Fatshion History: Remembering MODE

By | August 25, 2009

Stack 'o Modes

For the uninitiated – MODE was a US-based mainstream plus-size fashion magazine that began publishing in 1997 and ceased in 2001. In my estimation it was the only plus-size fashion magazine that ever had any style. Information on MODE can be hard to find, but this Wikipedia article offers some insights.

I loved MODE and had a subscription for many years. Several months ago I unearthed these old back issues and started scanning. It seemed obvious to share them here as I make my way through the issues. So let’s go back to the 1990s together, shall we? A few selections from 1998 are after the jump.

MODE Magazine, August 1998 MODE had a way of taking even borderline-ugly clothes and making them look hot. This would, no doubt, contribute to my later cultivation of catalog-whispering skills. What I find most interesting about this photograph, however, is that it’s a straight-up ass shot.
MODE Magazine, August 1998 The subtitle reads: “Search no more, they’re finally here! Fab belts that fit.” Sadly, they’re still not here, but I appreciate MODE’s enthusiasm. The accompanying text suggests readers ask about custom-sized options and amassing a collection on interchangeable belts and buckles. Thanks to the many amazing leatherworkers and buckle-makers on Etsy, this is easier than ever. Walking into a store and finding a fantastic belt right off the rack? Still a challenge, though.
MODE Magazine, August 1998 From a feature interview with actress Yvette Freeman. According to Yvette’s modern-day website, once of the things she’s done since 1998 is lose a bunch of weight, allegedly by eating vegetables. I shit you not. Newsflash: lots of fat people eat vegetables and continue to be fat. I sort of wish I hadn’t ever looked up her site, as I love this photo otherwise.
MODE Magazine, October 1998 Kate Dillon, possibly the most beloved plus model ever, in a Marina Rinaldi suit and a ridiculous hat.
MODE Magazine, October 1998 Kate Dillon again, showing how even plus models have a hell of a time finding a dress that fits. The caption says this is available “by special order” only. Apparently the wearer’s measurements are an afterthought.

I hope to do these weekly, until I run out of magazines. In the meantime, do you remember MODE?

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