Models, businesses glow at Project Prom

VIENNA – Although spring is months away, the fashions for prom season were in bloom during the Project Prom 2013 fashion show Sunday at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

Around 800 people attended the show as well as interacted with a number of vendors who handled things like hair, makeup, photos, tuxedos, dresses and more.

Jane Engelke, owner of Elizabeth Michaels who put on the show, said they were very pleased with the turnout.

“This is our second annual show and we were filled to capacity,” she said. “We started this show last year and it is getting bigger every year.

“We have had girls calling us for weeks wanting to be models.”

Sunday’s show featured over 65 models from both Ohio and West Virginia, with some traveling over three hours to be a part of it. Organizers wanted to make sure the show was an event for those came Sunday, with a red carpet entry.

“We tried to make it as Hollywood and as fabulous as possible and to create the real experience of going to prom,” Engelke said.

In addition to Elizabeth Michaels, vendors included Melanie’s Hair Design and Lee’s Studio who did all the hair and makeup for the models, Crossover DJ provided the sound and music, Michele Coleman Photography was taking all of the shots of the runway models and Crown Event Rentals set up a salon area and provided corsages to the models.

Other vendors included 103.9 FM, Paparazzi Accessories, Thirty-One, Premiere Productions and Amanda Buckley Photography.

Buckley, who also works at Elizabeth Michaels and helped organize the show, said many of the vendors have already secured a lot of business for the upcoming prom season.

“They think it is going to be very profitable,” she said. “We had a lot of traffic to all of the vendor tables.”

It all comes down to finding the right dress.

“Girls want to get their dresses early and be the first at their school to have their particular dress,” Buckley said.

Ashley Griemsmann, a senior at Marietta High School, came to the show to see what was new in dress styles and more.

“I wanted to see what is new for the prom season,” she said. “I came to see all of the new prom styles and hair designs.”

She had already made contact with a number of vendors to line up things she will need.

“I found a lot of stuff that I liked,” Griemsmann said.

Meghan Kostelic, a freshman at Marietta High School, came to the show Sunday to have a good time.

“I came to have fun and see all the dresses,” she said.

She found a lot she liked, but said any purchases are a ways off.

“Not for awhile,” she said with a laugh.

Representatives from Elizabeth Michaels talked with the prom committees from all the area high schools and arranged a fundraiser where they would sell tickets for the show and keep the money for their own prom committee.

“We want to get everyone excited about prom,” Engelke said. “It is not until April or May for most schools, but January is the kickoff.

“For a lot of students, this is their senior year and this is the last big event before they go off to college.”

Engelke hopes those who attended the show Sunday had a good time and were able to find something to help make their own prom complete, whether it is a gown or something else they need.

“One of the things we work with girls at the shop is we want them to feel good about themselves,” she said. “When a client comes to get a gown or a tux, I want them to walk away feeling beautiful and special.”

With all the things young people have to deal with, from bullying to esteem issues, they want to provide something positive.

“We want them to feel good about themselves,” Engelke said.

For many of the models, it was their first opportunity to be in a show like this.

“It is important to me, with our models, a lot of the girls don’t have an opportunity to do something like this,” Engelke said. “A lot of our models, this is the first time they have been on stage and they step out of their comfort zone.

“Through doing this they are able to gain some confidence.”

In the past, most guys went with a black tuxedo. Now they wear grey, white, charcoal, brown or navy blue, Engelke said.

With dresses, there is a wide variety available in styles and colors. Rhinestones and beading are very popular in a number of designs.

“If you want to wear a long dress, great,” Engelke said. “If you want to wear a ball gown, that is great too.

“Bling is in for sure. It is the prom, it is the one chance to dress up and be glamorous.”