Last week Australian comedian Celeste Barber published one of her famous copycat fail compilations on Instagram, this time starring Gwyneth Paltrow. The actress was swift to respond to the post and excitedly commented, “I’VE MADE IT”. If her 8.5 million followers wasn’t impressive enough, that single comment displays the enormity of Barber’s influence on social media.
“When I started doing the Instagram posts, I knew it was funny, I knew people would like it, but I didn’t think I’d have over eight million followers,” Barber recalled to GRAZIA. “I thought people would be over it by now – I thought I’d be over it!”
Since launching her namesake hashtag #celestechallengeaccepted well over five years ago now, the comedian has appeared on the cover of magazines, written a book and even collaborated with Tom Ford himself. Her next collaboration arrived a little closer to home last month as she released a limited-edition collection with BrasNThings.
Barber worked closely with the design team to ensure the pieces she’s created – everything from lacy lingerie, sleepwear and comfy (comfy!) underwear – was authentic to what she wanted and, loved to wear already. According to the social media star, she entered the first meeting with the brand holding a bag of her own favourite bras – including the bralette she wore on her wedding night.
In a Zoom call with Barber, she briefly mentioned undergoing emergency heart surgery many years prior and that to this day, her scar can still hurt. Naturally, she say she loves the wire-free style.
“Support and comfortability,” Barber exclaims when I ask what she looks for in a good bralette. “Even though it doesn’t have wire in it, it still needs to hold the ladies in place, so we’ve got some yummy stretch fabric that will still support but not cut into you. My heart surgery scar is placed exactly where the underwire of a bra goes, so I’m a big lover of the bralette.”
Other pieces from the collaboration include the Drama Robe (a floor-skimming dressing gown), the Big Love Off-Shoulder Sleep Tee, and a teal lace bodysuit. “I remember seeing a super sexy bodysuit and thinking, ‘I want to wear that’, so we worked to make a bodysuit that had a fuller cup and would be super comfortable for all the ladies,” she added.
For Barber, this wasn’t just another partnership and she wanted to extend the size range for her audience (the collection carries sizes up to 20 and bras are available to an F cup). It was also a chance to turn the fashion industry on its head.
“All sizes across the entire fashion industry need to be extended,” she said. “It’s bananas to me that women over a Size 2 are still classed as ‘plus size’. It’s so important for ladies to see themselves in the media, not just one type of woman that we are all shamed into thinking we need to look like in order to be successful. I think people see themselves in me. Someone different, having fun and not completely and utterly focused on how I look.”
“What I am focused on is calling out bullshit and making people laugh. I think people find it refreshing.”
The 39-year-old has playfully mocked everyone from Irina Shayk, Bella Hadid, Cardi B and Kylie Jenner.
Barber continued, “Body shaming is a multibillion dollar industry and unfortunately, money talks. Companies are scared to change what they do because it’s been working for them for so long. So, we have to keep putting different excellent bodies in campaigns as much as possible, create a new norm and watch those products sell out! The people want it but it’s the culture that’s taking a little longer to jump on board. It’s happening but nowhere near as quickly as I’d like. I’m not known for my patience.”
Explore the range in stores and online, here.