they belong."

As if in celebration of curves of all shapes and sizes, the collection felt much sexier than what we've come to expect from the brand. In a somewhat rare occurrence, it's the result of the customer though. "The Theia bride, in the past, has been a little bit more boho and more relaxed. But we’ve been getting feedback from our brides to bring a bit more sexy to the collection," says O' Neill. After listening to their suggestions, he sent out more tight-fitting silhouettes, plunging necklines and backs, and sheer illusion bodices on the runway, in both plus and standard sizes, that felt very much on brand, meaning still sophisticated and elegant. In true Theia manner, there was also a jumpsuit—this time reimagined beautifully in flowy satin and a V-neck—stunning 3-D floral appliques and embroideries, and whimsical touches of sky blue and blush.

See for yourself, below.

Photo courtesy of THEIA

She considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth"

Dani Okon, NYLON's associate creative director of video, sat down with her great-aunt, May Okon, to talk about their shared experiences—despite vastly different time frames—living as queer women in New York City. Prior to retirement, May was a journalist for the New York Daily News, having first entered the male-dominated workforce when "the boys were all at war." And, of course, she absolutely killed it. Her only regret? "Retiring at 55," she tells Dani, joking, "Who the hell knew I was gonna live to 100?"

Upon retiring, she moved out to the Hamptons with her partner and bought a home. If she had to do it all over, May says "there are a lot of things I wouldn't do," but she still considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth." Get to know May in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Camera: Gretta Wilson + Katie Sadler
Edited by: Madeline Stedman

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Here's how they're making sure it doesn't happen

Lauren Morelli, the showrunner and executive producer for the new Netflix show Tales of the City, is fostering a space where multiple queer realities can be shown on-screen. She spoke with one of the cast members, trans actor Garcia (who plays Jake Rodriguez on the show), and, in the video above, they explore why it's wrong to treat queer stories as representative of the entire community. Tokenization is something that they both want to avoid at all costs, and they're on the right track.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Gretta Wilson + Charlotte Prager
Edited by Gretta Wilson

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"Nothing is truly a binary"

We put non-binary activist Eddie Jarrel Jones and The Phluid Project founder Rob Smith in conversation with each other, and the two spoke some powerful truths about the continued gendering of products like makeup and clothing. Smith recalls that 30 years ago, the only way that he was able to experience the joys of playing with makeup was to work at a beauty counter. Even today, Jones notes that it's hard for non-binary femmes like them, or even trans women, to get that experience in stores.

In the video above, get a sense of why Smith created a genderless store, and see how important it is for people like Jones to have a space where they don't feel criticized for dressing like they want.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Charlotte Prager + Dani Okon
Edited by Gretta Wilson

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We put the two activists in conversation

Marlene Colburn, one of the founders of the Dyke March, and Naima Green, an artist currently working on a project and archive called Pur·suit, which will document queer people of all identities, agree that it's really hard to find lesbian spaces that aren't bars. Just as hard, it seems, is to find lesbian representation that isn't white. In the video above, the two talk about how they are creating space for queer people and what that looks like within two different generations.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Dani Okon + Charlotte Prager
Edited by Charlotte Prager

Illustrated by Sarah Lutkenhaus

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