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HSG
17th September 2005, 00:07
<br>It may lack the cultural depth of the "Old World" Saks promotion that we recently discussed, but the fall catalogue from Dress Barn nevertheless deserves honourable mention on this forum, particularly for its theme.

The catalogue is steeped in the spirit of the Aesthetic Restoration. It is not geographically specific, as was the Saks campaign (which was photographed in Bohemia), but rather, evokes a more general feeling of nostalgia. It avoids any modern settings or details, and instead luxuriates in gorgeous natural landscapes teeming with lush foliage, occasionally accentuated by aged wooden structures that harmonize perfectly with the timeless settings.

Note the meaningful statement with which Dress Barn announced the release of this catalogue:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/dbw01.jpg"></center><p>The book also features a number of inspiring statements throughout its pages, which accentuate the mood of the images, such as:

<i>- "A time for reflection and renewal"
- "Escape for a moment to a time when things were simpler"</i>

and most notably, in light of our recent Wordsworth discussion,

<i>- "The serenity and beauty of nature brings life into focus"</i>

However, what the Dress Barn promotion has that the Saks campaign lacked is the most important feature of all: actual plus-size models. Included in this book is the image of Valerie that we recently posted on this forum, showing her with an enchantingly heavy, half-uncurled, princess-like hairstyle, as well as the sunlit image, below. Our only regret is that the catalogue wasn't produced a few seasons ago, when Valerie was a fuller-figured model. If it had been, it would have been one of the most notable publications ever produced by the plus-size industry, and the images would have been inexpressibly <i>perfect.</i>

Even now, though, the catalogue is well worth a look, and a fine example for other retailers to follow.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/vl/dbw03.jpg"></center><p>- <a href="http://www.dressbarn.com/indexWithCatalog.jsp?catalog_name=dbw-fall2005&RFX_Ver=flash&RFX_Res=high" target="_blank">Click here to view Dress Barn's Fall 2005 catalogue.</a>