Thousands of sequins and rhinestones caught the light as Billie Kaye Gavin-Tygart and Lezlie Duncan sorted through a kaleidoscope of formal wear Tuesday.
The two ladies, members of group of friends known as The 80s Ladies, arranged the dresses on clothing racks in the bar area at Six Degrees of Celebration. A few they draped across an armoire, cascades of crimson fabric mingling with an orange feather boa. A few pairs of shiny high-heels completed the effect.
On May 4, The 80s Ladies will open the Fairy Godmother’s Closet to girls from Del Norte and Sunset high schools and Castle Rock Charter School who will be attending their prom on June 2, Duncan said. The event will coincide with the Downtown Divas’ Live from Downtown — It’s First Friday! event, she said.
There will be several open boutiques next month for Del Norte County’s young women to select a free dress that’s right for them, Duncan said. Girls can also make appointments to select and try on dresses in private, she said.
“We want them to have an experience that so many of them aren’t able to have,” Duncan said. “All they have to have is a student ID. We’re just limiting one dress per girl. There’ll be a dressing room for them to try on their dresses, and certainly if they want to keep their dresses for the memories, they’re welcome to do that, if they would like to donate it back to create more memories for future years, they’re also welcome to do that.”
The 80s Ladies is a group of 12 friends who graduated from Del Norte High School in 1984 and 1985 and spend a weekend away together every year, Duncan said. They began meeting monthly in preparation for a class reunion and began discussing ways they could give back to the community.
The 80s Ladies include Laura Benson, Haley Bohannon, Marcy Bradbury, Lisa Gottwals, Charlene Knowlton, Rachelle Lobre, Natalie Lopez, Valerie Starkey, Tammy Wakefield, Debra Wright, Gavin-Tygart and Duncan.
Duncan said the group of women include local businesses owners, teachers and other professionals.
At the group’s most recent getaway the women agreed to bring ideas with a focus on giving back to the community, Duncan said.
“Everything circled around doing something for the young women in our community,” she said. “We were actually going to mull it over and try and get something going in the fall and two people had talked about the prom dress thing. We didn’t really think it would go this fast...”
About a week ago, The 80s Ladies did a community callout for prom dresses, jewelry, handbags, shawls, shoes and gift certificates to restaurants, florists and salons. These items will be accepted through prom, Duncan said.
In addition to making clothing racks for the dresses, Duncan said The 80s Ladies will hold a work party this weekend to steam clean and mend them.
“We’re really hoping it’s something they would let their own daughter wear to prom,” Duncan said of the dresses the group she’s with is looking for. “With that said, there are so many shapes, styles and so many choices and they have different tastes, we are really open to all kinds of formals.”
People can drop off dresses, accessories and gift certificates at Six Degrees of Celebration, 783 Third Street in Crescent City or can call 707-218-6402 for pick-up.
The first open boutique will be held 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on May 4 at Six Degrees of Celebration. To schedule an appointment, call 707-218-6402.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at firstname.lastname@example.org .