Confession: I love fashion, respect designers, and always want to look fly, but fashion week has never been my jam. I’ve never seen myself properly represented, so why even go? We all know that the front row at a show is a coveted spot, but honestly, it’s not the type of attention that I’m looking for. You never know if someone is filming you! What if I have to pick my wedgie or a tampon falls out of my purse? With that said, a seat in the front row means you’re cool, honey—you’re killing it in the fame game, sis! But, for me, you can’t kill what’s already dead. So lessss go!!! I’m Michelle Buteau and I’m a front row virgin. Today’s recipe is a fruit salad, ‘cause my cherry was popped!
Now excuse my Big Titty TED Talk for a hot minute. I know there’s been some strides here and there in the plus-size game when it comes to fashion week. But there needs to be more. Lots more. We are worthy and beautiful and important and powerful and successful and deserve to also feel sexy and cute in designer clothes. We shouldn’t have to wait four to six weeks for an outfit. And please don’t hand me a size 14 garment to “try and make it work” when you know damn well she’s an 18/20. It’s not that I’m not happy to attend a show—I am. I want to be included. But I need more designers in the fashion industry to be inclusive to do so.
Alert! BruceGlen has entered the chat! The identical twin designers, Bruce and Glen Proctor, sent outfits to my house that were like Goldilocks’ porridge. Some were too tight, some too big, and some just fit right. And you know what? It was glorious to have options. If you’re over a size 14, it feels like you’re seen as unworthy of people’s designs unless you have a million Instagram followers. It’s almost impossible to put an outfit together unless you have a degree from Parsons. So what’s a big titty freckled face supposed to do? Hope. And pray. Those are always in the budget. I left my twins to go support another set of twins, and boy oh boy, I was not disappointed.
Walking into the venue at Chelsea Piers in New York City, I saw a beautiful bouquet of Black, brown, queer, and fat bodies. It made me so happy. The décor inside was giving rainforest chic without the humidity. As I sat down and got back up to say hi to someone I know, my worst nightmare happened. My dress was stuck in my butt. It is what it is! She’s gonna give a show no matter what! I may be a democrat but my booty is independent. Before the show started, a beautiful Maya Angelou quote about rainbows played over the speakers. And during the show, a dope singer (forgive me for not knowing his name, I had a wedgie), was singing his heart out. It gave me chills and made the outfits pop like they were 3D. Was I at a fashion show or a gospel brunch with PJ Morton? I dunno, but I loved it!
These twins delivered a singular vision that was a breath of fresh air for days on end. The gender-neutral rainbow couture flyness flowed up and down this love-filled runway. It was a celebration of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in all sizes. Models wore Teva sandals with little rainbows, looking like they were about to enter a dance circle at AfroPunk.
Sitting front row at a BruceGlen fashion show isn’t just a front row seat to whimsical fashion—it’s also a front row seat to inclusion, diversity, and, most importantly, community. They are truly twinning.
I had an amazing time, even though my inner thighs are sore from trying to keep my legs together. Phew! Come on muscle retention!
Michelle Buteau is a comedian, actress, writer, host, and producer. She is the author of Survival of the Thickest, published by Gallery Books, and co-hosts the popular podcast, Adulting, on Exactly Right Network. She is touring the country this fall.