Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 25, 2005
Pure fashion headlines dignity
Youth learn hip tips plus self-respect
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Christine Fontaine is a fashion model unlike any other. As a model for Christ, she wouldn't be caught dead modelling skimpy outfits. She only models modest, but trendy, clothing.
"I have always wanted to be a role model to other girls and this is one way that I can be a role model for my peers," the 14-year-old said. "I won't wear anything that shows too much cleavage or a skirt that is too short. And it's not because I want to hide something,but because I want to show the dignity I have. I just don't want to be seen as an object."
Pure Fashion Show
Fontaine, a homeschooler from Entwistle, is one of about 30 young Catholic girls aged 13-16 recently selected to take part in the second annual Pure Fashion Show April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Days Inn, 10010-179A St. In addition to the show, the afternoon will include raffles, a silent auction and a performance and talk by vocalist and keynote speaker Janelle Reinhart. About 250 people attended last year's fashion show.
The Pure Fashion Show was started in the United States about five years ago by the Challenge Leadership Clubs for Girls, a Catholic network of clubs dedicated to helping girls discover and develop their natural talents.
Modesty and purity
All five challenge clubs currently operating in the greater Edmonton area are involved in the show whose vision is to "expand Christ's kingdom by cultivating the virtue of modesty as a means to protect and preserve purity, elevating the dignity of women."
Although not all show participants are challenge club members, all agree they can dress fashionably without compromising their modesty.
The girls spent most of April 16 at St. Andrew's Centre reflecting on the upcoming show. They learned about the virtue of purity, body image from a Christian viewpoint, as well as how to apply makeup and walk the runway with grace and elegance. Six major Edmonton clothing retailers have already agreed to loan clothing and shoes for the show.
Corinna Crockett, one of the show coordinators, said the purpose of the show is to empower adolescent girls to discover the power of modesty in their dress and their lifestyle.
"We want to teach girls it's OK to dress modest and still be fashionable," she said. "To be modest, you don't have to dress like your grandma with a turtleneck all the time and super long dresses. You can be cute, stylish and in fashion and still be modest."
Leanna Hagman, another show coordinator, agreed. "You can be absolutely beautiful and modest at the same time," she said. "Modesty is being elegant and dignified and classy; it doesn't mean that you have to show skin and wear less clothing to be beautiful."
Dresses to be worn at the show can't be lower cut than four fingers below the collar bone and skirts can't be shorter than four fingers above the knee.
The girls say it's getting easier to dress more current, and less revealing, with new fashions.
Rachel Mercer, a 14-year-old member of St. John the Evangelist Parish, looked cool in overalls and a long T-shirt. "You can dress modestly and still be beautiful," she said shyly. "If you dress modestly, you make God proud because you are not dishonouring what he gave you."
Carleen Spratt, a 13-year-old Challenge member from near Spruce Grove, sported a professional look with a black blazer and a white blouse underneath and black pants and shoes. "I enjoy wearing classy clothes like this," she said. "I feel quite comfortable with the clothes that I wear. I don't feel the need to dress provocative."
No spaghetti straps
Spratt, like other members of her Challenge club, stays away from spaghetti straps and really short shorts and miniskirts. "I know some girls at my school that dress provocatively in order to impress guys but I think it makes the guy feel more uncomfortable if you are around them and you are quite provocatively."
Spratt said she has never felt pressured to dress provocatively "because the people I hang around with know my values and they respect them." And if she tried, she wouldn't get away with it. "Before I leave the house, my parents always look at my outfit and my makeup and make sure it's respectable and that I'm presentable."
Fontaine, looking comfortable in blue jeans and a white hoodie, believes modelling will not only allow her to be a role model for her peers but also bring Christ to other girls.
"It's not just about modelling the clothes; it's this thing of being different for a purpose. Maybe modelling will spark a conversation which will allow me to bring Christ to others."
As a homeschooler, she doesn't face peer pressure to wear scanty clothes at school but feels that pressure everywhere else, especially at her karate classes and piano lessons.
"There is a pressure there to compromise my standards but I made my choice and won't change it because I'm doing it for Christ. I think that Christ asks us to dress modestly and I think when we dress immodestly it doesn't show our dignity as God's children."
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