Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fifth Annual Recycled Materials Runway Event.

Winning Designs

This past Saturday evening, October 22, 2011, marked the date of the Fifth Annual Recycled Materials Runway Event, hosted at the prestigious California Center for the Arts in Escondido. After taking a photo on the red carpet, guests were ushered into a large gallery setting. Guests were able to peruse the numerous sculptures created by local artists, such as stilettos crafted out of second-hand metals, nails, fishhooks, and thimbles—not the ideal footwear for strutting the catwalk, but certainly ideal for entertaining the eyes. Once the gallery was browsed, the delicious treats provided by Tango Restaurant were consumed, and the lights were dimmed, the runway event commenced. The stark-white room that held the catwalk was buzzing with anticipation as writers, judges, and fashion admirers took their seats. Wendy Wilson Gibson, the director of Municipal Gallery, and host, Julianne Jones, took to the end of the catwalk in their own versions of recycled couture, describing the progression of the evening.
It was then time for the models to take the spotlight, with each girl donning a garment constructed entirely out of used materials and with hair and makeup provided by Studio 158. Fashion designers from all over the state of California gathered to display their craftsmanship that looked more like works of art than typical runway fashion. Using items such as chip bags, lufas, shopping bags, Styrofoam, vintage buttons, cardboard, bottle caps, sails, and much more, these designers were able to create numerous looks that astounded the audience and commanded applause. The event was even graced by the presence of international fashion designer, Francisco Medavog, who has recently displayed his couture looks in New York and Los Angeles fashion weeks and amazed the audience with intricately constructed looks from his collection, “1000 Found DC Comics.” The grand finale of braided, taped, wrapped, and hand-constructed fashion strut down the runway, giving the audience one last chance to grab a glance and snap a picture of their favorite looks before the judges announced the winners. Third place went to “Autumn Leaves”, by designer Kathryn Peterson. This look was made completely out of 8,000 hand-cut grocery bag “leaves”, hand-painted to look like a cluster of leaves changing their colors in the fall. Second place went to designer Nic Griffin’s “Pallet Wrap Princess”, made entirely out of pallet wrap. The pallet wrap was braided, fluffed, and flowed to feature a fitted bodice and princess silhouette. First place went to Shaun Muscolo’s look, “Polyethylene Lace Party Dress”, made from six-pack rings and polyethylene packaging. This winning look was fashioned in a fitted, mini-dress style with six-pack ring plastic placed around the dress to evoke the illusion of delicate lace.

With recycled materials instead of fabric, the designers proved that wearable fashion does not have to come straight off the rack at a department store; it can be found in hardware shops, recycling bins, and even the dumpster. This is not to encourage the fashion-conscious to harbor a new love for dumpster-diving, but this runway event proves small budget partnered with a lavish amount of imagination can result in mobile, original, and wearable works of art.
~ Megan Marrs

ArtsNFashion Magazine www.artsnfashion.com


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