14 April 2011

A Runway Success!

I just got back from the sweetest event to benefit the Boulder Valley School District's School Food Project: "Recycled to Runway," a fashion show by kids in a class at Common Threads who made their clothes out of trash. Anthropologie hosted the event, delicious food was catered by Whole Foods, and some very nice wines were donated by Frasca Food and Wine and The Kitchen.

Most of the girls were a little keyed-up and rushed up and down the runway. The MC repeatedly had to ask them to stick around at the end of the runway for a second and turn around once more, and it was great when they stayed to chat a little or answer a question about their process. Waylon Lewis, editor of Elephant Magazine, asked one of the designers, “Is your dress comfortable?” and got an honest answer: “No, not at all.”

Watching them zoom up the runway and back in their creations I thought how brave they all were. Even the designers competing on Project Runway didn't have to model their own fashions like these kids were doing!

A couple of the dresses were made with colorful candy wrappers, one was ingeniously decorated with Izze cans cut into interesting shapes, and another girl who said she was “inspired by prom dresses, and really nice dress-up dresses,” wore a gown made of plastic trash bags and dryer sheets, and carried a clutch made of gift cards, the magnetic-stripe kind. “It was hard to use the hot gun just right,” she said. “Too hot and you'd melt a hole in the dress. If it wasn't hot enough, the bags wouldn't stick.”

Another girl, wearing a well constructed dress made of brightly colored plastic shopping bags from Whole Foods said, “I broke three needles making this.” One described her material as “food boxes.” A high school boy used layered newspapers and paint to create an interesting, fashion-forward, graphic tunic shirt with a laced spine and wings painted on either side. One girl made a cocktail dress decorated abundantly with loops of VHS tape for a fabulous spangly effect (her clutch was a VHS cartridge—awesome!). Can you tell a) who I hoped would win (I couldn't help it: girl with the spangly VHS tape dress) and b) that I left early, before the winner was announced?