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As fashion experts converge in France for Paris Fashion Week, closer to home students will learn to achieve business formal looks at affordable prices.
The fourth annual Fashion on a Budget Show will take place tomorrow, as 10 Lakeland College Business Club students will showcase formal business meeting outfits.
“We want to give students an opportunity to dress professionally, like a business interview or a business event, for a very small budget, because as a student, money can be very tight,” said Isaac Ireland, MC for the night.
The concept came from Ben Acquaye, now the chair of the business school at Lakeland College, four years ago when he brought the idea over from the United Kingdom where he used to teach.
When it first started, the budget was at $25 to find a business outfit. This year the theme is business dinner, and contestants will have a budget of $34.21 as they search for the perfect outfit.
“That includes your shirt, your pants and any accessories you wish to wear – a tie, broach or watch - your shoes, your undergarments and your belt you already have so you don’t have to buy them,” explained Ireland.
Last year, Ireland said the lady who won “best overall female” made her own outfit and it cost her around $17, but contestants don’t have to make their own clothes.
“A lot of people, what they will do, is they will go to second-hand stores like the Olive Tree or if they are in the city they will go to Value Village or something like that and look for their outfits there,” he said.
While time has been winding down, student Christi Hergott said she waited until reading week to get her outfit together as she searched for a good deal.
“Definitely going to second-hand stores and not-for-profit organization stores for starts, and see what I can snag,” Hergott said.
While she said she hasn’t practiced her catwalk just yet, she has been picking out music for her to strut down the walkway too.
“We have been told to pick music (and) get something that is going to set us apart, because it is a competition,” she said. “We have to have a lot of fun up there (and) be distinctive and individual (while) competing against each other and still showing off our outfits that we got for $34.”
There will be a panel of six judges, including Amanda Sexmith, Trisha Le and Stefanee Sjoquist, and participants will be judged in several categories including most exciting to watch, most innovative and most likely to become a CEO.
As for standing out in the competition, Hergott said she was going to channel her personality into her outfit and onstage.
“I’m probably just going to have a lot of fun with it. I’m a person that stands out so I think they will all remember me and hopefully I can think of something fun and exciting,” she said.
While Hergott was waiting to find her outfit, student Jacey Funk had found hers in January when she was looking for another occasion.
“I was just shopping around looking for formal dressing and I saw this really nice $12 dress, and I figured I should get it and I heard about Fashion on a Budget and I thought ‘well that’s what I am using,’” explained Funk.
“I guess the dress found me,” she added.
Explaining her outfit was going to be conservative with a high neckline, hemline below the knees with accessories like a bracelet, earrings and a pashmina, but the most important factor is, it’s comfy.
“It’s very comfy because you don’t want to be in a tight (dress) after a dinner,” she added. “I think they will be pretty surprised that I got this all under, I think I was still $6 under the budget.”
The fashion show will be tomorrow at 6:00 p.m., in the Lakeland College Lloydminster campus cafeteria. Admission into the show is by donation, and patrons are encouraged to donate canned goods and other dry grocery items to help fill the shelves at the Salvation Army Food Bank.