I say this every time…but I cannot believe it’s been a year since the last Star In A Bra. You think I’d be used to how quickly time flies in the Curvy Kate year, but every time it comes up and bites me on the behind.
And every year I try and think of ways to blog about the competition, to showcase just how wonderful the competition is, how lucky we are to be involved with such brilliant ladies and most importantly, how to get more of you lovely lot to sign up.
It’d be all too easy for me to tell you about last years winners, so I thought this year I’d try something a little different – I’d let THEM take the reigns, and tell you exactly what life has been like one year on.
Now, we’ve all seen the stunning winner Lizzie Haines absolutely flourish in her role as the face of the brand. And of course second place winner Emma Donaghy starred in the current spring/summer 12 campaign…but what about Georgina Horne, who came in third? And what did Emma do after the catalogue shoot?
You see, the competition isn’t just about winning and becoming a lingerie model. Granted, that’s the original goal and I’m sure what everyone wants, but as these three beauties go to show, there’s a lot more to taking part than winning. I’m lucky enough to stay friends with contestants gone by, and I’m sure I speak for each and everyone of them when I say that the competition has changed them one way or another. Whether it’s an extra spring in their step, a little confidence boost or even just the lingerie they got to take home at the end of the day, Star In A Bra has evolved into so much more than just a modelling competition.
And that’s why I thought it was best to showcase just what else the competition can do to you. I know, I know – each case is different, but last years top three were kind enough to share with me (and you) just how much the competition has affected them and I hope you find it an insightful and frankly inspiring read. And if they don’t convince you to strip down to your smalls, I’m not sure what will!
First up is the wonderful Georgina Horne, who came in third last year. Take it away George…
“I remember when I first heard about Curvy Kate’s Star In A Bra – I didn’t really hesitate much, I just knew that when the time came to enter I would be first in line with my photos. I had recently toyed with the idea of pursuing a modelling career and thought that maybe that was something I could do – I wanted to see representation out there for my body type, even more so than being a model.
I took the photos one lazy Sunday afternoon, my many underwear sets and bikinis spread out on my bedroom floor, my wolf whistling boyfriend reclining in the bath, enjoying the show as I rushed past in each different set. I tried to inject a bit of fun into the photos, to smile and pose flatteringly – it was hard work! But eventually I had taken as many photos as I could cope with and I set about whittling my collection down to my favourite three. I knew which two head shots I would use and I was ready for the entry date to come about.
When the day arrived, I woke up feeling excited and my many phone reminders were not necessary; I was so excited to get my snaps in! Then came the agonising wait that took place before the top thirty were announced…but oh boy was it worth it! When I got that email saying I had made it to the next round I couldn’t quite believe it. I campaigned as hard as I could, throwing aside any negative thoughts about my friends seeing me in my pants. I had recently been on holiday and posted up some bikini snaps and so I didn’t feel quite so self conscious about asking my friends to vote.
Being one of the top ten was just…well…I felt unstoppable! To go from being one of hundreds to one one ten just swelled my ego and I couldn’t wait for the photo shoot! I pampered and preened myself in preparation for the big day and it was just as much fun as I thought it would be. I felt like I could take on the world when I had that camera pointed on me, it was such an amazing feeling! I campaigned particularly hard after the shoot because the end was in sight and I so wanted the golden medal!
When I found out I had come third I guess I was a little deflated – I knew that meant I wouldn’t have a shot modelling for Curvy Kate and I felt like it had been a waste of time. It took a while for it to sink it; coming third was an amazing achievement, I had wanted to show the world that being bigger did not mean hiding away in horrible underwear. It meant celebrating what I had and being a role model for other larger women. And so I decided to turn my initial disappointment at such an achievement into something more – I decided to start a blog where I would showcase my clothing and underwear preferences!
As I had already overcome the hurdle of parading around in my underwear online I thought I would utilise on that. I settled on the name ‘Fuller Figure Fuller Bust’ as…well…it sums me up! With the help and encouragement of some fellow bloggers and good friends, I began to write and post photos of my outfits and underwear sets. As I talked about the fit, occasion and shape, I couldn’t help but make it informal and chatty and then started to edge towards far more personal posts, and causes that were close to my heart. I revealed more and more and my fan base just kept on growing! I had just started to write for an online magazine and continued with that, and thanks to my good relationship with the magazine editor I am to be involved in a very exciting up and coming project – watch this space!
I have been to numerous focus groups, press launches, photo shoots, fashion shows and many other blog related days – one of them included a little known man called Gok Wan! I have been photographed for an online editorial by the amazing Velvet D’Amour, met plus size model Robyn Lawley, and been asked to blog for amazing companies. One of those companies is Brastop which I am thrilled about as they are an amazing company and a pleasure to deal with, both as a customer and a member of their blogging team. I recently modelled at a trade show called ‘London Edge’ and whilst there was approached by a clothing company who asked me to model for their catalogue! And throughout this whole crazy roller coaster, my readers have grown and grown in numbers. They’ve been my rocks and my supporters, as have my amazing friends – some old, some newbies met in the blogging world, and most importantly my amazing boyfriend. My body confidence has soared, my love of writing has been rekindled, my wardrobe has been fine tuned and yes, I get a few freebies (which never hurts!). And this whole amazing new life would never have come about if it weren’t for the amazing Star In A Bra. Sure, the outcome was definitely not what I was after when I entered the competition, but it is one that I would not change. I have so many things to look forward too and I cannot wait to see where my passion will take me next.”
It’s so great to read about our Star In A Bra entrants and how they put the competition to good use. Georgina obviously would have loved to have been the face of Curvy Kate and whilst she didn’t quite make it to first place, she’s gone on to do so many wonderful things as a result of the competition and the Curvy Kate couldn’t be prouder of her. Fuller Figure Fuller Bust is a fantastic website and Georgina has such a talent and passion for what she does, and we feel honoured to be a part of that.
If you’d like to see more of the beautiful Georgina, why not head over to her blog, Twitter account or even Facebook page?
Next up we hear from runner-up Emma Donaghy, so be sure to come back soon!
Some of you may have seen that recent stats in the media indicted that 156 million bras go to waste everyday as our drawers are over crowded with bras that we no longer wear because they do not actually fit – it was shocking to read that 1 in 3 women claimed to own bras they know do not fit. So we here at Curvy Kate have done some research to find different charities you can send your un-wanted Curvy Kate bras to so they can have a new home or can be recycled.
BCR Global and Textiles is a UK base company that collects unwanted bras and clothes which are still wearable and distribute them in 3rd world countries to women who don’t have access to or can’t afford to buy them.
The Bra Bank is also a popular place to send your un-wanted ‘Kate’s’ which will be sorted and sent to remote villages in Kenya and and Zimbabwe so they to can gain physical support from your pre-loved bras. They work hand in hand with BCR global who donates £1 to every kilo of bras collected for Breast Cancer Awareness. This charity isn’t currently collecting for 2012 yet but they will sometime this year, so keep an eye out.
Tommy’s also work similar to BCR global where £1 will be donated for every kilo of un-wanted bras, except the £1 will go towards helps research into still born babies and miscarriages. – They work in collaboration with Bravissimo to provide an outlet where women can actually go in to drop their unwanted bras off instead of sending them through the post. However if you are not close to a Bravissimo you can download their freepost label here.
So next time you have some spare time why not give your un-wanted ‘Kate’s’ a new home!
With the news of Star in a Bra launching in the US we thought we will interview one of our US sales agents for Curvy Kate to find out how the brand is being received and her thought’s on the collection.
So Caroline without any further ado, tell us how did you hear of Curvy Kate?
I was a former Swimwear Retailer and am personally a 34 E. When I retired my Swim Shop after 14 years I went to work for the Canadian Distributor of Curvy Kate. I then became the Ontario Sales Agent and that is where my love affair with Curvy Kate began.
Why did you decide to stock the brand, Curvy Kate?
It was an absolute coincidence that a few months after leaving Paragon to work for SBC, SBC became the North American Distributor. In me they had a built in Cheerleader and I reinforced daily and still do, how incredible the brand is.
It’s great to know the brand has it’s own personal cheerleader! So why do you think Curvy Kate will work well in the US?
The US has such a diverse size range both in cup and band size that is just perfect for Curvy Kate. Women in this size range are desperately looking for something “pretty” that fits well and Curvy Kate is just that!
How would you say Curvy Kate is being received in the US?
I think the reception in the US is overwhelming and encouraging. Having just completed the Vegas CurvExpo and gearing for the NY one next week, I am excited to meet more customers who say “I have been looking for a line like this for so long and am so glad that you are finally in the US!”
We are so happy to hear that! What’s your favourite piece in the SS12 collection?
That is almost a Sophie’s Choice* question as they are all fab but if I did have to make a choice I would say Tease Me in the ShowGirl Range as it is nice to see a fresh, light colour combination and Lottie in Lavender/Coral in the Core Collection.
*For those who are not familiar with this expression ‘Sophie’s Choice’, it originates from a popular novel in the US about a choice a mother had to make to choose between which of her children she will sacrifice to the Nazi’s
I know it’s a tough choice, there are quite a few fab favourites of my own. Do you currently have any Curvy Kate best-sellers?
Emily and Princess perform well for us and we are pleasantly surprised with the performance of Romance as it too is right up at the top.
The Romance seems to always be a hidden favourite for many. So what are you looking forward to in the new AW12 collection?
I cannot get over how stunning Entice is and it doesn’t hurt one bit that Lauren took such a fabulous photo in it for the Catalogue. I am also so excited about Gia with its classic, diamante cut-outs and crystal detailing. Personally I look forward to owing my own Smoothie in August and my T-shirts look forward to it.
Yum! I can’t wait – there are so many to choose from, I think this is there best collection yet! What trade shows will you be attending in 2012?
CurvExpo this February and August in both Las Vegas and New York, Trends in Alberta, Profile in Ontario and of course our Sales Agents will be attending countless local, regional shows.
What are SBC Clothing plans for 2012?
SBC Clothing looks forward to an outstanding season making Curvy Kate the buzz word on every full-busted woman’s lips in both Canada and US. With the launch of Star in a Bra USA this spring, we expect Curvy Kate to skyrocket!
We’re so exciting! We are looking forward to the responses Curvy Kate will receive when the competition launches… I know the UK Star in a Bra has launched this week and the response has been amazing! What would you like to see in future Curvy Kate collections?
How do you improve on perfection? All kidding aside, I would like to see Romance in additional colours and that is a direct request from our retailers. I would also love to see the Curvy Kate Swim Collection expanded as a G cup in a bra will always remain a G cup in Swimwear and speaking from both personal and professional experience, there are not nearly enough offerings in cute, well-fitting swimwear in the size range that Curvy Kate offers
With the date announced, I’m sure many of you will have been pondering entering this year’s Star in a Bra competition. As I myself made it to the top 30 last year and have a lingerie blog with hundreds of bra reviews featuring Yours Truly, I thought maybe I’d give some pointers of how to take a better picture of yourself in your knickers.
4 of 5 of my submission pictures from last year
Curvy Star in a Bra finalist Nadine, 34G, flaunts her fabulous figure in a correct-fitting bra
We might be a little biased here, but here at Curvy Kate we believe that the right fit can make all the difference to how you look and feel. The right bra can take pounds and years off you, giving you back a waist that you’d forgotten you had. Defining your bust and waist is a sure-fire way to get attention, but more importantly will improve your health, posture, shape and confidence. If nothing more comes from your application, if it pushes you to get that professional fitting you’ve been putting off forever, you’ll thank us for it! If you’re currently wearing a C cup and are disappointed that you can’t enter, double check your size to be sure you’re not actually a D or above.
If you can’t make it to a fitters in time, why not check out our advice on the Very blog?
Wear a set which shows off your curves and work it!
This continues on for the ‘get fitted’ tip; the right size makes a huge difference to how you hold yourself and how you look on camera. Also, if you prefer a plunge bra for some enviable cleavage or if you feel best in a balconette, if you think you look cracking in a thong or if you prefer a retro high-waisted look, try show us some of your personality through your poses and your underwear to show yourself in the best light. Even better still, mix it up a bit and show us how versatile you can be!
We appreciate not everyone can afford a matching set, but co-ordinating your lingerie can really improve how you look overall. It shows that you’ve made an effort and helps you feel more glamorous. As far as I’m concerned, you wouldn’t wear mis-matching shoes to work, would you? Even teaming a black bra with some black knickers from a multipack would be a step in the right direction. You don’t have to make it a Curvy Kate set, but we like to see that not only are you drop dead gorgeous, but you have good taste too
Never underestimate the power of good lighting.
Need I say more?
Try and look like you’re having fun. See what a difference it makes! Once of the most gorgeous curves you have is your smile – we’d like to see them! It’s nice to see someone having fun and enjoying themselves in their pictures – look animated!
…But not too animated.
We’re looking for the next face and body of Curvy Kate, not the next top-shelf glamour model. We want to see how you really look in lingerie. By all means have fun, but nothing X-rated and there’s no need to try so hard – just relax, enjoy yourself and be you.
Know which angles show you off the best, but don’t forget to keep yourself looking natural.
Make a bit of effort
Why not have your girlfriends (or boyfriend?) over for a pamper session and make an evening out of taking your pictures? From past finalists we’ve found this can make all the difference with boosting confidence and calming nerves. Plus you can be each others’ cameramen/women, make-up, nail and hair artists. Put on a girly film with a glass of wine and really have fun with it. Maybe you could convince some of your fuller-figures mates to enter with you to help take the edge off.
…but there is a limit
As I said before, we want to see how amazing you really look. Whilst a little bit of make-up can enhance features and a little bit of lipstick never killed anyone, but we don’t want to see how you apply your slap with a paintball gun. Sure, for our Showgirl shoots we usually have a professional make-up artist with lashes, hair – the works – to help create a uber-chic theme, but we know each of our models are equally as stunning without a scrap of make-up on. Use make-up sparingly, but there’s nothing wrong with having one or two of your pictures a bit more glammed up.
Maybe if you’re going to have that glass of wine I suggested, drink it after you’ve done your face?
No sneaky photo editing
Everyone has lumps, bumps, scars, wrinkles and imperfections of all kinds – we want to see your natural look! It sounds cliché, but photo editing just distracts from your natural beauty. Poses can look awkward and mannequin-like, skin can have that tell-tale eerie glow and your eyes loose their sparkle. And we will know… if not from the photo alone, from meeting you in the flesh. So don’t do it!
If you’ve got problem areas and are scared by the idea of going Photoshop-free, don’t just crop things out. It’s natural to get folds of skin, cellulite, wobbly bits – celebrate your curves with pride!
How many of you have been wondering which shampoo I use – but not for the right reasons?
Choose your background wisely
Toilets are so distracting when it comes to entries. No matter how gorgeous a girl is if there’s a lavatory in the picture I can’t help but see that first. Any distracting background can be off-putting, so try find a plain wall to stand in front of for maximum focus on you. There has got to be a better option than the bird’s-eye view of your bathroom suite…
Don’t worry too much about photo quality
Kelly Parks and Lauren Colfer show how you could even be your own photographer – but is that a bathroom I spy, Lauren!?
We’re looking for the future face and body of Curvy Kate, not the next top photographer. We’re not particularly concerned about the quality of your photos, but it helps if they’re not grainy, blurry or too small. Most mobile phones are fitted with good cameras these days, and if you have a good digital camera, that helps too. Many digital cameras have lots of settings that help you take better photos – try them out.
Don’t be scared
Last year’s top 10 finalists Georgina Horne and Sophia Jenner rock in their entry photos
We have girls enter of all shapes and sizes, ages, heights, bra sizes and ethnicities. As far as we’re concerned there is absolutely no limits to entry – as long as you’ve over 18 and have natural boobs that fit into our lingerie, you’re in!
Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help you, but if you need a little more persuasion, watch this space for interviews with past contestants, mini competitions and all of the latest Star in a Bra updates.
#1: Take at least five photos of yourself, which should include at least two head shots and three full-length body shots.
#2: We want to see photos of you in your favourite underwear set – which can be a bra set, a basque, corset/bra combination, bikini or swimming costume.
#3: Don’t include other people in the photos, as it’ll only confuse us as to who the competition entrant is.
#4: You must be a D cup or bigger,
#5: You must not have received any enhancements to your bust
#6: You must be aged 18 or over.
Full entry rules, terms and conditions to be announced here soon! Good luck to all!
The brand has always pride themselves on only using real women as models in their advertising campaigns and ‘so said, so done’ with the help of the Star in a Bra search. They scour the nation in search of a curvy women who are above a D cup and eludes confidence.
Their last model found through the UK Star in a Bra search 2011 is a perfect example of the brands ethos living through… size 14 Lizzie Haines from Uppingham has model for the brand in two seasons and has seen herself fronting advertising campaigns in magazines as well as exhibitions.
The competition took flight last year and ventured to Australia, continue the search for a model ‘down under’ to front the main UK campaign with Lizzie and pass models Laura and Lauren.
The competition is set to see a very exciting year with the growth in entries already forecasted to exceed last year’s with the grow in fans on the companies Facebook Page increasing their reach up to 400,000 friends of fans. The competition is set to continue it’s venture in Australia for a second year and would soon see the likes of other expansions to be announce soon. Stay Tuned!
We are fast approaching February and all the shops are giving us a ‘gentle’ reminder that Valentines is around the corner, with pay day here for some and a few days away for others the thought of what to get is lingering in our minds… or we’re hoping it’s lingering in our partners minds.
To give you a few ideas we’ve put together our best sellers so far for this year along with some lustful favourites that would make any female happy! Curvy Kate are known for their flirty, vibrant colours… which is why this guide would not only showcase the typical red for valentines but also something more ‘fruity’…
First up is the tantalising Tease Me!
The name alone says it! This set mixes the ‘girlie’ factor with the ‘sexy’ factor all in one… The Wine colour base with the black lace adds a perfect combination for any valentines present. It comes with a matching thong, suspender brief and high waisted shorts for that extra hold. Available at Littlewoods for £35 (bra only)
Next up is the Tempt Me!
The Tempt Me puts the VA in Va Va Voom! This black and gold number is a best-seller in the Curvy Kate range and a personal favourite. The plunging styles that extra Ooomph to any outfit, But beware this little number is know for coming up smaller in the cup so be sure to add two cup sizes to your original size! Available on Lovebras for £29 (bra only)
Not far behind is the pretty in pink Princess!
This flirty sets adds a sense of girl next door to any lingerie door. The polka dot design is very popular and has been a best-seller from day one… the design is very supportive without looking like ‘scaffolding’. This comes with a matching shorts and thong. Available at ASOS.com for £27 (bra only)
Adding a bit a colour to the selection is the ever faithful Emily!
This supporting beauty adds a sense of romance to any gift… the lace detailing adds a classic touch. Available on Figleaves for £27 (bra only)
One of our best-sellers is the Lottie in Indigo!
This balconette is designed for both comfort as well as support… with the half mess cup adding the touch of sexiness to the set. Also available from Figleaves for £29 (Bra only)
Up next is the oh so flirty Thrill Me!
Add a bit of colour to her wardrobe with this fruity favourite… this set adds a bit of luxury and a touch a fun… the vibrant jade colour Available at Debenhams for £29 (Bra only)
I think we are spoilt for choice with Curvy Kate, their pieces are simply delicious and perfect for this season… Why not surf through the retailers above or the Store Locator page and she if there’s anything else that catches your eyes. Happy Valentines from Curvy Kate!