Applaud a Recycled Fashion Show's Out-There Oomph

The Laguna Beach tradition includes eye-popping outfits created from all sorts of save-it-from-the-trash treasures.

What to Know

  • Sunday, Aug. 18
  • Laguna Beach
  • Free with admission to the festival

If you've ever removed a chocolate nougat butter bite from its little paper doily, the same kind of doily seen in countless candy boxes, then you may have felt a sudden surge of sartorial creativity.

Perhaps you held the paper cup to your head, and pondered if it could make an especially tiny hat. Or you placed it near your lapel, wondering if might stand in for a pretty decoration or brooch.

Alas: It probably hit the trash seconds later. But there are those fashion lovers who don't throw out the paper cup, nor the shiny CD, nor the box of cereal as they're putting together a fancy dress or suit: They incorporate the item in a whimsical and eye-catching way.

Such is the way with the annual Festival Runway Fashion Show, at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. The show, which is free with festival admission, features models rocking a bunch of surprising items, from coffee filters to plastic bags.

The themes of the show, which is turning 11 in 2019? Think "creativity, sustainability, and innovation." 

You can be there, on Sunday, Aug. 18, to find your own inspiration. And the designers do spend months working on their fabulous wearable art, both to spread that message of sustainable fashion and, yes, to go for top honors (and the cash prizes, which total a grand).

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There are four categories in all: Most Creative Concept, Most Glamorous & Elegant "Red Carpet"-worthy creation, Most Innovative Use of Materials, and a category that pays homage to "The Time Machine," the 2019 theme of the Pageant of the Masters (which takes place a short stroll from the runway).

If you want to sit nearer to the runway, to grasp every wee detail, you can, for $25.

And adding flavor to the festivity? Fashion experts, a panel of them, lending their own expertise to the proceedings.

So the question is this: Will you keep the paper doily, the one that held your chocolate candy, the next time? And use it for an outfit accent?

It can happen, and in spirited style, too, as this decade-plus party has shown, with flair, oomph, and the ability to make lemonade out of lemons, or, rather, a lemonade-hued dress out of old lemonade cartons.

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