Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 09-20-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | SEPTEMBER 20-26, 2018 CUMBERLAND 9 Young fashion designer sews up spot at Styleweek PROVIDENCE – Styleweek Northeast opened its 15th season this week at the Rhode Island Convention Center, with a big treat for young fashion enthusiasts. The SEEDlings: Student Design Challenge will debut its youngest contestants to ever participate in the event, including local designer Allegra Catanese, 8, of Cumberland. She, along with four other young con- testants, will each team up with senior designers to create their own three- piece collection. Styleweek began on Wednesday and runs through Saturday, Sept. 19-22. Catanese, a student at Garvin Elementary School, began her jour- ney as a designer at the age of 4, while attending her ballet school's summer camp. "After learning how to sew cos- tumes, I knew that's what I wanted to do," she said. Her mother, Jamie, enrolled her daughter in private design and sewing lessons when she was 5. "I've made dresses out of pleather, tulle and lights, and sequins," she said. In addition to dresses, Catanese has also designed faux fur jackets, a bathing suit, pants, and a leotard. While she mainly designs her cloth- ing for special events, she's proven versatile in her skills. "I just finished making a unicorn costume for Halloween," she said. When it comes to her process, the budding designer said she uses her own ideas instead of replicating what she sees in the magazines. "I already have ideas in my head," she said. "I draw them first, make a pattern, then sew." As with many fashionistas, Catanese enjoys shopping. Her favorite part of the design process is shopping for fabric. "I always know exactly what I want when it comes to finding material," she said. "So it's a real challenge to find the perfect fabric." Catanese also likes to measure and make patterns, saying, "I'm very good at math." In preparation for Styleweek, she drew out concepts first, later bringing the pieces to life with the help of her senior design partner, Bianca Jones- Pearson of Clothes Horse Clothing. "This is the first time I made clothes for adults," Catanese said. "I've only made outfits for myself, so I had to learn how to make the clothes much bigger." Through Jones-Pearson's exper- tise and guidance, Catanese learned another beneficial facet of design. "Bianca showed me how to print my own fabric, since I didn't find the kind I wanted," she said. "She's very talented and I'm really lucky to learn so much from her." Participants will be judged based on concept, design and fit. The winner will receive a cash prize. Jamie and Marc Catanese said their daughter is creative, ambitious and driven. They said she can't wait to present her collection at Styleweek. Jones-Pearson has been a great men- tor and role model, they said, helping to provide an invaluable experience that will shape Allegra's future. By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor Cumberland's ALLEGRA CATANESE, 8, appears with fellow designer BIANCA JONES-PEARSON, who has helped her prepare for Styleweek Northeast.

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