The average American woman is now a size 16 or 18, but there’s a shortage of plus-size designers. Actress Rebel Wilson has set out to make edgy clothes they’ll like.
Back before “Pitch Perfect” and “Bridesmaids” and fashion pros picking out or even making her clothes, Rebel Wilson was like any other plus-sized girl in a department store.
Grab and go.
”If something fit me around the waist I would go, ‘All right,’ ” the actress said. “I wouldn’t think, ‘Is this flattering or is this the right color I wanted?’ If it fit, I would say, ‘Bingo, let’s go.’ And get out of the store as quickly as I could.”
Wilson, 37, kept those memories close when it came to designing her own plus-sized line, Rebel Wilson X Angels, the launch of which brought her to the downtown Seattle Nordstrom store Saturday.
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The average American woman is now a size 16 or 18, Wilson noted.
“And yet, there’s not that many brands, or plus-sized designers,” she said. “So I was like, ‘What’s that about?’ It’s about fashion being exclusive and not inclusive. And for me, that’s unfair.”
Wilson was never “a fashionable young lady” growing up, she said, but she has learned a lot as an actress working with stylists. She used that knowledge in creating her line, which includes jeans, tops, dresses and — most notably — a soft-pink bomber jacket with “Rebel” stitched across the back. The line runs between $49 for a knit top and $139 for an A-line lace dress.
“I have learned so much about how to dress myself and what looks good on my body type,” she said, “and when I look around, especially at my fans, there are so many of them almost my exact same body type.
“And I thought, ‘Well, if I have trouble finding clothes out there and have to get stuff made, there’s obviously other women out there who can’t find trendy clothes,’ ” she said. “We’d have to buy two dresses and make them into one or alter dresses heavily to make them look flattering.”
Among the 300 people who lined up to meet Wilson and pose at a customized photo booth with her — where she mugged like the comedian she is — were Kelly Drake and Stephanie Carlson, both 36 and from Seattle.
They had already been through Rebel’s racks and bought a few things.
“It’s not overpriced and frumpy and one style,” said Drake, who came in when the line hit the store earlier this week. “It’s got edge. I don’t want to wear grandma clothes.”
“It’s not that paisley, ‘how much do you want to be a cowgirl?’ look that we always get,” Carlson said. “When you can come somewhere and try on clothes and it works? That’s incredible.”
Wilson flew in from New York, where she is filming the rom-com “Isn’t it Romantic.”
She believes she may be one of the first female plus-sized romantic leads in a feature film.
Her love interest? “The very hunky Liam Hemsworth.”
Coming in December: “Pitch Perfect 3,” which did well with test audiences.
“We didn’t phone it in,” Wilson said.
Beyond that, well, she’s preparing to release a line of clothes for the holidays, featuring double-sided sequins that, when you rub them one way they say “Rebel” and when you rub the other way they say “Angel.”
“It encourages people to touch you,” she said. “It’s so dope.”