A PLUS-SIZE clothing chain has launched in Southend’s Royals shopping centre.

Customers at Australian brand Taking Shape’s first store in Essex were treated to a three-day opening bonanza, including a fashion show. Alla Buinowicz, managing director of Taking Shape UK, said: “Our clothes have a little Aussie attitude. We’re not afraid of colour, bold prints or making a splash.”

Taking Shape opened its first UK branch last year and now has 20.

Its motto is “celebrate your curves", with the chain specialising in clothing in sizes 14 to 26.