Few women are satisfied with their curve appeal.
To that end, she's producing the “Dangerous Curves Ahead” fashion show to educate women about what curves really are.
Generally, fashion shows specifically model plus-sizes or standard sizes, but "‘Dangerous Curves Ahead’ is going to celebrate women of all sizes, all shapes, all ethnicities,” says Martell.
Martell has styled women from business professionals to engineers and models. Her specialty is working with plus-size women to get the right look for their body type.
“I'm a curvy woman myself, so I know what looks good on me, what works, what doesn't work, and I know you have to just pick one asset and choose to show that off. You don’t show cleavage and leg at the same time, you just pick something and work with that,” says Martell.
Stephanie Sack, owner of trendy plus-size boutique Vive La Femme, was inspired at a young age to help full figured women find their fashion niche, hence, in 2002 she opened up the Bucktown shop.
“We work with labels that do better with busty girls, some labels do better with women with bigger hips, some ladies enjoy work wear, some ladies are looking to amplify their weekend wear,” says Sack.
Sack says that not all plus sizes are the same.
“One of the things that we really talk about here is to not get hung up on sizes. When most women hear 3X they're unhappy. They think it’s bigger than what they wear -- which is a 2. And really because each line is specific to its own grade, we're not really concerned about size as much as we are about fit,” says Sack.
To these stylistas, confidence is one-size-fits-all.
“It’s really an image of personal confidence, but if you wear clothes that fit you, suit you, that make you feel wonderful, you forget all about [insecurities] and you're just your sweet awesome self,” Sack says.
Check out the latest spring styles for all sizes at the “Dangerous Curves Ahead” fashion show on April 25, 2009 at the Zhou B Art Center.
A recent Chicago Tribune article addresses how the new fashion options work for plus size women. Check that out, as well as these additional fashionable plus size brands and sites: