|photos by Hing Ching Leung|
Once in a while, a fashion show comes along that reminds you of the humanity of this industry. The AlliStyle show at World Mastercard Fashion Week showed a collection of affordable, stylish options for women of all sizes and ages, surprisingly on models of all sizes and ages.
The regrettable part of this is that it was shocking. The great part of it was the enthusiasm and standing ovation from the audience. AlliStyle was a mission from mother and daughter Pam Shainhouse and daughter Alli Shapiro. Alli’s weight fluctuated quite a bit due to her struggle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Instead of shopping as a fun activity that made you feel good, the act of purchasing fashion for herself was so frustrating that if often left her in tears.
Alli passed away in 2006. Her mother vowed to continue the mission in creating a quality, stylish collection that could be worn year round, used eco-friendly fabrics and produced in their home country of Canada. The label recently signed Whitney Thompson, the full figured diva contestant of tv’s America’s Next Top Model as their spokesperson and creative director.
While the company advocates travel friendly clothes with comfort, they do not advocate shapeless looks. This was evident in the buxom, sexy blondes on the runway in the spirit of Mae West.
Even more moving is that the net proceeds from the clothing sales benefit their non-profit, Alli’s Journey. The organization provides comfort bags and comfort rooms in hospitals to support young adults with cancer.