Grads on the runway 

Whistler Secondary School to host second annual fashion show as fundraiser for graduating class

What: WSS fashion show

When: Friday, April 3, 6 p.m.

Where: Whistler Secondary School

Cost: $10 adults, $8 students, kids age five and under free

With warmer weather just around the corner, thoughts are turning towards spring wardrobes. And with a perfect sense of timing, students at Whistler Secondary School are preparing to host their second annual fashion show this Friday night, showcasing the latest fashions from local shops while raising money for the graduating class.

Last year, the inaugural event was a great success, bringing in almost $4,000 for the grads.

Dorothy Harwood, a parent of one graduating student, is helping coordinate the event. Also the general manager for McCoo's and McCoo's Too, Harwood brings a certain degree of industry expertise to the table, helping to organize fittings, write commentary, recruit local retailers and promote the event.

"I actually found that people were quite interested in being involved," Harwood said.

The list of participating retailers speaks for itself; as of Friday, McCoo's, McCoo's Too, The Gap, Le Chateau, F As In Frank, Nike, Quiksilver, Cocymela, and Please Mum have all signed up for the event, with over 100 outfits included in the show.

The students have also been keen to get on board with the event, which also includes a silent auction and concessions to add to the fundraising capacity.

"I definitely had a core group that was very involved, but now that we're actually doing fittings... they're all pretty up for it, now," Harwood said, "They're quite excited."

Ali Wake is one of the WSS students involved in organizing the show. A member of the grad fundraising committee and the fashion show committee, formed this year to handle the expanding event, Wake's older sister was involved in the first fashion show, last year, which inspired the younger Wake to get involved.

"It's fun, because the kids who will be graduating in the next couple years will come to it, because they're probably going to carry it on and keep doing fashion shows," she said.

Wake adds that the event is appropriate for all ages and is good for the community, because it involves local businesses.

"It's fun fashion, too, and a lot of these kids are kids that people have seen grow up in this community," Harwood said.

This year, organizers have titled the show, Storm Unleashed II: Kaleidoscope, incorporating a detailed colour theme which flows throughout the show. Almost all of the 53 students of the graduating class are involved in the production, whether they are modeling one of almost 100 outfits, or working behind the scenes.

As expected, it wasn't an easy feat to get most of the guys to agree to get up on the catwalk.

"But some of them actually surprised us - they're pretty into it," said Wake.

And with just days to go before the big performance, the students, and Harwood, are still busily preparing.

"Basically, we're trying to put final touches on all of the visual stuff. We've got some Powerpoint presentations happening with pictures that will symbolize each colour," Wake explained.

"....We had our rehearsal just this last weekend to get everyone comfortable on the stage and we had fittings last weekend, as well."

Between a hectic schedule of weekly meetings to coordinate music, clothes and visual elements of the show, the organizers have also managed to have a good time.

"It's been really fun! It's fun to work the kids," Harwood said. "It's definitely inspiring and yet challenging to work with kids that aren't your own."

A few tickets are available in advance at the high school or McCoo's, though Harwood said they expect to sell most at the door.

"We have a bit of a captive audience between the school and parents and all that, but we're really hoping that we'll get families from the elementary schools, as well."


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