In fashion and budget

Kmart in Burbank earlier this month invited tweens, teens and their parents to check out its exclusive new lines of back-to-school fashions for families on a budget with all the glitz and glam of a New York designer fashion show.

The commentator was Nick Verreos, who has appeared on Bravo's "Project Runway," served as a red carpet fashion expert and gown designer to the stars.

The new girls' lines — Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez, Audrina Patridge for Bongo and Rebecca Bonbon — have been added to the racks alongside Route 66 and others.

Verreos had pulled together several outfits combining designer pieces and accessories and shoes that cost between $36 and $70. They were modeled by professional models and volunteers from the audience.

"The fashions are priced perfectly for moms on a budget, and in addition they give you great style," Verreos said. "Kids want to look cool and hip, and sometimes those two words are misleading because you think cool plus hip equals expensive, and it doesn't have to."

The line features back-to-school items that will take them from school to afterschool hanging out with friends, movies and shopping, he added. There are tunics belted over leggings, or the season's newest pant — jeggings, a skinny, stretchy jean worn with knee-high or ankle boots.

It's all about layering, Verreos said.

Accessories complete the outfits, and this season Verreos said big bags and boys' hats are cool.

"These items make a statement, and kids want to make a statement," he said. "They want to individualize their looks."

The Audrina Patridge for Bongo line is a little more rocker girl with

a lot of military inspired jackets, flowy tops and vests over T-shirts and jeggings.

Rebecca Bonbon line is a mix of short skirts and T-shirts paired with bobby socks and Converse tennis shoes and feature the Hello Kitty graphics.

For boys, Verreos paired Route 66 board shorts mixed with plaid shirts or hoodies over long-sleeve T-shirts. A bonus this season is the combination shirt and hoodie sold together for one price, he said.

Dawn Trier brought her daughter, Courtney Bolin, 12, who is going into eighth grade at Toll Middle School in Glendale.

"I want to get skinny jeans and lots of graphic Ts," Courtney said.

Courtney's friend, Paris Zadoorian, also in the eighth grade at Toll, looked for sportier looks, she said.

"I like sneakers — Converse tennis shoes — I dress definitely like a tomboy," she said.

Alicia Bautista of Burbank was checking out sales on backpacks, jeans and shoes for her son, Diego Herrera, 7, a second-grader at Providencia Elementary School.

"I'm a single mom, so I'm looking for a good price," she said.

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