The hallways in The Chantilly Academy have been overrun by squealing girls in the throws of their final preparations. Sparkles, feathers, glitters, and textiles are strewn throughout the corridor.
The Fashion camp, sponsored by Fairfax County Public Schools Market Advisory Board, ran from July 21-25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The advisory board is a group of local business professionals who assist Fairfax County Public Schools in developing curriculum for summer marketing programs.
Campers ranged from rising first-graders to high school students. The campers engaged in field trips to the craft store, preparation of the fashion show stage and background, jewelry and accessory making, and the total redesign of one outfit that each brought from their home. "I learned how to walk and do fun fashion stuff; we went to the accessory store, and made bracelets at the shop. We brought dresses from home and cut them. I put on stickers of Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls. Its really fun and I want to come next year and I wish it never ended," said one daring second-grader willing to give this reporter an interview. The campers were divided into separate age groups and sponsored by different couture lines: Justice, Gymboree, Target, and AÃ©ropostale lent out clothing for the show. In addition to the production aspect of fashion, the camp hosted guest speakers who addressed topics of hair, nail, and skin care.
"Itâ€™s great experience for someone who wants to go into the fashion industry. Not for me personally, I just wanted to try something different. It made me feel like a real model," said one rising middle school student from the Mercer Area School District.
In preparation for the show, the girlsâ€™ hair were stylized by Libby Lu, and each girl was adorned in beauty-pageantesque make-up. In the high school auditorium, the stage was decorated with paper shirts, skirts, dresses, and skirts â€” all of which were made and garnished by the campers. Earlier in the week, a photographer had composed a photographic slide show that was displayed on a large movie theater screen above the stage for the show. Each camper had carefully prepared their catwalk, poses, and routine throughout the week. "We are going to show you what weâ€™re working with," said one on the walk to the auditorium.
The camperâ€™s demonstration took place in 12 scenes. The first six scenes were cat walks by each group sporting their designer goods in increasing age order. The girls entered as singles, couples, and triplets. Each walk had a unique choreography designed by the campers. The last six scenes were the children dressed in their own outfits that they had redesigned. For the grand finale, the campers entered the stage on an elegant tiered walkway with all of their creativity on display. "Girls love this girly stuff and Iâ€™m sure my daughter will be back next year," said one mother expectantly awaiting the beginning of the show.