Recycled+Fashions+Take+to+the+Runway


Photos by Matthew Dewald

What comes to mind when you hear the words Recycled Fashion? Goodwill? Salvation Army? D.I.Y.? During the May 6th Gallery Walk in Bay City, your ideas about recycled fashion may be turned upside down by the creations of local artisans who will repurpose such materials as old scraps of fabric, paper and plastic, and less likely apparel materials. Weather permitting, the show will take place beginning at 6 p.m. outside of The Pere Marquette Depot in downtown Bay City. In case the brisk spring weather makes Marilyn Monroe subway-grate-like episodes a potential modesty hazard, the show will move inside the depot. Either way, Flint indie rockers Morseville Bridge will provide a sonic backdrop .

The line-up for the show features work from seamstress Elisa Spyker, owner of Morgana Fae Designs; Amanda Derocher of AwaketheEarth, and Erin Case of E., who organizes various concerts and events around Mid-Michigan, among others. Let's hear what these do-it-yourself designers have to say about their work:

Textile waste claims millions of cubic tons of landfills every year, but everything, down to the tiniest scrap and fiber, can be reused. Running my own sewing business has shown me firsthand that waste is unnecessary, and every scrap can be turned into a beautiful creation. Any fabric can be transformed into a garment—even old curtains, a tablecloth, scarves, pillowcases. The possibilities are endless. Even taking something you haven't worn in forever becomes new with a little imagination and a needle and thread.—Elisa Spyker

I think conservation is very important in our world today, but not practiced a fraction as much as it should be. People use things and then throw them away even when they’re still useful. Factories all over the world keep churning out things that have been made a million times before, and in a world with a population quickly creeping up to almost 7 billion people I think the entire planet needs to reconsider their ways of consumption and disposal. I was raised with a very D.I.Y. initiative, and I don’t think that’s something I could change even if I wanted to. I love being able to take objects that have been long forgotten by their original owners and giving them a new life for someone who will once again love them. I can never help but wonder who owned those objects before, where they wore them, and why they discarded them. For this year's show, I plan on using a lot of repurposed scarves, slips, fabrics, handkerchiefs, and ribbons. – Amanda Derocher

I'm really excited for this year's recycled fashion show. We have acquired sponsorship from Goodwill and are going to have a significantly higher number of designers participating than last year, so there will be many different takes on recycled fashion. Some designers will be using refurbished fabrics, some using recycled household goods, and some using what was once considered trash. I haven't really decided what angle I'm going to approach this collection with. I've been playing around with the idea of dresses made from scratched up record albums, and barbwire. Last year I used a variety of materials including garbage bags and aluminum foil, and I made a dress out of live flowers. I'll probably end up using a variety of materials again. Generally my designs have sort of a 1966 feel to them, but for this show I'm planning to go a little out of my comfort zone and bring some futuristic and rustic elements into the designs.—Erin Case

© Jeanne Lesinski, 2010