ScienceWorks ready for big runway show

Sharon Javna has never walked a runway as a model. That will change when she models her little black dress with sparkly fabric in "The Science of the Runway," a benefit for ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum on Sunday, July 24.

Javna is one of 15 women who have purchased gowns to model in the interactive show, in which the audience can witness final hair and makeup styling before the women enter on a red carpet with paparazzi popping photos.

"I'm not what you call a classic model, but I am pretty tall," said Javna, ScienceWorks co-founder and board member. "I'm going to have a good time with it."

The show came about after Javna saw a runway show put on by dress designer Joe Dunbar of Talent in the sculpture studio next to his shop.

"I saw his show and I thought it was immensely creative and fun, so I wanted to do something like that with ScienceWorks," said Javna.

"We talked about making it an interactive runway show," said Dunbar. "I presented the idea, they loved it and they booked it."

Dunbar and designers who work with him have created dresses that the women can keep or donate for auction at the end of the evening.

Professional models who also will be in the show will give runway walk lessons.

There will be a 6-year-old in the show, but other participants range from 12 into the mid-50s, said Dunbar. It will be the first runway experience for a least half of them, he said.

Dunbar created the evening gown that Miss Oregon Outstanding Teen Alexi Provost-Shean, a St. Mary's School student, wore in the state competition. She will model it during the event. Miss Oregon C.C. Barber wore Dunbar's creations in the 2010 Miss American pageant.

"This isn't just my personal show," said Dunbar. "We are building this as a design house so we actually have other designers work under my name."

Lyane Williams will have four dresses in the show, Pheadra Harris will have a couple and Dunbar's apprentice, Linnea Fong, will have two designs.

All of the designers make their own patterns and sew the garments.

"I got to help pick the fabric and have some input," said Javna. "I've never had a dress custom made. That's part of the fun of it."

Styles range from little black dresses and party dresses to formal evening gowns. Prices ranged from $250 up to $500 for most of the garments. There's also a couple of $1,500 gowns, a $2,500 dress and a $4,000 garment in the show.

Displays will include sketches and photos, fabrics, pattern pieces and a start-to-finish construction exhibit.

A reception with wine, cheese and desserts will begin at 5 p.m. The fashion show takes place from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for general seating and $30 for limited VIP seating adjacent to the runway.

Tickets can be purchased online at For more details call 541 482-6767.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at

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