SS15 La Strada per CABIRIA and Cabiria Collections

December 16, 2011

Moving forward, one step at a time

Hello friends!

I'm going to be leaving for Thailand in about a week, so I'll be the errant blogger again. However, I am definitely having patterns and first samples made in Bangkok, and I'm extremely thrilled about that. Finally!

I've also been getting extraordinary tips and guidance from wonderful folks who've been in fashion longer than I have. The talented Michael Bevins has been kind enough to steer me towards his team of patternmakers and production facilities here in New York, and both Carl Goldberg of Cego Custom Shirts and Carelli Costumes have also chipped in brain power and resources. I'm a lucky designer indeed!

I'm still trying to figure out how to format a MailChimp newsletter, which they SAY is easy, but it's not my great skill. If anyone wants to help me with that, I'd be ever so grateful. Let me know!

One other great boon about doing all the samples and patterns now is that I'll be putting together both the Spring/Summer samples and Fall/Winter samples, so there's no lag time. Thinking ahead!

Plus, I get to wear pretty dresses this winter, too, like this one:

Everything is coming together, slowly, slowly, then BOOM! It all happens!


November 27, 2011

Bangkok bound!

Hi all,

I have been an errant blogger, I know. So many things were happening in PersonalLand, that it made it hard to stay on top of the demands of a hungry blog audience. I am back now, though!

So the current news is that I will be going to Thailand in December and January, and while there, I'll be working with a wonderful Thai costume shop called Siam Costumes to build my patterns and first samples. They have experience working with vintage clothing cut for modern bodies, and a backstock of period fabrics as well. I'm really excited!

I still plan to manufacture the production line in the US, but there's just no way I could resist master cutters working on my samples while I ride elephants and give monkeys cocoanuts. Truly.

In other news, I'm also going to work on the Fall Winter 12/13 patterns and samples at the same time. This way, no matter what season we end up launching, Cabiria will be ready to go running into production. How exciting!

With that in mind, here's a dress, sans fabric, from the FW12/13 collection. You, my readers, are the first to see it!

There are many changes afoot, and I think the new approach will better serve my vendors and customers in the long run. Making plans then completely remodeling them seems to be in the air lately, but it's all good stuff!

Let me know what you all think, and I'll try to be more diligent on that blog posting thing!


October 9, 2011

Re/Dress, Salon Z, and Deserving Good Things

Hi folks!

I just got back from an evening workshop at Re/Dress in Brooklyn - a space that has provided both fat community and amazing vintage and resale fashion in true plus sizes these last 3 years. Glenn Marla and Hana Malia led some wonderful exercises about exploring what it would be to let go of a lot of internalized fatphobia, and I was reminded again how lucky we've been to have Deb Malkin's amazing store these last several years.

Here's a photo of Glenn and I at Re/Dress in 2009:

Sadly, the physical store is closing November 20th, and with it goes the community space she provided in which to be fat and gloriously, fearlessly fashionable. The same week this information was released, news that Saks Fifth Avenue is removing ALL Salon Z plus size sections from it's stores to an online only model. Another venue where the economy is partially at fault, but marginalized selling floors and inconsistencies in quality (as in the quality across the price point is NOT equal to similar price points in mainstream sizing) are the real culprits.

As a fat person with money to spend on clothes (ok, theoretical money right now, but hey), I still say there's a market there for well made, comparable quality at comparable price point clothing. Hearing all the women at the workshop talk about the internalized sociological shame we all work very hard to combat during waking moments, no wonder we're tired. All that energy just geared towards facing the world, facing the fear, and facing what we're told we don't deserve.

I can't wait to change that and let all women feel entitled to inhabit whatever body they have gracefully and beautifully. I can't wait to show a woman my size (18 - 20, for the record) how nice Italian silk jersey feels on the skin, and how different that feeling is from polyester or rayon. How good fabric pays for itself by not needing to be replaced after a few wearings because it's pilled badly or the high spandex content is deteriorating. How a fashionable item can remain a staple in your closet if you feel confident wearing it time and time again.

Wish me luck, people. It's rough out there, but I've got some great role models.


October 6, 2011

Heads and Tails

Hello all,

This past few weeks has been interesting, for certain. I found out that I'm a pretty good patternmaker in my own right, but unfortunately I had to learn that by reviewing the work of the professionals I'd contracted to make some of the patterns and realized they'd been done all wrong. Please note! Werkstatt did NOT end up doing my patterns - they are far more professional and couture for me to have been able to handle, and I am in no way implying that they messed up. I have not worked with them - merely met them in their immaculate studio.

I sprained my wrist pretty badly, which has been making drafting the patterns challenging, and working on the financials, which I definitely could use a hand on, but I am trucking along. I'm the little engine that could.

One thing to remember in the face of all this, though, is that trouble comes and goes, but you can rely on yourself to pull on through in the end. I believe in me, and I am very fortunate to have a lot of others who do too.

Have a glorious few weeks until I post again. I know - I really need to be more diligent with that! In the meantime, I leave you with an image that seems to explain my life a lot lately:

September 17, 2011

Pattermakers, Accountants, and Other Fun Updates

Hey there folks!

It's been a few weeks, and there have been some new combinations afoot. One of the things I'd done was learn Adobe Illustrator, at least the basics, so I could make flats of my garments for the patternmaker. Since I seem to do everything from the ground up, I'll happily share my flat plus size template for drawing out clothing on a truly plus size figure:

There were many like this available in mainstream sizes, but of course, like with so much in the plus size world, I found none so I drew that one myself. You like?

I've also changed patternmakers - while Werkstatt is a wonderful resource and she is obviously a talented patternmaker, it wasn't the perfect fit. I did manage to track down the patternmaker and samplemaker I'd worked with over a decade ago, when we were at Lucy Barnes (now wholesale private sales only). When I designed the line and envisioned the quality, it was always with this woman's craftsmanship in mind, so it's pretty genius to get her on board.

Finally, I've been reworking the business plan. I'd always thought of starting up with crowdsource funding and using that collateral to gain business loans, but now I'm trying to research what options are available with business partners and shared equity. I'm a workhorse, but I don't know everything about business and accounting, so finding someone gifted in the arena would be amazing. If you, dear readers, know of anyone who would be interested in contributing knowledge, resources, or/ and funds to bring Cabiria to market for love and profit, please contact me. I'm very open minded!

Monday begins a new phase of development, and hopefully my next posts will be about finding wonderful size 18/20 models in the New York area soon!


August 31, 2011

At the patternmaker now!

Hi all,

After the crazy week with hurricanes and earthquakes, I finally got everything together and now have the Spring Summer 2012 line at the patternmaker's studio. That's right, those were dates you just heard.

The pattern maker is this cool woman named Tina Schenk who owns Werkstatt NY in the garment district. I worked on all my notes to translate to flats, and am now looking to book the samplemaker too. Tangible clothing! After that, the next steps will be finding gorgeous models, a photographer, shooting the lookbook, and pre-selling the production line. Awesome, right?

Here's a little bit about Werkstatt in the meanwhile. Updates soon!

Werkstatt NY


August 23, 2011

New progress on patterns!

Hello friends!

I've been working diligently on getting my patterns flattened out and spec'ed, courtesy of my friend Luci and Adobe Illustrator. Next week I will have a meeting with the patternmaker, and we'll be moving forward! I'm really happy with moving into this next step, especially after all the madness of the last few months.

Fingers crossed!


August 7, 2011

Cabiria Studio is up and running!

Hi all,

First of all, thank you so much for your patience in waiting for my blog updates. It's been a very hectic few months here with the move to New York and the new studio set up, but we're in and ready to start cranking out beautiful patterns now. Thank you for everyone who's helped and supported along the way!

For your enjoyment, the first shots of the new Cabiria Studio!

My next step is to start working with the wonderful patternmakers and samplemakers I've reconnected with here in New York, and hopefully knock out the first samples so I can photograph them on beautiful plus size women and show them to wonderful plus size boutiques! I'm keeping busy, for sure!

Thank you again to my generous and wonderful donors, who are collectively responsible for much of the items you see in the studio - bolts of fabric, labels, notions, and of some you don't see - licensing and bureaucratic paperwork fees, professional services, etc. Your help means the world to me, and I appreciate it greatly. Hope to show you what I can do with those gifts soon!


July 26, 2011

Less than a week until the new studio is set up!

It's a short post this week, but it's a good one: On Saturday and Sunday, Cabiria will be moving into it's new studio space! Been spending a lot of time getting it all set up and figured out, and I'm happy with the results so far. Last step will be to get on in there. How exciting!


July 19, 2011

Getting it together in New Yawk...

Hello all!

I know I've been horribly delinquent in posting how things are going for Cabiria. I am officially hand slapped. What I've been up to has been administrative, mostly - establishing the new LLC in New York State, talking to New york based patternmakers and samplemakers, and hunting for new workroom furniture, including an enormous cutting table. So much whirlwind activity, blogging ended up slipping to the side. Mea culpa!

The upshot is that dresses like this one:

will be coming together here in New York soon!

Stay tuned, folks. Stay tuned.


June 26, 2011

Personal post, but could lead to secrets revealed!

Hello fair readers!

Just a small, off- business post to let you know that I am looking for TWO roommates for the apartment in Astoria, NY as of August 1st. Here it is in all it's glory on CraigsList.

This is also going to be Cabiria HQ, so you'd get to witness the Magic Happen! Or at least the Figuring Out of the Logistics Happen. But seriously, if you know anyone interested, please pass it on. Thank you!


June 22, 2011

New York, New York!

Hey folks!

Sorry I haven't been posting often here, but it's been a crazy few weeks. Some may know that I'm decamping from Georgia to New York, and I am now in MD, about 2/3rds of the way to New York. Today the adventure was talking to federal and state agencies to transfer my business over legally so I can maintain my WBE (Women's Business Enterprise) and DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) certifications. I thought it would be so much easier, but then bureaucracy is not something I tilt at every day. Silly me.

Did you know there's no business license class for "Clothing Designer", but there is one for "Bootblack" and "Blacksmith"? Weird.

My friend Christine got to see me wearing an early sample from a long ago version of one of my designs. This was when I wisely realized that I should hire professionals to produce my clothing if I wanted to sell it, but I still love the swingy dress on a hot day. With that in mind, I present to you LUCIA!

This is a halter neck sundress with a smocked back and a peaked center front waistline. The bat wing halter ties are weighted so the weight of your bust is cantilevered over your back instead of against your neck. The shape of them add two other features: the width of them drape across your back, revealing and concealing enticingly, and (here's the super cool part) they are shaped with a button and loop feature that attach in a way to let you have bat wing sleeves if you so desire. "Oh, here I am at this conservative thing. I wish my shoulders were covered." Done. "Such a nice day, I want to feel the sun kiss my shoulders!" Done again.

I'm so into this design, it's why I've been messing with it for such a long time.

Hope you enjoy!


June 13, 2011

Moving on up to the (very) East Side and GLORIA!

Hey folks!

So as you know, I'll be moving to New York soon. Now I know where - a beautiful apartment in Astoria, Queens! It's big enough to have my workroom not eat the living quarters, and there's lots of natural light. I'm really looking forward to it.

I've shown you some of the dresses in the line so far, and I want to give you another teaser. This one is a top instead of a dress - GLORIA.

No pockets, but features controlled gathers at the center front to drape beautifully over jeans or skirts. We plus size women shouldn't have to think about our tops binding when we sit down, and this solves the issue gracefully. With accent bars at the top of the breast, wide enough to hide bra straps but open enough to show off, it's a feminine top to add to our collection. Hope you like it!


June 3, 2011

Forward momentum

Hey folks,

So as you know from my last post, I'm moving back to New York in a few weeks. I'll regretfully not be there in time for Full Figured Fashion Week, but I encourage all of you to check it out. More exposure and positive press means more ability to make brands like mine a reality!

I'm furiously trying to make sure I don't leave anyone in the lurch information-wise while I transition, so here's another teaser from the line. This time, we have FLAMINIA.

This dress is inspired by James Galanos and Hana Mori, two designers famous for making women look chic in the 1960's - 1980's. Galanos was Nancy Reagan's favorite designer, and wore one of his designs for the 1980 inauguration. Chic!

FLAMINIA has a surplice (cross front) bodice, so many bust shapes can be accommodated, inverted tulip short sleeves, adding a pretty, feminine detail, a relatively straight/ pencil skirt, and a wide shaped waistband. Oh, and of course...pockets, so you can be chic and practical at the same time. Perfect dress for a spring or summer day at the office!

I hope to have some more big news very soon, so hold tight, loyal followers.


May 30, 2011

Moving to New York!

Hello, folks!

So there's been important moves happening for Cabiria - we're moving to New York!

Eden has been a New Yorker most of her life, and this move will facilitate ease in working with the gifted patternmakers, samplehands, and fabric stores available in the New York area.

It also means that there's a possibility that there's going to be a lull in updates over June and July as everything shuffles. Hopefully we'll be able to be up and running quickly from there.

For now, I'll simply leave you with a little treat: VALENTINA! A swingy knit dress with a center back zipper and a split Mandarin collar, so when you look up, your neck doesn't pull against your bust and cause pain. Of course, there's pockets, too...

Enjoy, and hope to update you soon!


May 24, 2011

Not all silent over in Cabiria-Land

Hi all!

Sorry I've been quiet this week. I came back from Orlando, and have been working hard on getting the website live. Let's just say that coding HTML is not my greatest gift... plus size clothing, no problem!

Lest you think I've forgotten you, I have a new style to show off. The ANNA is a button down shirtdress with turned up cuffs and contrast cord-edge trimming. It's got a more traditional waistline with fullness controlled by inverted pleats on the waist and darts. It also has side seam set pockets and...drumroll please... horizontal buttonholes and a hook at the waist!

You know when you wear a button front, well, anything, and the minute you sit down or reach wide or, well, move, you've popped your buttons open? Or the straining ones at bust and belly? Simple solution: With about .375" of movement built into the buttonhole slot, you're pulling at the reinforced hole END, not the floppy slotty bit in the middle. And that extra tab with a hook and bar at the waist that no one ever sees? Handles the point of closure that receives the most force trying to pull it apart. Hooray!

Plus the piping is jaunty, don't you think?

As always, comments and opinions are welcome. Tell me your favorites and which are just okay. Tell me the one you want to wear every day. Tell me if you like it more or less than the AIMEE and SOFIA (previous blog posts). Just tell me!


May 16, 2011

the next set for your enjoyment

Greetings from sunny Orlando, Florida!

I wouldn't let you guys go without new dresses just because I'm on the road. This week's dress composite is the AIMEE (last week's was the SOFIA, if I forgot to mention it). All of my dresses are currently named after actresses or character names in Fellini movies, however I have a special perk. One of my donation incentives, albeit at the $5,000 level, is that you get to name the dress styles. It could be your own name, it could be someone you'd like to honor, it could be your superhero name! If you look at lifetime costs of having a child or a pet, it's really a bargain...

So onto the new dresses! Again, please let me know your opinions, comments, and constructive criticisms. The Aimee has an elasticized waist, a flyaway wrap skirt, pockets, and adjustable 1/2" straps on metal sliders. It's made of silk knit jersey, which can be hand washed in cold water and laid flat to dry, or dry cleaned.

Again, please be constructive in your criticisms and opinions! You can dislike something, but not telling me why doesn't help me change it for the better!


May 13, 2011


Hi all!

It's been a busy several days here at the Cabiria Studio! Part of compiling images for a combination of uses - investor packages, potential line sheets, sussing out details for the samplemakers, etc. - is the actual DESIGN of the clothes. What fabrics work with what designs? As a small company dealing with limited yardage runs, I don't simply design the clothes, pick a fabric, and then cut and sew x number of them in that fabric. I've got 65 yards here, 206 yards there, 9 yards somewhere else of different fabrics. Which creates EXCLUSIVITY! That dress in the green zebra print silk jersey? Only 14 yards of it in existence. Which means there's very few of those cut. The dress in the crazy Peter Max Goes to Hawaii cotton sateen? Just around 100 yards of that in house. Sounds like a lot, but really in Plus Size land, it's more like 28 - 35 dresses. Boutique limited production runs in practice!

So let me introduce you to some of the possibilities. Each dress is a specific style (in this case, the "SOFIA") shown with what it would look like in a number of different fabrics. Let me know your opinions, please! (But try to be civil. If you're going to be specific, or your comments are long, email me personally at, please.) Nothing helps me develop as a business more than knowing what my potential clients want.

This dress is featured in both woven and knit, has a slightly elasticized waist, a 3 button placket, and reaches just below the knee in a generous A-line. Also please note I'm not a graphic artist or Photoshop wizard, so the underlay of the fabrics for each dress might not be perfect, but it's pretty close. Don't judge my Photoshop skills, please!

Let the games begin!

- Eden

May 9, 2011

Today's fabric yumminess

Hi Folks!

So it was a great weekend for people watching - I went to the Kentucky Derby! Okay, technically, I went to Louisville on Derby weekend with the hopes of getting in (and didn't), but the people watching around town was stupendous. Fabulous springtime dresses and hats everywhere, despite the rainy weather.

Which brings me to my latest fabric update. First of all, THANK YOU to the wonderful people who have DONATED (using the button conveniently located to your right) to Cabiria, and helped me get sumptuous fabrics, but also things like labels:

and shipping (less interesting to post a photo of my UPS guy) and business licences (VERY uninteresting photo there) and all the other ephemera that go into a start up. I can't do this without you, so THANK YOU! Now, onto some cool stuff...

Today's fabric teaser is a lightweight 100% silk piqué (marcella, or waffle weave) with ENORMOUS flowers on it. Like 14" across enormous. Which I think looks amazing on a bigger body, because we have the real estate to show it off properly (ahem). With all the 80's shapes and fabrics that have been hitting the market lately, the weave feels both James Galanos (Nancy Reagan's favorite designer) or Hanae Mori and totally au courant. Did I mention it's also light as air?

I get really excited about this stuff - I hope you guys do too, and please, let your friends know about us!


May 3, 2011

Everything comes together in it's own way

Hey all!

So it's been a big week in the world, and a big week for Cabiria. I've gotten some incredible response from generous donors, which really helps offset the costs of starting this business from the ground up. I've started matching fabrics to sketches - which seems like something one would do first, but I like finding the most beautiful fabrics, then designing around them. For instance, this is a slide from my investor's pitch, but it illustrates some of the rich fabrics I'm finding, and illustrations on my girls. Woo hoo!

So as I match these up, I'll have more images to show you all, and how it comes to fruition. Big steps!


April 28, 2011

First master block ready to go!

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to give HUGE thanks to those who've already contributed to the Cabiria donation pool. You inspire me and help me stay encouraged, and I'm overwhelmed with that generosity. If you haven't done so yet, please follow me here on the blog, and I'll keep updating as I go.

Ignore the look on my face. I'm really happy, I promise!

So I'm back from the patternmaker with the first master block pattern finessed and ready to be used as the building block of the whole line. So exciting! What this means is it's a size 20, which will be a Medium, more or less. We'll build all our samples in this size 20, using the master block as a base to extrapolate from, then tweak as needed.

Once all the styles are developed in a size 20 and we do our photo shoot and line sheets, then send those on to retailers across the country, we'll grade up to a size 24 and down to a size 14 (considering special 12's, maybe, maybe, all with the initial fit and sizing in mind.

Which is why I was looking for fit models a while ago. Jumped the gun, really, but I love being prepared.

In any case, moving forward, in no small part because you're helping me. Thank you, and please tell your friends so they can be involved too!


April 27, 2011

Help Cabiria Grow!

Hey all!

It's an expensive adventure, starting a new company from scratch, and I need your help. I've added a DONATE button through Paypal to the side bar on the right so you can actively get in on the action at the ground floor. Please donate - every dollar is a huge help!

According to a study published by Harvard Business School in November, 2010 , “human beings around the world
derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). How great is it that giving away some of your money can actually,literally, bring you happiness AND lower your stress levels?

Donating to a small business that otherwise wouldn’t have the capital to start builds communities and jobs as well. For every service Cabiria provides, we hire or contract another individual or business to carry out the supply chain needs. The samplemaker with her team sewing the samples employs a small group of women, the local artist collective run screenprinting shop developing textile prints, the web developer brought on to facilitate the e-commerce site; each person hires more of their pool of employees, creating a community network and an influx of business building cash. Since Cabiria is a certified Women’s Business
Enterprise (WBE), we try very hard to work with other WBE’s to create a stronger, more empowered women’s business base.

By promoting a business that is working to foster confident, empowered women of every size to gain new heights of self-esteem, you enrich the world. Even if you are not a sizeable woman yourself, by supporting a social change for the better, you’re making the world a healthier, happier place for people of all shapes, sizes and genders to thrive.

For Cabiria specifically, you are helping to introduce plus size women to the simple luxuries that mainstream size women take for granted when they shop in boutiques and high end stores: sumptuous fabrics, interesting, body aware cuts, and gorgeous, detail oriented finishes. It’s so important to create a new sensibility of “normal expectations” of quality for plus size consumers, and by helping start up Cabiria, you take part in raising those expectations.

And finally, if all the happiness, lowered stress, community building, job creation, marketing opportunities, women’s empowerment, and demand fulfillment weren’t enough, there’s SWAG! Cabiria’s creating special incentive products related to the first collection, but only available to donors. There will only be a limited quantity of these items made, using up the fabric, and uniquely labeled so everyone will know how wonderful and generous you are.

No matter what reason you have for donating and helping Cabiria grow and thrive, Thank You!!!


April 26, 2011

Another glimpse of the future line

Hi guys!

Some of you know I was recently on a trip to beautiful new Orleans. While I was there, I found some new (to me) pieces of vintage fabric, which thrills me to no end. I love vintage fabrics - they don't make them quite like this anymore!

Today's featured glimpse is a 100% silk habotai panel print of a broken fishing net against a sea greenish-blue field. Habotai is gossamer light silk that's perfect for a hot summer day. The scale on these is 36" x 36", which means that entire skirt panels, etc. would be one entire scene! I'd hazard that this fabric was printed in the mid-1960's, if that. Just amazing.

Here's a much closer-up version:

Makes you think of some 1960's pop art poster, right?


April 23, 2011

More fabric followed me home, mom...

Hi guys!

I've been having an amazing time here in New Orleans! First, I met with the spendiferous Jaclyn and her wonderful shopgirl Heather at Voluptuous Vixen on Chartres St. in the French Quarter. Then today, I found some more GAW-geous couture fabrics on St. Chartres St. at Promenade Fabrics. Such beautiful silks and cottons and oh my!


The Voluptuous Vixen

April 21, 2011

Laissez les rondes femmes roulez!

Hey folks!

I write to you now from a beautiful apartment near the Garden District in New Orleans; it's my first visit here, and to be sure not my last.

I came in part to visit The Voluptuous Vixen, a great plus size boutique here in the Crescent City, but am simply charmed by the lush, nearly tropical, definitely tangible beauty of the place. Not to mention, while walking on Magazine St looking for dinner, I stumbled across another plus size boutique, Ms. Spratt's, named after the Jack Spratt children's tale "...his wife could eat no lean...". Accidental score!

This town will host me for the next few days, but I'm already planning return trips. Laissez les rondes femmes roulez! (Let the big girls roll!)


p.s.: this is from Ms. Spratt's window...

April 14, 2011

I know, I'm on about the feathers, but I'm a bit obsessed

There's going to be an insanely exciting show at the Met's Costume Institute shortly, showcasing Alexander McQueen's work. In reading about the upcoming show ("Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty"), I found out that those feathers I've posted about earlier are gold painted duck feathers. Real duck feathers, hand stitched down to the base jacket. Ahhhh-mazing.

Even the way everything was photographed is visionary. An excuse to go to the museum? Okay!


April 13, 2011

Speaking of feathers...

Hi guys!

My fabrics have started coming in!! It's an incredibly complex formula because I'm buying job lots from wholesalers, which means I can only buy however many yards exist. Sometimes it's a few 100 yards, and sometimes, like in the case of this amazing Italian cotton feather print, it's only about 5 yards - enough for 1, maybe 2 dresses.

Isn't it gorgeous? I love how organic the pattern is; how it looks like both anemone and a George Grosz pen and ink drawing at the same time. Swoon!

What that means for Cabiria and my customers is unique and special - some of the pieces we'll create will be only a few of a kind, or maybe one of a kind. The style and size will be standardized for the line, but the fabrics - oh, the gorgeous fabrics - will be very rare indeed. How cool is that?


April 12, 2011

Why I love fashion and throwbacks

Hi all!

Sometimes I get all wrapped up in the business side of making Cabiria happen, and I forget to show why I fell in love with beautiful garments and fabrics in the first place.

A little background: I worked in costumes for opera and Broadway before getting into fashion, but I'm very very old school in my academic approach to fine craftsmanship. I value that as highly as any other art. For instance, LACMA is having a "Fashioning Fashion" exhibition now, featuring some of the finest gold boullion embroidery I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). Here's a piece from 1891:

...and here is a piece from Alexander McQueen's final, posthumous collection:

Both pieces are so stunning, and such a wonderful example of both the ART of craftsmanship as well as the reinterpretation of very old techniques and aesthetics.

Cabiria as a line won't be quite so ornate, but hopefully I'll be able to show you all really beautiful details and reasons why we deserve far more than we demand in this age of fast fashion and throwaway garments. Vive la supériorité!



April 10, 2011

Where to find interns?

Hey all!

I've been working diligently on putting together the business plan, the financials, the block fitters, finding the marketing venues, and and and... I think I need help.

I'm looking for some creative, outside the box thinking interns for a few hours per week to help with anything from tagging and labeling fabric as it comes in to receipt inputting, to brainstorming about marketing options, to draping and rough patterning, to sourcing, to just about anything and everything about starting a fashion business.

1. this intern MUST BE FAT FRIENDLY. Seriously. Whole point of the line, really.
2. this intern MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY AND DEPENDABLE. Everyone who's ever worked for me in the past has worked hard, and learned tons, which they then transported into their fabulously successful lives. I do NOT work well with lazy people, entitled people, or flakes.
3. if we work well together, THIS MAY BECOME A PAID POSITION. May. No guarantees, but I'm keeping my eyes out for the magical team member.
4. this is an UNPAID INTERNSHIP for now. I have taught college courses (at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY), I've managed departments, and I've won prizes. I can impart a lot of information to you, but for now, this is ONLY FOR COLLEGE CREDITS OR EXPERIENCE.

Cabiria is located in the East Lake section of Atlanta, GA. All applicants must provide their own transportation to and from the office.

Hope to hear from you soon at eden {at} NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!

Thanks everyone!


April 7, 2011

First patterns and fittings!

Hey all!

I came back a few days ago from a VERY exciting fabric buying trip in NYC, and today I had the first fitting of a block with the patternmaker. Very exciting to see it moving forward, inch by inch, and know what beautiful fabrics I have in store for you all!

Now I know it looks a hot mess right now, but it's kind of like jazz; a little science, a little invention, and a little arbitrary detail zhuzhing. Please don't ask me how to spell that one right. But it's the basic shape of a big girl with many, many curves, and it's the building block for everything else to come. More to come!!


March 30, 2011

E-commerce and self actualization

Hey everyone,

Last night I went to this great panel discussion about how e-commerce is used now, and it's social components, including blogging. I learned a lot about what I want to do when I'm a Big Company, but as it applies to Cabiria in the start-up phase, it's more about building a social network.

What I've always loved about the Fatshion community is that there is one, a true community. You need some semblance of self esteem to be interested in dressing well anyway, so there's a self perpetuating organic thing that happens where smart, happy people help others become more smart, happy, and beautiful too. Self actualization in action!

Hooray! But I do have to get better at posting regularly, I know. Bad designer! Hand slap just happened.

March 29, 2011

Branding Content and other buzz buzz buzz

Hey folks,

I'm sitting here in New York listening to a fascinating panel about the Future of Online Retail, hearing informed people talking about HOW people shop online. Very informative and eye opening. In the least because there are companies with 60 content editors to tell customers that a blouse is on sale. Bananas!

Speaking of bananas, has anyone else ever been inspired by Josephine Baker's banana skirt in the 1920's? It completely echoes the shape of her bottom, and looks like a wide smile! Hooray!

Fabrics galore!

Today I spent more money on fabrics than I ever have on a car. Wow. Jarring, but unbelievably exciting. I ran through my old stomping grounds in the Garment District in New York with my hands and eyes searching for the most gorgeous fabrics. Found a lot of silk jerseys, cotton sateens, and even a few silk broadcloth dupionis. It's an amazing thing to put this collection together, but it's also very validating to know i'm finding the things I want to find for both myself and my future customers. No concessions, just stunning fabrics.

Photos soon!

March 24, 2011

Halfway to New York

I'm writing this in a Pilot Travel Center parking lot, halfway to New York for a fabric buying expedition, among other things. Starting a business, especially as a sole entrepreneur instead of someone who has a career doing other stuff or as a group, is nerve wracking stuff. So much about finding team members to help execute your vision, keeping all the plates spinning, making The Right decisions, but when I get to go buy fabrics...ooooh yes. Like mother's milk. I admit, I'm a fine fabric fetishist, and can wax on for hours about a particular fiber or weave, so I'm excited and calmed by the knowledge that shortly I'll be surrounded by beautiful fabrics again...and taking them back to Cabiria offices to make beautiful dresses very soon! Thrilling, I am not kidding. Stay with me folks- soon I'll figure out how to post photos here!

March 21, 2011

Big steps forward!

Hey everyone,

This week has been a huge leap forward for Cabiria coming to fruition! The bids came through for the patternmaker, and she's off and running. I met with my web development guys, and gave the go ahead, so soon I'll have the Phase I website up and running. I found some great fit models and photo shoot models, I borrowed a video camera so I can make a video to show you all what I'm up to, and I attributed style numbers and determined the first line. THE FIRST LINE!!! I know that's nothing to those who aren't fashiony and all, but for a fashion company, determining exactly what I'll be offering as a collection for the very first season of production is ENORMOUS!

I even got samples in of my swag for donors, and have a very sexy bistro mug about to go into production.

I'm insanely excited that this is moving forward - I know it seems like it's taking forever, and in some ways it is, but I'm Going Big here, so I'm trying to cover all the bases. In the meantime, I have a buying trip in New York scheduled this coming week, too. Fabrics are calling to me!

Happy Spring, everyone! I hope it's as productive and fruitful as mine is so far!


March 15, 2011

Help Wanted: size 14 fit model in Atlanta

Hey friends!

We're inching closer and closer to having our collection together, having the patterns made, the fabric sourced, the accounts readied, and all the other madness that goes into making a business take flight. Now I'm hoping to find the elusive Fit Model in a size 14. I know that the size 20 and size 24 fit models are covered (essentially that would make a Small, Medium and Large), but it's more difficult than you'd think. So if you know anyone (or you ARE anyone) who measures 46-41-50, is a D cup - DD cup, and is between 5'5 - 5'8, and has a bit of a belly (bottom is fine too, but I need someone with belly), PLEASE get in touch with me at Thanks for your help!

March 10, 2011

Swag Hunt

I've been brainstorming lately on potential swag to offer donors for the crowdsource funding arm of the Cabiria as a start up. Looking at loads of product, I wonder What would make my people happy? What if you're not a fat girl, so a piece of clothing from the line won't cut the mustard? What about for lower donation levels? Do people want a sticker? A tote bag? A mug? I'm not sure. But I have a feeling you would tell me your thoughts, right?

How about chocolate?

March 8, 2011

patterns and samples and markers, oh my!

I met with the patternmaker yesterday!!! Such a big step forward, and I'm so thrilled. If it works out as it's intended, she'll begin working on a basic block from Cabiria's proprietary measurements soon, then on to creating the building blocks for the initial Spring/Summer 2012 line. I'm giddy with excitement, but realizing too that it's a huge leap into the unknown.

I love snorkeling, and can't want to learn to SCUBA one of these days. It's the same, right? Wish me luck!

February 22, 2011

brainstorming donation incentives

I've been having a really fruitful time figuring out awesome ideas for what to offer people if they donate to Cabiria so I can start making some dresses! I've been looking into ideas like additions to the website thank you page and personalized notecards for small donations, copies of the movie "Nights of Cabiria" and discounts against future orders for slightly bigger donations, dress/dresses, or even the complete line for big donations, taking people out to dinner at the restaurant of their choice in their city upon delivery of the dresses, a party, a carry-all signed by me, beautiful housewares that make me think of Italian fat girls, and collaborations with other artists for tie-in objects. I'm also thinking of a couple of really, really big ticket donation items that, if they come together, could be the coolest thank you present ever. Ever, really.

So given the fact that a donation to a small business essentially makes you a non-share holding investor, and your return is a prize instead of a percentage of the business (a different structure than charitable non-profit donations), what do you expect for your money? Good will? Happy thoughts? A swag bag? Bob Barker yelling "Come on down!"? I want to know!

February 11, 2011

Plush Boutique moving in practically next door!

I'm so excited! I've just received news that Plush Boutique, a wonderful plus size shop run by the even more wonderful Wendy Brown is moving into the former Curvysta space at Kirkwood Station here in Atlanta. It's practically next door to my office! I can't wait for Wendy to open her doors there - she has done so much to elevate the expectations of plus size fashions for Atlanta. The fan girl part of me is dreaming of hanging out with her over cookies from Le Petit Marché around the corner. Welcome to the neighborhood, Plush Boutique!

February 9, 2011


As I mentioned previously, I'm new to the world of blogging, but I realized in a dream last night (also involving Galaga spacecraft, for no important reason) that it's also a great way to let you all in on what new developments are percolating.

Last night I attended a pitch practice session at 151 Locust, an entrepreneur fostering workshop space in Avondale Estates.  Now admittedly, most of the folks who seem to attend these things are in the IT/tech world. They talk about B2B and workforce management and a whole lot of other stuff that's relatively alien to me.  Maybe that's where the Galaga dream came from?  But the reason I go is to get practice telling people about Cabiria, and about how to ask for what I need to make it a beautiful reality.

I've been working hard on getting together images, materials, and information so I can go on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and really make people sit up and notice.  I've been trying to build out the Cabiriastyle website so the site can be live at least as a potential show space before I have product.  And I've been researching the best options for integrating this blog here, an e-commerce space that looks as high quality as my clothing, and hosting support.  So much to do just to get the dress samples made in the first place!

The one thing I know is that all the years I've spent designing and making beautiful clothes, shopping for other people and trying to find perfect shapes for bodies similar to my own means Cabiria will be gorgeous.    The hurdle of financing the first samples is small, if you really look at it in perspective, and it can be done with a little help from my friends.

Looking forward to updating you all soon, hopefully with news that a crowdsource funding site is live and waiting for you!


January 30, 2011

Cabiria's new blog!

I'm thrilled to join the blogging community and introduce you to Cabiria, a whimsical, sensual, plus size clothing line in sizes 14 - 24.  I've always loved the gorgeous, quirky, sexy women in Federico Fellini's movies from Italy in the 1950's and 1960's, and take much inspiration from both the movies, the costumes, and the actresses themselves.  I also draw inspiration from Elsa Schiaparelli's brilliant tailoring from the 1930's, Cassavetes-style independent American cinema of the 1970's, and brilliant fashion champions like Isabella Blow.

I look forward to bringing my designs to fruition, to introducing the plus size community to new levels of quality and design and joyful exuberance, and most of all, making plus size women feel like luxury and whimsy are what we deserve!