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American Girl Fashion Show to feature 130 local girls

BY DEVYN YOUNG | MAY 07, 2015 5:00 AM

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From Addy to Samantha to Josefina, the fictional role models of millions of young girls will come to life in Coralville this weekend.

An American Girl Fashion Show will take place Friday and Saturday at the Coralville Center of the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth St. Featuring child and doll models, the event is put on by the Iowa Children’s Museum, and all proceeds from the event are donated to the museum.

The fashion show comes straight from the American Girl Co., including all the dolls and clothes used in the performance. This is the only American Girl Fashion Show in the state.

“The American Girl Doll Co. sends us a script that takes the audience through different dolls and their historical time period and information,” said Iowa Children Museum Executive Director Deb Dunkhase. “The company sends us the actual American Girl dolls used in the fashion show as well as dresses that fit the girls to match the doll.”

More than 130 local girls will model the outfits in the show. Some of the clothes fit historical time periods from colonial times to the 1970s, as well as contemporary styles. In addition, four high-school girls will read the script provided by American Girl.

“[The fashion show] empowers young girls to feel good about themselves,” Dunkhase said. “Every girl that fits the clothes that American Girl sends us can model. The show always gives these girls a boost of empowerment and confidence.”

Jill Donnenwerth, the director of development for Iowa Children’s museum as well is the event coordinator for the fashion show, agreed with Dunkhase.

“We plan the event for a few months out, and when the girls are here and get excited, it’s very fun to see them loving it and having a good time,” Donnenwerth said.

The show is split into two parts, allowing people time to buy American Girl souvenirs in the lobby and participate in the American Girl themed raffles. At the beginning of the second part, there are guest models, girls who either signed up too late or do not fit into one of the two sizes American Girl sends for the show.

“These girls can dress up in whatever they want or wear an American Girl Fashion Show shirt that we provide,” Donnenwerth said.“We just want to include as many girls as possible.”

Last year, approximately 900 people attended the event over the three shows, but Dunkhase said officials expect fewer this year because the show is on Mother’s Day weekend. Some of those attending are getting a special treat.


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