Presentation Learning Center Annual Fashion Show, Watts, California

by Sister Catherine Burke; photos by Sister Jane Bonar

This model has crocheted her dress.

“Fashion Week in Venice” was the theme for the fashion show this spring. The décor included moonlit canals, quaint bridges, gondolas and gondoliers. The lunch was lasagna with Mediterranean salad and dessert pizzelles made by one of our volunteers. Presentation Learning Center students provided entertainment with some lively Italian dances. However, the stars of the show were the 30 models wearing their interpretation of Italian fashions. There were dresses with intricate hand- crotched lace designs, modern and retro fashions Italian style.

This was the 14th annual fashion show. The idea of a clothing design class began when some talented seamstresses among our English as Second Language students decided to share their expertise with young mothers who had never learned to sew.  It seemed like a good idea to have the women model their extraordinary creations. The models must make what they model. Some moms make outfits for their children or grandchildren, who are also happy to model.  The students pride in their achievements is rewarding, and the appreciation of the guests, who come to the event from all over Southern California is inspiring.

A creation designed and created in the 1950’s Italian fashion style

Our guests included instructors from the Fashion Institute of Design in Los Angeles, over 80 friends from St. Irenaeus in Cypress and many others from the Southbay area.  The event is held twice—once for the families and friends of the student models and parishioners; and the second one is a fundraiser and a “friend-raiser” for programs at Presentation Learning Center.  Next year’s fashion show on April 4, 2020 will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Learning Center with a Mexican Fiesta!