Annie Kolesa did something on Saturday she hadn’t done before.
The 26-year-old preschool teacher modeled in the spring fashion show sponsored by Collinsville Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus.
She and eight other women stopped by Christopher and Banks or CJ Banks at St. Clair Square earlier in the week to choose a casual outfit and a dressy one to show off at Saturday’s spring brunch.
Annie, who is tall and thin, had fun pairing stretchy black leggings with a loose-fitting black top that had black and white chevron side panels. The dressier look involved black and white crepe dot pants topped with a butter yellow satin shell and a gauzy shawl.
“Both are something I would wear for different occasions,” said Annie, who teaches at St. Boniface in Edwardsville. “The casual one I would wear to work. The more dressy, I would wear to church or a brunch.”
Her mom, Edna Guithues, also took part in the show.
“She was in Christopher and Banks and I was in CJ,” said Edna. “It was funny. We did pick out the same outfits — the same shirt in a different color. We have the same taste. I raised her right.”
Edna went with navy capris and a lime tee, topped by a lime blousy top with a tie front. Her dressy look was white slacks and a navy and white striped jacket over a yellow shell.
One by one, the models took center stage as Amy Kinsella, assistant manager at Christopher and Banks’ Fairview Heights store, described the outfits.
As Edna paraded onto the stage, Amy said: “Edna has returned to show off our striped boatneck tee. This tee is designed for the sleeves to be down or rolled up. Nautical is in style this year and this tee pins down the maritime look with its classic stripes and boatneck.”
Then, Edna was off to give the audience — 200 strong — a chance to see the outfit up close.
The fashion show is one of the ways the social and charitable Auxiliary raises money. They sell pie at Collinsville KC fish fry and cheesecake at Italian Fest. They raffle holiday and spring baskets.
“One of our charitable projects is Tote Me Home,” Auxiliary President Judy Falline announced to the group. Every Friday during the school year, members gather at Collinsville Area Ministerial Alliance food pantry and pack a tote bag of food for the weekend for Collinsville Unit 10 needy students. The mission aids and supports 90 students.
The Auxiliary, celebrating its 25th year, also supports Priorist School in Appalachia, Mission of Moms, Sts. Peter and Paul building fund and Faith in Action.
That morning, Knights of Colmbus men cooked and served brunch.
“Be kind,” said Judy. “They are volunteers. We want them back next year.”
The models dressed in a meeting room, equipped with long tables and a standing mirror.
Emma Payne, 75, put on comfortable jeans, then checked a mirror to see how they looked.
“Nice fit,” she said, deciding they would likely be part of her wardrobe.
Mary Lowe, 37, a Collinsville special ed teacher, chose sleeveless tops. One was a dressy dotted style with sequins; the other an abstract patterned tank with knotted detail at the neckline.
“I was just looking for something springy to possibly wear in summer, too,” she said. “I like to wear capris.”
Mary Louise Rauh liked a bright pink jacket with little white squares.
“They do have stylish clothes for all types of figures,” she said.
That sentiment echoed around the room. Many of the women planned to take advantage of the 40 percent clothes discount they received for modeling, including mother and daughter Edna Guithues and Annie Kolesa.
“I shop there all the time anyway,” said Edna.