Graduate creates dresses for slim, buxom women

A graduate says she is making dresses for buxom young women to help others, like her, who struggle to find fashionable garments which fit properly.

Kelly Roberts with her collection
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Kelly Roberts with her collection

A graduate says she is making dresses for buxom young women to help others, like her, who struggle to find fashionable garments which fit properly.

Kelly Roberts, 24, has been supported by The Hive – Nottingham Trent University's centre for enterprise and entrepreneurship – to launch her own fashion start-up, Bitter Lollipop.

A graduate in MA International Fashion Business from the University's School of Art & Design, Kelly says there's a niche in the market for occasion wear for younger women who are busty, but slim.

"As a fashion lover, there is nothing more disheartening than knowing you'll never be able to wear the clothes you so adore," said Kelly, originally from Chicago in the United States who now lives in Hockley in Nottingham.

"The fashion industry seems to ignore women with a bra size larger than C in a lot of occasion wear, and I think it's time for that to change.

"Bitter Lollipop was born from my own struggles to find clothing on the high street that both fits and flatters.

"I was tired of the frustration that comes with trying on a cute dress and finding that I couldn't zip it up past my bust or that I looked like I could pop out at any moment."

model wearing light blue summer dress
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One of Kelly's garments posed by a model

The company offers a collection of handmade dresses in sizes 8-14 with each dress size available in two chest sizes: Busty and Buxom, with buxom being the largest. To provide added support the dresses feature double princess seams and gathers.

Each dress is handmade to order in the UK. Customers take measurements of their waist, bust and hips size and identify their perfect size when ordering.

Kelly, who is on the UK Government's Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) programme for international graduates, said: "The name Bitter Lollipop comes from the lollipop body shape of a large bust and slim waist and hips. It is actually a very desirable body shape, so all the more reason to show it off."

"By designing fashion-forward clothing for women with large busts, I aim to change both the way we dress and the way we feel about our bodies. I want women to feel confident and proud instead of self-conscious."

Chris Hall, business manager of The Hive, said: "Kelly has identified what appears to be a gap in the market and is determined to provide other young women with the sorts of garments she believes the industry lacks.

"We're very keen to support her with her plans and help her make Bitter Lollipop a real success."

Alexandra Hanford, course leader for MA International Fashion Business, said: "It is fantastic to see Kelly combining the fashion business skills she developed during her MA with her own personality and support from the Hive to establish what I hope will be a very successful company."

See Kelly's dresses at bitter lollipop.

Graduate creates dresses for slim, buxom women

Published on 30 October 2014
  • Category: Business; Press office; The Hive; School of Art & Design

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