|Kendra Kathol and Isabelle Lam show fashion can be stylish without being revealing. WCR photo, Chris Miller.|
June 4, 2010. Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). The following article was
first published in the Western Catholic Reporter. Reprinted with
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - If you´ve got it,
that doesn´t mean you have to flaunt it.
The statement sums
up Pure Fashion´s year-end fashion show, a celebration of
style, personality and virtue. The gala dinner and show were
held May 31 at West Edmonton Mall´s Fantasyland Hotel ballroom.
The fashion show featured girls ages 14 to 18 from
Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove-Stony Plain.
"The confidence it
builds is so immense. They take this with them far
beyond tonight. It reassures the positive that they don´t usually
get within the media and magazines. It´s nice to be
reassured that they can still be beautiful without looking too
sexy or being too exposed," said Linsay Willier, a fashion
model and runner-up on Canada´s Next Top Model, 2009.
An inspiration to aboriginal girls who want to make it
into modelling, Willier coached the girls on runway lessons in
the weeks leading up to the fashion show.
cool to talk about being modest and respecting yourself," she
"I think it´s great they´re putting this on to
take away the stigma, and let the girls know that
they don´t have to follow the crowd, that they can
wear what they feel comfortable in, and still be beautiful."
Jessica Holmes and Jessica Bedard - collectively known as
"Jessica Squared" - got involved in Pure Fashion when the
program was being promoted at their parish. At first, Holmes
showed no interest in participating.
|Sarah Alexis combines style with modesty. WCR photo. Chris Miller.|
"I´m kind of the more
sporty, scholarly type and I don´t know anything about makeup
or fashion," said Holmes.
"I don´t spend my spare time
shopping and I have no idea what to do with
a mascara brush. So when I heard about Pure Fashion
through Holy Trinity Parish, I didn´t even think twice because
I didn´t believe the runway was for me."
persuasion from Bedard, Holmes gave in, believing that the eight-month,
faith-based program might be a good opportunity for the girls
to grow in friendship and faith.
Sure enough, the girls
enjoyed the program so much that they would like to
return in a year or two as Pure Fashion leaders
and provide for younger girls what their leaders provided for
them. Emphasizing their inherent dignity, the friends have learned to
dress and behave in accordance with that dignity.
of Pure Fashion is that they teach girls how to
dress modestly in a way that is not provocative," said
Bedard. "It´s showing your beauty from within, reflected through what
you wear and how you act."
As the mother
of a model, Kari Mullin said the program was helpful
for her daughter and her friends.
"It really taught them
to dress modestly and build their self-confidence, and let their
beauty from inside shine through. They don´t have to dress
seductively or anything like that. It enforced our Christian values,"
|Pink dazzler takes Erica MacQuarrie out to a special occasion. WCR photo. Chris Miller.|
All of the formation and activities were great
experiences for her daughter, Steph. Outside of modelling clothes for
the parents and guests, the girls have learned how to
be confident leaders in their schools and communities. They took
training sessions on table manners, social etiquette and public speaking
skills - lessons that assist them when they deal with
the public and enter the workforce.
Another proud mother, Brandi
Jodoin, has a 16-year-old daughter who has been interested in
fashion throughout her teen years. Like many girls her age,
she struggled with trying to serve the Lord in the
way she dressed.
"She was already a member of the
Challenge team in Spruce Grove, so when this opportunity came
up, she was so excited to learn what she can
about fashion and still be able to keep some standards
of modesty," said Jodoin.
"It´s really empowered her to feel
good about the choices she´s made, to learn to place
makeup and do her hair, and public speaking that makes
her a part of the world but not of the
Since her involvement in the Pure Fashion program, Belle
Alexis, from Alexis First Nation, thinks critically about the choices
she makes, the merchandise she buys and the way in
which she presents herself to the world. She wants to
serve as a role model for other young women and
reaffirm their innate value.
"Our community is struggling with modesty
and its Catholic faith. Girls are suicidal there, which is
sad. Our community picked the top Catholic girls to go
in this program and learn and share with their communities
as role models," said Alexis.
In preparation for the fashion
show, Sarah Alexis told the WCR she was nervous and
excited. When she approached the runway her heart started beating
fast and she had butterflies in her stomach. But the
whole experience was wonderful and she enthusiastically recommends the program
for her friends.
"It shows them how to be confident
in themselves, and how to truly believe in yourself too.
It shows you a lot of stuff that is meaningful
and worthwhile," she said.
Introducing the models was Brenda Sharman,
the founding national director of Pure Fashion. Working in the
fashion industry for more than 25 years, the 1990 Miss
Georgia USA has helped the program remain at the forefront
of the "modesty movement."
Entertaining the guests was the French-Canadian
chanteuse Janelle, from Lloydminster. Her music is aimed at bringing
souls closer to Christ.