Nearly 50 young women determined to change the world — one outfit at a time — descended on the runway April 20 as part of the first annual fashion show of Pure Fashion.
The seven-month program, sponsored by Catholic lay movement Regnum Christi, encourages teen women ages 14-18 to live, act and dress according to their dignity as children of God.
The international program, which now has more than 40 affiliates worldwide, was introduced in St. Louis last fall.
More than 300 people attended the show, held at the Sheraton St. Louis City Center Hotel Downtown. Models showcased modest, yet stylish, fashions from chain retailers, including Target, Gap, Old Navy and TJMaxx.
Also featured were pieces from Marta’s Boutique in Chesterfield and online retailers Funky Frum (www.funkyfrum.com), Shabby Apple (www.shab byapple.com) and Christa-Taylor (www.christa-taylor.com).
Sarah French, Miss Missouri 2006 and emcee of the event, called on the models to "be a first-rate version of yourself — not a second-rate version of someone else.
"They are truly role models for their peers and the upcoming generation," she said of the young women. "These girls are making a change — one outfit at a time."
The show also included a talk from keynote speaker John Tracy, president and chief executive officer of Dot Foods Inc., and musical entertainment from singer and songwriter Joel Stein and The Statues, an a cappella group from St. Louis University.
"We are going against the grain of the whole fashion industry and media — and it feels good," said model Katie Paszkiewicz of Notre Dame High School.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The modesty guidelines created by Pure Fashion for its models are listed in their entirety at www.purefashion.com.
The organization notes that the ultimate goal is to “show the public that it is possible to be stylish, cute and modest.” Pure Fashion also reminds its models that “this is not just a fashion show, and we are not just simply fashion models — we are role models.”