High school models showcase vintage apparel at the Peninsula Prom & Bridal Show at the Peninsula Center Mall.
Prom season on the Kenai Peninsula is a spring board to the bridal bouquets of June and July. So what could be more appropriate than an April Prom & Bridal Show at the Peninsula Center Mall? The event began with a nostalgic blast from the past that drew hundreds to the premier event in Soldotna to see their vintage wedding dresses and handmade prom gowns modeled by local young adults. The production was a joint collaboration between Evy Gebhardt of the Peninsula Clarion, Sue Gill of Alaska’s Hairlines and Sandy Dallman of the Permanent Cosmetics and Scar Center.
The show continued throughout the afternoon and involved several vendors that participated in the event’s fashion show. Apparel was modeled by area young adults and women, and were provided by local shops including: The Passionate Collector, Gottchalks, Etc. by Su, Chez Moi, Claudette’s and Violletta’s. Sue Gill and Sandy Dallman provided hair “up-do’s” and makeup for some of the models. Music and lighting for the show was provided by The Music Smith’s. Something borrowed is important for all weddings, and the stage for the show was borrowed from Skyview High School and the seating from Ron’s Rent-It.
The fashion show brought to life colorful prom dresses, resort and vacation wear, as well as many exquisite bridal gowns, from the very young flower girl, to the mother of the bride, and gowns for all ages. Among the spectators were a number of area women who came to see their own vintage prom and bridal gowns showcased. Some of these gowns were over 50 years old, and each was on display complete with a story board that told the history of the gowns. One of the vintage gowns was a handmade wedding dress worn by several generations and fashioned from a pattern cut out of newspaper. Another was purchased in New York City for the wedding of a young nurse to her high school sweetheart back in 1932.
To add to the sentimentality of the event, one contributor had taken her wedding dress to the locally owned Summit Cleaners to be cleaned prior to the event. It was the first time the gown had been done in over 50 years. Summit took great care with the gown, but the fragile old lace on the neckline disintegrated in the cleaning process. The owner of the gown was very understanding, and knew of the risk from the beginning. She was delighted and thankful when she arrived to pick up her gown at Summit Cleaners and discovered that the folks there had located lace and carefully sewed it back into the neckline of the dress. Additionally, they refused any payment for the cleaning services they had provided. From the many walks down memory lane to the dreams of this year’s prom and bridal season, the Prom & Bridal Show at the Peninsula Center Mall was a sentimental journey that many hope will come again in the future.
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