EDISON PARK — A fashion show set for Saturday will show women how to look hot — while packing heat.
"We're trying to show a different, positive side of gun ownership," said Karen Bartuch, an Edison Park resident who owns AlphaGirls, a self-defense and training school for women.
Heather Cherone joins DNAinfo Radio to chat about the Firearms & Fashion Show:
The models will wear holsters designed by Marilyn Smolenski, of Edgebrook.
And the goods at her company, Nickel & Lace, definitely are "not your Daddy's holster."
The holsters, which are shapewear camisoles with special pouches for guns, are designed to give women "a feeling of femininity, empowerment and style, while allowing them to discreetly carry" guns, according to the Nickel & Lace website.
Of course, for those without a concealed-carry permit, the holsters — which cost $77.95 — can be used to stash a cellphone, ID or credit card during a night out.
Bartuch, a former Chicago police officer, said the show has been unfairly criticized for celebrating guns at a time when shootings have claimed about 100 lives so far this year and injured many more in Chicago.
"We have good intentions," Bartuch said. "We're not gun nuts."
The show is designed to "spark a discussion" and help women evaluate their safety, Bartuch said.
"Last year, the firearms people got into the fashion, and the fashion people got into the firearms," Bartuch said. "We want to educate and inform people about how to stay safe in a city that can be very violent in certain places."
Tickets for the show, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Firewater Saloon, 6689 N. Oliphant Ave., are $50, and include a $10 raffle ticket benefiting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
"I can't think of a better cause," Bartuch said.
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