Student fashion show models style in modesty

SPARTANBURG — At the second annual Fashions in Vogue fashion show April 17, Catholic girls demonstrated that modesty is stylish.

Dozens of high school and middle school girls modeled attire that ranged from beachwear to formal gowns while guests sampled strawberries and cakes at a chocolate fountain. The models are members of Challenge Girls Club, an affiliate of the international Catholic Youth World Network.

“They develop leadership skills and strengthen their spirituality,” said Tina Andress, a member of the organizing committee for the show. “The girls also do apostolic projects and other service efforts, like petitioning local retail stores to stock modest clothing for girls.”

The working motto of Challenge Girls is: “Challenge yourself, challenge others, challenge the world.”

One of the guests at the fashion show was Father Charles Snopek, pastor of Jesus, Our Risen Savior parish. He came to the Marriott Hotel on a fine spring afternoon, he said, to support the club in its mission.

“They’re introducing modesty back into fashion,” Father Snopek said. “It’s always been in fashion in the church.”

Another attendee was William DeMars, a professor at Wofford College and the father of two models, Claire and Abby.

“The Challenge Club is run by great people. The kids meet adult women who are good role models for them,” DeMars said.

One of the models wrote a letter for her parish newsletter: “People keep going to meetings not only because it is pleasurable,” Caitlin Lejeune said, “but also because we make new friends and have an interesting speaker at every meeting. This (fashion show) is an opportunity to be proud of the way you look and to know that you will always be ready to meet Jesus, day or night, which is a promise.”

Following the fashion show, the models received more backing, this time from a group of boys who publicly supported their attempts at modest dress and who presented them with flowers. In between events, guests bid in a silent auction on gifts donated by 53 businesses that also support the cause.

The show ended with an address by the singer and songwriter Marie Bellet.