Get ready for a blast from the past when the Port Alberni-based Centennial Belles’ Productions brings their vintage fashion show to Parksville.
On Nov. 2, sixteen models will catwalk clothes, including some bridal wear, from the 1920s through to the 1960s.
“The clothes are beautiful,” said Sherry Verdec, who co-ordinated the Belle’s involvement at the Qualicum Beach train station’s 100 year anniversary celebration in earlier this year. Verdec will also be involved at the Parksville show, only this time she’ll be a model. “I heard through the grapevine there’s a Jackie O costume they’re hoping I can wear,” she said.
In fact, according to Tricia Knight, director of Centennial Belles’ Productions, all but three of the pieces Verdec might wear in the fashion show are authentic. In particular, gowns from the ‘20s are too delicate to wear; however, the headdress from that era is authentic.
Alongside the clothes themselves, the event features a running commentary about the fashions. This includes “many facts from history and groundbreaking moments for women in those decades, including but not limited to war brides, women working before, during and after the wars, how the times dictated fashion and conversely how women dictated to the designers and made their preferences known,” explained Knight. There is also a slide show covering styles, fads and events in the five decades presented, as well as music from each era.
The event will have banquet seating, with the models walking on an island ramp in the middle of the tables to ensure no bad seats.
This particular fashion show, with clothes from the ‘20s through to the ‘60s, was first shown in Port Alberni last April.
“We thought, ‘Well, we have the show made,’ so we thought we’d tour up and down the Island,” said Knight. Parksville is the first of many stops on the show’s six- month tour.
And like the show in Port Alberni, the November event in Parksville will do more than just bring vintage to the masses. A percentage of the event’s revenue will also go to local children with cancer. The show in Port Alberni raised $3,000 for children in that community and Knight hopes “to continue with this and allocate funds to those communities we present the shows in.”
“My son had cancer at the age of five and I know from personal experiences the terrible draw it takes on one’s finances,” she said.
The Centennial Belle’s Fashion show will take place Nov. 2 at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. Tickets are on sale now at the Centre for $20 ($25 at the door). Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Included in the price is tea and coffee and desserts served by the Catholic Women’s League of Parksville. There will also be door prizes donated by Benjamin Moore.
For more information about the Belles, visit their website: centennialbelles.com