CHATHAM, NJ - There are two challenges associated with the Chatham High School PTO's "Catwalk 2019 Road Trip". The first was to get one of the 16 coveted spots available for the seventh annual fashion design competition.

"We opened up the registration at 11 a.m. and it was filled by 11:03 with 15 girls on the waiting list," said Cathy Hackett, who is running the event with fellow PTO member Sheri Omelczuk. "It's a recreation of Project Runway. We have freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. People who have never sewn before and others who have done it for four years."

In addition to the challenge of gaining entry into the contest, the challenge to the Catwalk 2019 Road Trip contestants is to make a design that best reflects the nickname of the state they pulled out of a hat. Catwalk is a prelude to the annual Fashion Show held each spring.

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"Each picked a state to piggyback on the big Fashion Show's "Road Trip" theme and make a design that best reflects the state's motto," Hackett said.

The girls also have randomly been assigned CHS models to show off their designs 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 at Chatham High School. The winner's design will be included in the annual Fashion Show.

Senior Isabel Sitar learned to sew from teacher Pam McHugh in her Family and Consumer Science class at the Chatham Middle School, and she's used those skills in the Catwalk competition for four years.

"I'm actually going to school next year for fashion design," Sitar said. "This kind of influenced my decision. I really like clothes and sewing. I'm interested in the international merchandising side of it."

Sitar already is part of the CHS Catwalk Hall of Fame for winning the 2017 contest when she was a sophomore, designing a houndstooth skirt, matched with a white blouse and light blue jacket. This year she's designing an outfit to reflect the "Constitution State" of Connecticut.