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Pure Fashion Shows Continue to Make Headlines
Latest coverage in the Christian Science Monitor.

Desfile de Modas

New York, May 27, 2005 -- A year after Challenge Club member Ella Gunderson of Redmond, Wash., became the surprising center of media attention over her protest of immodest fashions at a national department store chain, the widespread interest in the modesty movement remains.

This time last year, Ella and her mom, Pam Gunderson, were being interviewed on NBC´s Today Show by Katie Couric and also on CNN, because of a letter to she wrote to executive of the Nordstrom department store chain. The media interest started when Ella´s story appeared in the Seattle Times just days before Ella and her fellow Challenge Club members hosted their annual Pure Fashion Show.

After several more successful Pure Fashion Shows across the country in 2005, including an event in Atlanta that attracted some 2,000 attendees, major media are again taking note. The following appeared in the May 25, 2005, edition of the Christian Science Monitor:

Sparking conversation about modesty is one goal of the Pure Fashion show, put on in early May in nearby Bellevue, Wash., by an affiliate of a national Catholic girls´ group.

Challenge girls clubs around the country have been hosting the shows for a handful of years, but this was only the second time the Seattle-area teens had sashayed down the runway in clothes they found at stores like The Gap, Limited Too, and Macy´s.

Their crowd grew to 350 this year from 250 last year - growth the organizers find particularly significant, considering that last year they had national media coverage of a member who had written a letter to Nordstrom asking for a wider variety of clothing for girls.

"It has struck such a chord for people," says Pam Gunderson, the adult head of the Greater Seattle Challenge Club, and mother of Ella, the letter-writer. "It´s just a natural inclination to want to be sufficiently covered up. It doesn´t take faith to realize that, but sometimes I think it takes faith to move people to action."

Alteration ingenuity

The girls she works with - ages 10 and up - are not looking for dowdy styles, but want to be stylish and feminine. Sometimes they alter the clothes they find - adding waistbands or layering shirts.

Still, some teens find that it´s difficult to be fashionably modest with what´s on the racks.

"Clothes today are too tight, too sheer, and too revealing," says Sarah Kator, a Meridian, Idaho, teen, in an e-mail. "I always have to buy shirts a size or two larger than they are designed to be worn, and I´m not a very large girl."

To find out more about Challenge Girls Club visit:

You can see also a video interview from Ella Gounderson. Just follow the link.



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