Monday, students in Devon Wells' Fashion Plus class at Payson High school went shopping. This was not a waste of school time or was it an ordinary trip to the mall. The girls in Fashion Plus are in the last stages of preparing for their annual fashion show.
The show will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 in the Payson High School auditorium. Tickets are $3 at the door.
Locally Corral West and Fashions Now loan clothing, and Payson Florist, Finishing Touch Flowers and Flowers by June donate flowers and tuxedo rental.
"We get to borrow three dresses from Windsor and they are really expensive," first-year student Vanessa Larkins laughed. "We have to spread out three dresses among 22 girls."
More unusual clothing comes from Dillard's, Buckles and Anchor Blue.
Committees form to decide what background music is appropriate to the chosen clothes and scene, signage, props, laying out the show's program and writing the script for the commentators and public relations. It is a class where one learns to work with your friends as a team.
Jessica Mileham, who has plans to go into cosmetology when she graduates, was on the committee which painted signs and found stools to paint for the black-and-white scene.
"(The girls) will be wearing black and white clothes and big white sun glasses while walking in weird patterns," she said. These patterns took time to block then time to rehearse so that they look professional.
Although there aren't any young men in the class, 13 were invited this year to join the show in the club and prom scenes. Some are boyfriends and some are just friends who the girls think are cool and will look good dressed in a tuxedo or cowboy boots and jeans.
There is more to Fashion Plus than a show.
"Every year the fashion class does go to Los Angeles to attend a professional fashion show," Tracy Abernathy, assistant to teacher Devon Wells, said. "They get to go behind the scenes at theme parks to see what costume design is all about. Students have to raise several hundred dollars of their own money to go."
"We learn how to make silhouettes, then we learn how to put clothes on them," student Jayne Walden said. Walden sketched the prom dress she was going to wear before she decided to wear something else. She likes to design clothing; shirts in particular.
"You see a lot more of the sleazier clothes (today)," she said. "I would probably design longer shirts and stuff like that."
Two students she knows of have gone on to fashion/design schools in California upon graduation.
Wells said she believes many more have gone into cosmetology.
"The state department of education is making some changes in the FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) upper-level classes," Wells said. "They want the students to be enrolled for two years or two hours, where right now we only do a one-hour program. This means we are going to need to cut the different types of programs Payson High School can offer because there are just not enough hours in the school day."
Because of the upcoming changes, this weekend's fashion show is the last on the immediate horizon.