Beautiful clothes, breathtaking presentations and gorgeous venues aside, the latest installment of NYFW presented a noticeably different fashion landscape. We’re talking about the incorporation of “real” women on the runway. Thanks to designers like Christian Siriano, Tracy Reese, Byron Lars and even J.Crew, body diversity is finally getting recognized at fashion week. Not only are we seeing a shift in the traditional sample size, but we can *actually* relate to the women modeling (gasp!). As much as we look forward to seeing our favorite high-profile models slay on the catwalk, it’s incredibly empowering to see plus-size women of our generation being represented within the same show. Let’s not forget that the average American woman is a size 14, after all. Here’s to hoping more designers will start embracing body positivity in their upcoming collections by giving women of all sizes a chance to shine. In the meantime, scroll down to see some of our favorite runway looks modeled by real women.

Christian Siriano

Our favorite Project Runway designer, Christian Siriano, did not disappoint with his upcoming Spring/Summer ‘17 collection inspired by Capri. Following his size-inclusive lines for Kleinfeld Bridal and Lane Bryant, Christian’s decision to include five plus-size models in his spring presentation should come as no surprise, especially with body positive celebs like Christina Hendricks and Ashley Graham sitting front row.

Christian Siriano - Runway - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

1. Black Tie Affair: So. Much. Drama. We can’t decide what we love more: the satiny black cape, the body-skimming white dress or the skinny black scarf. Regardless, fingers crossed that this after-hours-approved getup makes its way to the red carpet soon. (Photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

Christian Siriano - Runway - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

2. Sleek and Sophisticated: Gear up for date night with this statement-making co-ord that means business. The scalloped black crop top featuring bell sleeves complements the black maxi exquisitely. And don’t even get us started on those DDG beaded tassel earrings. (Photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

Christian Siriano - Runway - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

3. Getaway-Inspired: Resort, we’re ready for ya! We hope it’s not too late to pre-order this vivid blue cami dress complete with a front slit. Top it off with a blazer and come-hither gladiators for a spring wedding or a stint in paradise. (Photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

Christian Siriano - Runway - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows

4. Sleek and Sultry: Slay, girl, slay! Playful peekaboo cutouts and slits are always good in our book, especially when they’re this tasteful. A body chain and black lace-up ghillies are non-negotiable for an entrance-making look. (Photo via Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese’s garden party-esque presentation stemmed from her desire to celebrate femininity and make all women feel beautiful. Her incorporation of non-models (AKA women of all sizes and ages) reflects the designer’s move to provide customers with more inclusive sizing, starting with her Spring 2017 collection.

Tracy Reese - Presentation - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week

5. Garden Party: We call dibs on this halter-style black and white floral frock with around-the-clock appeal. You can dress it up with heels for the office or opt for a wide-brimmed straw hat and espadrilles come the weekend. (Photo via Cindy Ord/Getty)

Tracy Reese - Presentation - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week

6. Fun and Flirty: It’s official: Spring cannot come soon enough. This punchy floral number is perfect for an array of daytime-casual affairs (think: bridal showers, luncheons and a trip out to the vineyard). The lace underlay and twirl-worthy asymmetric hem make us want to pull out our fancy steppers. (Photo via Cindy Ord/Getty)

Tracy Reese - Presentation - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week

7. Hawaiian-Inspired: Repeat after us: You need a tropical print tunic dress this laid-back chic on standby. Not only does it have major beach-to-boardwalk potential, but it can be styled alongside a pair of ugly-chic Tevas like that. (Photo via Cindy Ord/Getty)

Tracy Reese - Presentation - September 2016 - New York Fashion Week

8. Red Carpet-Ready: Speaking of real women, we loved seeing Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata modeling a stunning peony pink dress worthy of the Emmys. (She looks absolutely radiant, BTW.) More diversity is just what fashion week needs. (Photo via Cindy Ord/Getty)

Byron Lars

If Byron Lars isn’t already on your radar, then he will be soon enough. Not only is Michelle Obama a fan of his cutting-edge designs, but his Spring 2017 collection caters to sizes 0-18. For plus-size models like Jenna Rusnak, having the opportunity to walk in Byron Lars’ show was not only a dream come true, but a huge milestone for the plus-size industry in general.

9. The NEW Fashion Week: *This* is what the future of modeling at fashion week should look like. Byron Lars’ plus-size launch collection is giving curvy girls everywhere ALL the feels. There’s no reason why more designers can’t expand their lines to include a wider range of sizes.

10. Summer Aztecs: When tribal influence meets daytime casual separates, this is the way chic result. Plus, we’re loving this model’s sass — she gets an A+ for confidence (and workin’ that head scarf).

11. ’90s-Inspired Neons: But first, let me take a selfie. This eclectic ensemble is so fab, we don’t even know where to begin. As if the canary yellow fringed steppers weren’t enough, the shaggy vest is straight-up goals.


While J.Crew is always a fan favorite around here, we were especially pleased to see them casting a slightly less catalog-perfect set of models this season. Tapping members of their design team as well as family and friends, the popular retailer opted to show their regular and Crewcuts line modeled on real people. In the models, you could visualize your best friend, younger sister, aunt or even next door neighbor (albeit a very stylish one). With such a broad customer base to attend to, this seems like a great move on J.Crew’s part.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Models pose at the J.Crew presentation during New York Fashion Week September 2016 at Spring Studios on September 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week)

12. Maternity Style Done Right: J.Crew stylist Jenny Kang, who also just so happens to be seven months pregnant, even decided to get in on all the fun. Not only does she look amazing, but she’s totally rocking that pale blue non-maternity jumpsuit. Take note, pregnant ladies: J.Crew can be worn throughout your pregnancy. For a GNO, finish off your look with a pair of dazzling statement earrings and sensible sandals. (Photo via Noam Galai/Getty)

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