Pop up for the Chubby Fashionista

Model Romy Bennie in a swimsuit by Mary McHugh.
Model Romy Bennie in a swimsuit by Mary McHugh.

Mel Carrero has a passion for writing and fashion, a combination that evolved into a blog called The Chubby Fashionista.

By day Mel works at The Echo, but come nightfall and weekends she trades her journalist hat for a much more stylish trilby. Mel spends her time on photo shoots in the back alleys and streets of Lismore and other local towns, showcasing the fashions of local designers.

She is now exhibiting her most striking images in an Art in the Heart pop up gallery in Magellan Street from January 20-25, with the official launch of The Chubby Fashionista next Wednesday, January 25.

Mel said her photography is relatively unstructured - an approach that has inspired positive feedback.

"I don't photograph traditionally, follow rules or think technically about photography. What I aim to do is make the clothing and most importantly the models look their best, and be as creative as possible," she said.

The name of the blog is something Mel gets questioned on regularly. She said it's a humorous take on the blogger herself.

"I guess it is just saying that to be fashionable you don't have to fit a mould of any kind, because you can always find something about anyone that is beautiful," Mel said.

Over the past year Mel has been collaborating with local designers, retailers and professional and amateur models.

"I love using local people's clothing and local models," Mel said. "The locations I choose have always been between here (in Lismore) and Byron Bay. I find the streets of Lismore and the arts and culture here really inspiring for photos, and I like to support local designers. I'll be wearing a dress by local designer Leah Ryan to the launch party."

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell will do the honours at the official launch where a redesign of The Chubby Fashionista blog by local graphic designer Brendan Lees will be unveiled, as well as a photo shoot promoting the Far North Coast Cancer Council's Lismore and Villages Relay for Life event in April this year.

"The photos I have taken for this last specific shoot are to promote the relay in April and encourage people who may not necessarily have had their lives touched by cancer to put together a relay team to raise money for this worthy cause," Mel said.

You can view the exhibition at the SCU Next Gallery at 89 Magellan Street, Lismore, from January 20-25 and everyone is welcome to attend the blog launch next Wednesday from 5.30pm.

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