The Princess Project

A "Project Runway" type event held in San Diego was a "who's who" of local fashionistas.

The city’s trendiest took over the rooftop bar of the Soloman Hotel on Saturday, to benefit the Princess Project, a new San Diego charity that will provide prom dresses to high school girls who could not otherwise afford them. The event was organized by The Collective, a fashion-savvy group of San Diego women that was founded last year by businesswoman Kanani Masterson, fashion stylist Mahjuba Levine and event planner Lisa Kennedy.

Many of the nearly 300 people in attendance brought prom dresses to donate. The event was emceed by NBC 7/39’s Jodi Kodesh and included a silent auction, specialty drinks and a unique fashion show.

First-year students from the local San Diego Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising participated in the show and contest, creating on-the-spot dresses with only material and pins to work with. Within minutes, five mock prom dresses were turning heads, and scrutinized Project Runway-style by four professional judges.

FIDM student Arturo Mendez used tulle, satin, a chain and some pins to create a rock-and-roll inspired frock. His black and blue petite dress nabbed first place in the competition. Paul Hernandez came in a close second, with his classic Grecian, full-length gown.

Every year, The Princess Project seeks and receives thousands of new or nearly new dresses and accessories in excellent condition from individual donors or corporate sponsors. The charity began in San Francisco and only recently branched out to Southern California.

Angela Geisler, co-founder of the new Princess Project San Diego Chapter, said local girls would benefit from the charity this year. Before prom time, underprivileged girls will be invited to shop for dresses and accessories.

Learn more about the Princess Project.

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