Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring Into Fashion

Catherines Plus Sizes, one of the leading plus-size retailers with over 450 stores nationwide, introduces its colorful spring 2008 collection of stylish looks designed specifically for women sizes 16-34.

"Catherine's spring collection was designed to remind our customers why she is so incredible," said Juanita Fields, Catherines Trend Director. "Whether she is at home, work or on vacation, she can look good and feel good in the great outfits she can find only at Catherines."

Catherines offers a wide selection of apparel from career and casual to eveningwear for all her lifestyle needs. For an effortless day look, match a textured print top with a pair of the ever-so-popular jeans with Right Fit sizing technology. And for an effortless night look, swap the jeans for career pants with Right Fit.

The Right Fit sizing system was developed after years of research using the latest technology. It is a simple formula for finding the perfect fit no matter her shape or size. Catherines understands that no two plus-size bodies are alike which makes it challenging when shopping for pants that fit. Sales associates at Catherines are trained to help customers find their Right Fit size.

"After visiting several Catherines stores, I was pleased to find both, figure-flattering options for work and special occasions," said plus-size celebrity stylist, Nicole Brewer. "I received personal attention and exceptional customer service from the sales associates which was helpful when I was putting together outfits for my clients' various body shapes!"

For the complete spring collection as well as a wide selection of accessories including comfortable sleepwear, sexy lingerie, jewelry, hats, and handbags, customers can visit Catherines stores nationwide or log on to

With over 450 stores, Catherines Plus-Sizes, a subsidiary of The Charming Shoppes, Inc., provides stylish, high-quality fashion for plus-size women in sizes 16W-34W. Catherines offers a wide selection of apparel from career and casual to eveningwear -- as well as a collection of accessories, lingerie and hosiery.


Young designer aims to make Ungaro 'cool'
Esteban Cortazar, the 23-year-old Colombian designer with the task of breathing life into the established house of Emanuel Ungaro, has only one aim this Paris Fashion Week: to make the label "more cool".

Cortazar's first collection for Ungaro, a red carpet favourite of Kylie Minogue and Penelope Cruz, is among the most anticipated events of the fall and winter 2008 collections.

"I have a new vision, a fresher attitude. It's what the house needs," Cortazar said in an interview ahead of his Wednesday show at an atelier surrounded by mannequins.

The Bogota-born, Miami-raised son of an artist and a jazz singer made his unofficial debut in fashion when he was just 15 years old, designing for Miami International Fashion Week.

Already acclaimed by the industry, Cortazar's own collection of glamorous gowns with a Latin influence was snapped up early by powerful US department store Bloomingdale's.

But is he stressed by the pressure to perform in Paris, the world's premier fashion event?

"The younger you are, the less pressure there is," he said. "And nervousness is a good thing, it makes you more creative."

New faces at old houses have been a feature of this fashion season, reaching its end in Paris after New York, London and Milan. But it has not always been easy for unknowns to take over from the greats.

Gianfranco Ferre, whose eponymous designer died suddenly last year, showed an uneven collection in Milan last week after the designer assigned to take over, Lars Nilsson, quit a month before the shows because of "creative differences".

Another closely watched show this week is Valentino, where Alessandra Fachinetti will parade her first designs since replacing the Valentino Garavani. She was abruptly ejected from Gucci after just two seasons when she failed to fill the shoes of Tom Ford.

Seasoned fashion executives say an ability to spot a brand's heritage and reproduce it with an eye to what the consumer wants can be even more important than ego and talent when it comes to taking the place of an illustrious predecessor.

Cortazar was chosen last year by Mounir Mouffarige, group president of Emanuel Ungaro, who was "seduced by his youth and his level of maturity".

"His mission is to make the label more exciting, more cool," Mouffarige said. "He must be daring."

Mouffarige has a history of success in introducing untried young talents into the best known design houses.

In 1997, he shocked the fashion world by putting the untested Stella McCartney in at Chloe, replacing Karl Lagerfeld, who went on to great acclaim.

But at Ungaro it has been a more difficult task. Since the eponymous designer retired in 2004, the house has been through four stylists as it struggled to find one able to channel its traditional look of long draped dresses and curvaceous lines.

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