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On the catwalk

Young girls show off their style at 4-H fashion revue

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos

Grand champion designers

Katelyn Peroulis - Decorate Your Duds, juniors division

Samantha Pearle - Sewing, juniors division

Summer Ossen - Crochet, juniors division

Abigail Gonzales - Knitting, juniors division

Cheyenne Ossen - Knitting, intermediate division

Teren Wilkey - Decorate Your Duds, senior division

— Katelyn Peroulis may have taken lessons from runway supermodels to strut her stuff as well as she did at Thursday’s fashion revue.

“I really don’t get nervous for the fashion show. I love showing off my outfit,” said the fifth-grader, who was exhibiting her second-year 4-H clothing project. “And I like keeping up with all the fashion trends.”

Like those worn by supermodels, Peroulis’ outfit is custom-designed. Hers isn’t manufactured by Versace, Dolce & Gabbana or Gucci, though. Peroulis made it herself.

In the Decorate Your Duds category, the young trendsetter constructed a patriotic jean skirt and jacket ensemble that won her grand champion in her age group at fashion revue.

Decorate Your Duds allows girls to find clothing items from stores or from their closets and add a personal flair to them. Other projects call on participants to sew an outfit or knit or crochet a piece.

For Peroulis’ project, she decided on red, white and blue jewels and a hand-drawn American flag across the back of her jacket.

“I also did cake decorating. My cake was an American flag, so every one of my projects matched,” Peroulis said.

It is this hard work that impresses 4-H Director Alisa Comstock about the young girls.

“I love watching them and seeing the final project. It is amazing the amount of skills that these girls have,” Comstock said. “They are all dying to knit and sew.”

But, it’s not about the frills and lace for these girls, Comstock said.

“This fashion show is not all about being girly and dressing up,” Comstock said. “It is more about showing off all of their hard work.”

This is the reason fifth-grader Abigail Gonzales participates in the program.

“It is a lot of hard work and time,” Gonzales said.

This is Gonzales’ third year in 4-H, and this year, she wasn’t afraid to take up a challenge by knitting a raspberry turtleneck sweater, a project that took four months to complete.

“It is a long process. First, I picked out a pattern and practiced the hardest part of the sweater over and over until I mastered it,” Gonzales said. “Then I have to choose the colors and size it. After that, I knit the sweater and work on it every day.”

Gonzales said all that effort is worth it once she takes her turn on the catwalk.

“It is rewarding to walk down the runway,” she said, “because your project is finished.”


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