In an era of dress code controversies in high schools across the nation, girls at Ida Crown Jewish Academy turned that struggle on its head with the girls’ fashion show March 1. The girls showed an audience of nearly 400 women and girls from across the community that modesty can be approachable, empowering and fun.
A few students and staff last year initially launched ICJA Takes the Runway as a creative way to showcase students’ talents and to encourage girls to be proud of dressing modestly.
The fashion show was an opportunity for girls to embrace the Jewish ideas on modesty while still showing personality and teenage style. Outside consultants from Nordstrom, Stella & Dot and LulaRoe all worked with teams of students to create outfits, makeup, jewelry and hairstyles that showcase teen fashion trends. The show for women only included a dance and music demonstration, a professional-quality fashion magazine, runway modeling and a fashion boutique. The vast majority of the school’s female students worked tirelessly for months to create the professional-quality show. Watch a video from this year’s publicity committee on the process of putting together the show.
Proceeds went to an organization in Israel, Yad Eliezer Adopt a Wedding Fund, assisting poor brides to fund their weddings. The students raised $5,400 to “adopt” one bride’s complete wedding in Israel.
Zoe Wolmark, senior, says the program was a fabulous opportunity for girls to focus on the arts and unity. “This is our way to come together and show our talents and focus on something outside of academics. Girls are playing piano, singing in choir, dancing and writing for a magazine.”
Wolmark says she and other students felt empowered by the fashion show, learning that “it’s possible to be modest in modern world and still be trendy. All these designers come and show us fun, stylish clothing that incorporates our values.”
Freshman Ayelet Cohen says, “My favorite part was being a stylist because I was able to put together modest outfits for the models to wear because they were with many different cool brands.”
Sophomore Anna Jacoby says, “Being a part of this show helped me understand how much of an effect teamwork has. All the girls came together to create this show and help out however they can, even if they were not on that specific committee, which was so amazing to see. Every girl contributed in their unique way to ensure this show becomes the most incredible night!”