Arts & Entertainment

LA County juvenile hall girls get makeovers, fashion show

A girl getting a makeover at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall
A girl getting a makeover at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall
Corey Bridwell/KPCC

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About 50 teenage girls spent their Friday afternoon being meticulously prepped for an evening fashion show. Three stylists hovered around each girl, frantically painting nails, straightening hair and curling eyelashes.

Students and teachers from beauty colleges across L.A. compared notes on which girl was an autumn and what kind of up-do worked with which extensions.

The setting? The Los Angeles County Probation Department. And the teens undergoing intense makeovers? They're all current residents of Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall.

"I like working with teen girls," said Jovanna Moss, director of the Pacific Beauty College of L.A. "I asked them if I could do a fashion show... I don't think they knew to what degree."

The Los Angeles County Probation Department, in collaboration with volunteer hair, fashion and make-up artists, hosted a fashion show Friday as the grand finale event of a week-long program aimed at empowering young women currently being held at the facility.

Moss, who came up with the idea, says the makeovers are really about making the girls feel "empowered from the inside out."

All 50 girls were selected by the Hall to participate, based on good behavior. Girls were led into the multipurpose room in small groups, where representatives from three different beauty schools did their make-up, hair and nails in preparation for an evening fashion walk in the gym.

The theme? "Viva Glam/Valentine's Day" — designed to feel like a homecoming dance, complete with paper catwalk, a fancy dinner, place cards ("Reserved for the Divas") and, of course, evening colors.

"The colors are black, white and pink," explains Moss, "which represents for me beauty and glam and diva. And Valentine's."

Moss hopes to make the makeover/fashion show a yearly collaboration between the Probation Department and her beauty school.