Step-by-step: fashion show

Get pupils to strut their stuff down the catwalk and give budding designers the chance to shine in a school fashion show

Fashion shows have proven to be a profitable fundraiser at both primary and secondary schools. The beauty of this event is you can tailor it to suit your needs. Keep it simple by booking a company to run the show for you, with clothes available to buy afterwards. Secondary school PTAs may want to work with teaching staff to run a fashion show exhibiting the results of a textiles project. And drama students can give your event some couture catwalk pizzazz with dramatic lighting! However you do it, a fashion show promises to be a great night out for parents and pupils!

What you’ll need

  • A reasonable-sized hall – book school halls early. You will also need some nearby classrooms for models to get changed in and where hair and make-up artists can work their magic.
  • Most importantly you’ll need models! If using a fashion show company, they can advise you on numbers required. You may need willing parents (as well as pupils) – these may be trickier to find!
  • Sturdy staging blocks for your catwalk.
  • Seating for your audience.
  • PA system and music to accompany the models.

Costs and profits

  • Ask local hairdressing salons and beauticians whether they can provide their services for free.
  • Sell tickets in advance, giving priority to families of your models. Sell tickets online.
  • Provide a bar as well as soft drinks. Remember, a TEN is required if selling alcohol – see our at-a-glance licensing guide for more details.
  • Source raffle prizes – find how to write letters to businesses.

Volunteers needed

  • You’ll need a small team before and after the event to help with setting up and clearing away.
  • A few volunteers will be needed on the door to sell/check tickets, and serve refreshments.
  • If running the event yourself, you’ll need a willing compere and someone else to look after backing music.
  • You’ll need a few volunteers backstage helping children to get changed. These people should have DBS checks in place.
  • Someone selling raffle tickets.

Publicising the event

  • Publicise the event with posters on notice boards, in newsletters and via school and PTA websites.

Success story

‘It was very easy to organise and extremely popular. 90 children applied to take part, and we had to do a lucky dip in class to get it down to 50! A local dance group, KS Dance, perform before the show, whilst the children were getting ready. We organised the children into groups of six, and they walked down the catwalk in pairs. We encouraged them to give it some attitude and swagger! The kids loved getting all dressed up – it was a very popular event. For the raffle we concentrated on getting a few high-quality prizes like pamper days for mums and daughters. We only have 200 children in the school, but the amount of parents that came was astounding and we raised £723 profit on the night. It was a great fundraiser and not much effort.’

Fiona McRae, PTA treasurer, Roseburn Primary School, Edinburgh


For more information

The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.