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Get it all, do it together

Jocelyn Lopez chooses a dress to model in Red Wing Youth Outreach's prom fashion show, which will be Sunday. About 30 Red Wing High School girls will show off this year's prom looks.1 / 4
Mati Bodensteiner right fixes the strop on Lauren Brooks' dress March 7 as the girls try on the dresses they will model Sunday.2 / 4
Amber Garner (left), Lauren Brooks, Mati Bodensteiner, Ragan Goering, Montana Hallock, Abby Rohan and Leila Hussain try out dresses March 7. More than 30 Red Wing High School girls will be modeling prom dresses from David's Bridal Sunday.3 / 4
Red Wing Youth Outreach Program Director Joette Hall takes a photo of Breanna Lanigan to send to Salon With a Twist, which will be doing all of the models' hair Sunday. The photos will allow the hair stylists begin planning.4 / 4

Going to prom takes plenty of planning. There's the dress, the make-up, the hair and, of course, a date.

This year, Red Wing Youth Outreach is helping area students get at least the first three prom essentials at a fashion show Sunday.

As many as 35 prom looks from David's Bridal will be featured at the runway show in the Indigo Room, 325 Main St. Red Wing High School girls will model the dresses.

"I want the students to be at the forefront of the production as much possible," Shannon Calhoun of David's Bridal said.

Calhoun, a 2008 Red Wing High School graduate, currently works for the Roseville, Minn., David's Bridal location. As the store's prom liaison, it's part of her job to hold prom fairs throughout the region.

Calhoun said dress shoppers can expect plenty of color and shimmer in this year's styles.

"Big poufy ball gowns are definitely in," Calhoun said. "There's a lot of glitz and sparkle, a lot of open-back ones and one-shoulder dresses."

Salon with a Twist will be doing all of the models' hair for Sunday's show. Stylist Shelli Hughley said anything from vintage styles to curls to dramatic up-do's are in right now and will be seen at the show. Hughley and four other stylists are using the models' dresses as inspiration for their hair.

"We're looking at the dresses and the girls and deciding what to do," she said.

In addition to the dresses, the show will feature a variety of prom-related business. Mary Kay and Premier Designs jewelry, in addition to other vendors, will have tables set up. The vendors will have displays from 2 to 4 p.m.

Bling & Blue Jeans

But Sunday's fashion show isn't all about prom. It's also the kick-off event for Youth Outreach's new clothing store, Bling & Blue Jeans. The venture will be "by teenagers, for teenagers," Youth Outreach Program Director Joette Hall said.

Youth Outreach students will be entirely responsible for marketing, managing and running the store.

"The reason for it is to give kids work experience," Hall said. "What it's all about is getting them something they can put on a resume."

Youth Outreach's mission is to teach teenagers and young adults life-skills that will help them smoothly transition into adulthood. The Youth Outreach board has been tossing around the idea of starting a business for some time, but the project really took off in the last couple of months, Hall said.

Bling & Blue Jeans is looking to make its first sales at Sunday's show. The group will be selling dozens of donated prom and bridesmaid dresses for as little as $5 each.

"The reason we started this was because it's so expensive to go to prom," Hall said.

After prom season is over, Bling & Blue Jeans will be run out of the Youth Outreach building and will sell gently used teenage-style clothing. All clothing sold in the store will be donated, and all proceeds will go back to Youth Outreach programming.

But the main goal of Bling & Blue Jeans isn't to make money.

"It's is really about starting the shop and running it and getting the work experience so they can go out and get a job," Hall said.

And though only students in Youth Outreach will be working at the store, Hall stressed that the clothes it will be selling -- in addition to Sunday's fashion show -- is really for everyone.

"What's been really cool about this whole project is it started with Red Wing Youth Outreach," Hall said. "But kids in the show are from all different friend groups.

"That's another message: We can do this, and we can do it with everyone being involved."

The details

What: Youth Outreach prom fashion show

When: Sunday, 2-4 p.m., show starts at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Indigo Room, 325 Main St.

Cost: Free; freewill donations will be accepted

Red Wing High School prom

The theme for this year's prom, taking place April 27, is "Bright Lights, Big City." The grand march will be in the Red Wing High School gym, with dinner and the dance following in the St. James Hotel Summit Room.

Guests of RWHS juniors and seniors must be in at least 10th grade, but can't be older than 20 years old. Guests will be asked to show photo ID.

Prom tickets are $40 per person ($80 per couple) and include the grand march, dinner and dance. They can be purchased April 1-18 during lunch or in the e-store. Tickets purchased after April 18 won't include dinner.

Community members can purchase tickets to see the grand march for $2.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.