Beth Ditto on liking the word fat, meeting Kate Moss and shopping at thrift stores

Fashion for plus size women:
“I wanted to make pieces to last years. Beyond trends, beyond chain stores. I wanted to create something all its own, something just for us, made with love and consideration. Made ethically in the USA as a small company with no corporate input. Uncompromising, unapologetic, humane, and timeless. Go-to pieces designed to last.”- Beth Ditto

Powered by article titled “Beth Ditto on liking the word fat, meeting Kate Moss and shopping at thrift stores” was written by Lauren Cochrane, for on Monday 7th November 2016 15.13 UTC

As Beth Ditto discusses her second plus-size fashion collection, it’s fair to say it is not a typical designer-to-press encounter. When it comes to a dress covered in a print of drops of red, she cackles with glee when I ask if it’s blood: “It’s meant to be nail varnish but it looks like blood – period blood!” The conversation is littered with less-than-orthodox fashion tips. “Go to thrift stores at Halloween. They put all the good stuff at the front because they think people will make costumes with it,” she says. “I got a great muumuu recently. That’s a new thing for me – a muumuu and knee socks.”

Ditto in one of her own designs. Styling & Creative Direction: Charles Jeffrey Photography: Hanna Moon Make-up: Andrew Gallimore Hair: Dennis Gots
Ditto in one of her own designs. Styling & creative direction: Charles Jeffrey. Makeup: Andrew Gallimore. Hair: Dennis Gots. Photograph: Hanna Moon

Beth Ditto the label is for plus-size women like her, but those who might not always want to rock the kind of look found in a thrift store. It features wide, wafty numbers as well as structured designs, such as the bestselling Lola dress (below). Prints are big, including that nail varnish one, and another of eyelashes. Talking of conversation, here is what we found out in 10 minutes in Ditto’s rather delightful company.

She likes the word ‘fat’

“People probably won’t like that, but I do. I much prefer it to ‘curvy’. I’m not a road, I’m a human. I think plus-size is fine too. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter because what matters is that we’re in a process of change.

A top with the nail varnish print.
A top with the nail-varnish print.

She is reclaiming the word ‘flattering’

People think it means slimming, but it doesn’t. I’m putting it out there that things that make you look bigger are cool, like Missy Elliot in the coat. No one should be afraid to take up space.

Meeting Kate Moss was a revelation

I was so down on modelling before I met any models, which was sexism, actually. She taught me so much; she taught me how to stand. She has this attitude that is so punk rock – she doesn’t care.

The bestselling Lola dress with pencil shavings print.
The bestselling Lola dress with pencil-shavings print.

She thinks deeply about emojis

I use the smiley face with the hearts for eyes as my emoji. I think the cat with heart eyes isn’t serious enough. My mom’s favourite emoji is the frog, just because she likes frogs.

She’s in on the crop-top trend – sort of

The last piece of clothing I bought was a crop top from Forever 21. I’m not really a crop-top person, but I thought it would look cool under something. Now I need to find the thing to put over it. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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