Recycled Wear: Festival Runway Fashion Show

"Reclaimed, reused, or recycled material" takes the centerstage, in Laguna Beach.

QUIRKY AND CREATIVE: Every so often an article comes along that implores us to "shop our closet." Forgot about that belt you wore to your first interview a decade ago? How about the gloves you rocked at prom? There are typically some funky finds on the back shelf. But what if you shopped within your home but well beyond the confines of the cupboard and drawers that hold your clothing? Could you make a shirt out of coffee filters? Or a skirt from magazine ads? That's the funky aim of the annual Festival of Arts Runway Fashion Show, which is all about togs made out of "reclaimed, reused, or recycled material," material that is sewn or glued or tied together in some creative and often off-the-wall ways. The goal is for designers to create "the most inspired couture" in one of four categories: Most Creative Concept, Most Exciting Ensemble, Most Innovative Use of Materials, and the Most Glamorous & Red Carpet-Worthy Creation. The entries are lively, and you may recognize materials from your garage, pantry, or fix-it bench on the models. The cash prizes are as lively as the outfits: A thousand bucks. And the designers? A talented cavalcade of Festival exhibitors.

CELEBRITY JUDGES: Fashion critic Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru, model Kim Alexis, and Laguna College of Art + Design president Jonathan Burke will all be behind the judges' table, pens in hand. "Every year seems to up the ante," says Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival. "... and this year won't disappoint!" 

AS FOR THE PRICE: Pay your Festival of Arts admission and you've got a ticket to the fashion show. Good deal, and good inspiration for more ways we can use the stuff around the house to gussy up our duds.

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