Under eaves of stretched canvas, eight Festival of Arts exhibitors displayed elaborate couture of recycled materials, a runway event that pulled celebrity hosts, prominent judges, and local models together for the sake of reclaimed fashion.
At the third annual event, hordes of elegantly-clad patrons “oohed” and “aahed” at haute couture made of at least 80% recycled material ranging from caution tape to beach sand.
“This was a very big sewing lesson for me. I learned how to actually follow a pattern, sew it together and use a zipper,” said Neely, whose usual art form is jewelry. “Alicia and I went through 70 to 80 fashion magazines to get the right color.” The creation, titled “Novella” took a week to complete and received second place in the competition.
Dagmar Chaplin, in her third year as a fashion show designer, was inspired by the Festival’s theme of make believe when she crafted the idea to use a Laguna Beach legend as her muse. According to local folklore, a sea nymph rescued a ship’s captain from a shipwreck and they fell in love, however he remained on land and she returned to her aquatic life, doomed to wander the bays of Laguna broken-hearted. In an ensemble made mostly of old t-shirts and hospital garments, laundry bags, bamboo, seashells and sand, model Sophie Higuchi expressed her embodiment of the character when she said, “I feel like a mermaid.”
Rocking the runway with their Elizabethan-punk design, Janet Lewis and Elizabeth McGhee creation infused English renaissance with modern gothic garb, spawning a dress reminiscent of a sinister Lewis Carroll character directly from Wonderland. Taking third place, the re-recycled dress was composed of materials from their previous year’s entry including oddities such as corks, bottle caps, window screens, coffee filters, and a weather-beaten flag pole.
“I would wear this dress to a very fancy cocktail party in 1987. I would rock it!” model Jessica Arsenian said about designer Brittany Ryan’s glimmering and geometric party dress. Her inspiration: the logo from the festival itself, black and gold, molded into high fashion couture with a high collar, a geometric midsection and the textured gilded shopping bag as a fabric substitute.
Elsberry said his design that took a week and a half to complete, including a 12-hour night of labor he endured before the show. Elsberry’s design won first place and the People’s Choice Award.
Hayley Toler is a Cal State Fullerton history and anthropology major.Firebrand Media LLC wants comments that advance the discussion, and we need your help to accomplish this mission. Debate and disagreement are welcomed on our platforms but do it with respect. We won't censor comments we disagree with. Viewpoints from across the political spectrum are welcome here. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, our community is not obliged to host all comments shared on its website or social media pages, including:
- Hate speech that is racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic slurs, or calls for violence against a particular type of person.
- Obscenity and excessive cursing.
- Libelous language, whether or not the writer knows what they're saying is false.
Scroll down to comment on this post.