By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

The streets of Paris during fashion week have nothing on the kids from Fremont County as they strutted and bounced around the stage at Heritage Hall at the Fremont County Fairgrounds Wednesday night.

In advance of the 110th Fremont County Fair, the 4-H sewing program was on display for all to see as the girls and boys presented their designs that were either made, modified or simply just modeled by them throughout the show. The designs are often patterns that they found in their mother’s sewing basket or pilfered from grandma’s closet to be changed to “suit” the times. Vibrant colors were not necessarily the norm as some chose to represent muted and softer colors that allow the girls natural beauty and grace to show through. 

Each entrant chose their design early in the year and worked diligently to perfect their skills, accessing help from parent and community volunteers who guide and support them during their design and sewing phases. Each child set a budget and tried to stay within it while accessorizing with fashionable shoes and jewelry.  Some chose to present more than one design to increase their odds of winning one of the many cash and banner prizes. 

One family, who chose to donate a new sewing machine to a particular category, does it to memorialize their daughter, who passed away early in her life, but enjoyed the 4-H experience. The winner of that prize this year was a young man named Gage Jordan. Gage, a 4th grader heading to Rendezvous Elementary School this fall, learned to sew from his mom and created a pair of mens pajamas with a wildlife themed print to wear in the winter when it gets cooler. Gage was hopeful that he could pass on the things he has learned to other kids who are interested in learning the craft. 

As each entrant on stage demonstrated their skills, it looked like their smiles were natural and in no way plastered on as Master of Ceremonies Jeremy Hill described their designs to the audience. Cheers and applause rose after each model finished their walk on the catwalk. At the end of the 45 minute show, awards were presented to each contestant selected by the judging team. For each category, whether casual wear, homecoming dresses, business attire or versatility designs, the show was a success with a feeling of mutual support from all the kids. 

One standout who won a total of 6 categories was Emma Hill. Emma, a sophomore at Riverton High School, has been sewing for 9 years. Her guidance was her father, who inspired her by his own skills as a tailor. Friends and family helped her with the tough stuff like button holes for her 100 percent wool, pale pink, outfit that consisted of a pleated, midi skirt and a tapered, matching jacket with lapels. The outfit was accented with a gold chain clasp in the front, white stockings  and matching pink heels. 

The crowd was mesmerized by the detail and elegance of each design and rewarded the girls and boys with applause. It was a real fashion fantasy come to life on stage in Riverton Wyoming.