For those of you who are just joining the conversation, this is Part 2 of my story about a bubble wrap wedding dress that I designed for the Seattle ReStore's 10th Annual Trash Fashion Show. Why did I do this?
The story actually begins last year when my friend Tina Witherspoon, of glam.spoon fame, invited me to join her for the Seattle ReStore's 9th Annual Trash Fashion Show. Tina is an accomplished designer and always has her finger on the pulse of fashion in Seattle. (If you're not already following her blog, you should be!) I knew whatever this event turned out to be, it would be fun to go with Tina. Long story short, I had so much fun at the event that I left wanting very badly to be a part of the next year's event. Surely, I could make a dress out of trash...no sewing, just tape and staples right? How hard could it be?
Fast forward to February 2011. The tweet went out that the ReStore was accepting submissions for this year's show. I immediately set to work on concepting a design. (If you missed it, Mail Order Bride: Inspiration covers the design inspiration piece of this story and the creation process was documented via my Facebook page. Feel free to check those out for the back story and "before" photos.)
Although I had been hording coffee bags for a year, in anticipation of this event, I went with bubble wrap instead because I just had so dang much of it. The long pieces I had would be perfect for a train or veil...the possibilities for draping were great and I knew I could get serious volume with little effort. The bodice was trickier, but luckily, I have a dress form and figured out how to use it to make a pattern. In all, I was able to pull the dress together in about two weeks. Not as easy as I had thought it would be, but not so hard that I didn't enjoy the challenge.
Once I had submitted my design photos, I had to wait to find out if my dress would be chosen for the show. I'm not a terribly patient person, so the waiting was especially hard for me. When the e-mail finally came telling me that my dress had been accepted, I was excited and terrified...because now I had to actually get up and model this thing! In front of people!
The day of the show, we all arrived at the NY Fashion Academy in Ballard for rehearsal, hair and makeup. My good friend Andrea came with me for moral support and to help tape me into my dress. She also turned out to be very good at procuring extra glasses of vino for yours truly. (Nerves, people!) There I am, below, at the rehearsal with only half my dress on. Ooh la la!
Finally, the gods and goddesses of natural beauty arrived from my all-time favorite spa, Habitude, to help us make the most of our natural good looks. (wink. wink.) This guy did my hair...
And this gal did my makeup. She informed me when I sat down in her chair that she had seen me earlier and really wanted to do my makeup. She had a vintage vision, so I told her to run with it.
Meanwhile, the crowds were arriving downstairs...if I wasn't already married to this guy, he certainly would have caught my eye sitting there in the front row. ;)
And then there was this little cutie who snuck up to the dressing room to wish me luck...if she wasn't already mine, I would have definitely scooped her up along with that good-lookin' bald guy in the white shirt. ;)
Ok people, showtime and the big reveal...
I think I got the most comments about my "sequin" collar and my junk mail bouquet. The collar was made from packing peanuts which I squished flat, cut into circles and then sewed by hand to a fused bubble wrap base. Squishing the peanuts was my daughter's idea, so I must give credit to her for that fabulous flash of inspiration.
The flowers were made from blue security envelope liners...I'll do a separate post about those for anyone who wants to know how I made them. I tossed them all into the crowd at the end of the show...still hoping no one got poked in the eye!
Overall, the experience was AMAZING. I can't wait to do it again next year. All of the people I met were incredibly warm and friendly. Experience levels ranged from first-timers, like myself, to seasoned trash fashionista pros. The designs were incredible and I loved that the designers were regular people who came together from every field imaginable... finance to restaurants to medicine to architecture...to make art from trash. The creativity was astounding and learning how each piece was made was fascinating.
Words can't really do them justice, so here are some of my favorite pieces from the show...
So a big huge THANK YOU to Tina Witherspoon, for introducing me to trash fashion and another one to my dear friend Andrea Craven for holding my hand, taping me in to my dress and helping me calm nerves.
Penn Miniken is a local Seattle photographer-blogger who shot the pre-show and the catwalk. You can see his full coverage of the event at Face52.org. My hubby liked the photo Penn took of our daughter so much that he bought me a print for Mother's Day...turned out gorgeous! Thanks, Penn!
Seattle photographer Michael Cline also captured the runway magic. You can see more of his event photos on Flickr.... Michael managed to take more than a few pictures of me that I like enough to share on the internet...a rare feat indeed!... so thank you for those!
Fellow east-coast native, photographer John Cornicello, set-up a mobile studio to formally document each design. You can see more of his stunning photos on his website, photos.Cornicello.com and on Facebook. Thanks for the shot of Andrea and I together...that was super sweet of you to do!
This story will continue for a few more posts so that I can talk about Robin Worley, Haute Trash Diva extraordinaire and the Haute Trash organization that produced this fashion show with the ReStore. I'll also be sharing some tips for turning your trash into gorgeous, functional DIY projects that you can make at home.