A chance for all to be at the ball


With ev­ery ball comes the pres­sure of shop­ping for the right out­fit.

Stu­dents from James Cook High School have cre­ated their own lit­tle shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence on their school’s premises with a ball op­shop.

‘‘You only wear a dress once,’’ year 13 stu­dent Ash­leah Bel­lve says.

She says it’s an op­por­tu­nity for dress own­ers to lend their out­fits, and it’s eas­ier on the pocket for those who choose not to buy a dress to only wear it once.

‘‘I got my dress from last year that just sits in the wardrobe. I don’t think I’ll wear it again,’’ she says.

She plans to lend it out adding to the more than 100 ball gowns, cock­tail dresses and suits that have al­ready been do­nated.

A few girls have al­ready taken some dresses. There haven’t been many boys in yet, but they’re hop­ing that will change in the next cou­ple of weeks.

Ash­leah thinks it would ideal if there was a shop in Manukau that only dealt with bor­row­ing and lend- ing grand out­fits, ‘‘rather than the schools do­ing it’’.

‘‘It would be real cool. I think it would be quite pop­u­lar.’’

An­other year 13 stu­dent, Brenda Paul says: ‘‘Ev­ery day, ev­ery in­ter­val and lunch, girls come in a try them [dresses and shoes] on.’’

‘‘If there are some girls who don’t have the op­por­tu­nity to buy a dress, they can come here and find one.’’

The dresses have to be dry cleaned and re­turned af­ter the ball. The idea is to store the dresses for the ball next year.

Prin­ci­pal Grant McMil­lan says the ini­tia­tive came from stu­dents and has turned out to be ‘‘very suc­cess­ful’’.

They have re­ceived dona­tions from across the coun­try, even ru­ral Can­ter­bury, McMil­lan says.

‘‘We need a bank of things that we can use ev­ery year, and maybe take it across schools in Ma­nurewa.’’

The Manukau In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy has come on board to help with hairstyling.

The school is happy to re­ceive help in any way - dresses, shoes, jew­ellery (ex­cept ear­rings), makeup and hair ser­vices etc.

About 150 to 200 stu­dents from years 12 and 13 are ex­pected to at­tend the evening’s fes­tiv­i­ties on Septem­ber 8 themed, A Night with the Stars.

‘‘Girls who don't have the op­por­tu­nity to buy a dress can come here and find one.’’

*For more in­for­ma­tion about do­nat­ing out­fits for the ball go to face­book.com/jamescookHS.

Brenda Paul

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