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These teens are runway ready

Many teenage girls dream of becoming a model, but there are a few high school girls here in Charleston who are living that dream. The West Virginia Symphony League selected eight teens to participate in its annual fashion show on Wednesday.

"Teens are an important part of the fashion show's history," said Crystal Good, co-chair of the show. "Louise Palumbo ran a similar show for years. She chose a select group of girls from the Stone & Thomas teen board to model. We are just continuing the tradition.

"This year we had an open model call, which meant anyone could come try out," she added. "We were looking for inner and outer beauty. They needed to be able to walk the walk and model, but also represent their community well."

The Symphony League has been producing the fashion show for more than 50 years as a benefit for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. This year's theme is "Let the Good Times Roll," and the show takes place at Smith Company Motor Cars

The eight teens selected for the show are George Washington students Amber Biel, 14, a freshman; Amelia Edmondson, 15, a freshman; Blaire Rigney, 18, a senior and Caroline Walker, 18, a senior, as well as Montana Barker, 18, a senior at Clay County High School; Taylor Deer, 18, a senior at Charleston Catholic High School; Olivia Morrison, 16, a junior at Hurricane High School and Frannie Slotnick, 17, a senior at South Charleston High School.

"I like to model and thought this fashion show was a great opportunity," Edmonson said.

In September, Edmondson won Charleston Town Center's Project Style competition and is the face of the mall this year. She has participated in the Goodwill fashion show, too.

Barker has also already done some modeling. Last year, she was chosen as Gladys magazine's Gladys Girl of the Year and is featured on the cover of its current issue.

All the girls had different reasons for trying out. "I thought it was for a good cause, and I just love to be in the spotlight," Deer said.

Slotnick stated, "I watched the show last year and thought it would be fun."

Several of the girls dream of becoming professional models.

"It has always been my dream to become a model," Morrison said.

"Whenever I get out of high school, I'd love to move to New York or Florida to model," said Edmondson, whose mother is a former model.

On March 1, the girls got an early start with their modeling when they attended a photo shoot at Bluegrass Kitchen. (Barker was absent.) They were dressed in attire from the local stores Mission Savvy and Collage and had their makeup done by aesthetician Erica Burdette. They were photographed by Emily Sotomayor, a senior at Charleston Catholic High School.

Tickets to the show are sold out, but you can contact Melissa Marland at 304-925-5017 to be put on a waiting list.


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