Monday, May 02, 2011

Runaway Runway 2011

(Above: The Recycled Bridal Party for Runaway Runway 2011 with me, the "designer"! This photo was taken in right before the pre-judging in the hallway outside the dressing rooms. Click on any image in this post to enlarge. To see all available photos .... about 46 of them .... from this event, CLICK HERE for a Flickr! Set)

By 4:10 PM last Friday I had all the garment, accessories, and jewelry in the dressing room that my models shared with several other contestants in Runaway Runway 2011, a fashion show of dresses made from recycled materials.

The dressing rooms were at first quite quiet.

Excitement built as everyone applied make-up and styled hair. Our group was fortunate to have Amanda, one of Jamie's college friends, to help with these applications of spray and color.

Olivia's friend Reba came to help with the dresses.

Greta's little sister and her mom, Lauren Michelski, were also there!

One by one, each of my models were transformed into members of a RECYCLED BRIDAL PARTY. Above and below is Clary Powell, a lovely recycled bride wearing a bodice made entirely from white artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters; a skirt made of heavy paper napkins collected during the Ohio State vs. Michigan game alumni party in Charleston; crinoline made from plastic bags that once protected mat boards at Mouse House, Inc.; etc.

Clary really looked like a bride and her parents beamed just like one would expect!

Above and below is Jamie Schumacher, my first cousin JoAnn's daughter as the "Recycled Maid-of-Honor". JoAnn drove down from Virginia for the show even though she'll be traveling here again this coming weekend for Jamie's graduation .... with a SUMMA CUM LAUDE degree from the business school!

Jamie's dress was made from a silver and a gold plastic garment bag, dozens of clear dry cleaner bags, yellow artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters, yards upon yards of "caution tape" collected from Columbia's St. Patrick's Day celebration, etc.

Above is Olivia Thompson as the "Recycled Bridesmaid". She is wearing a dress woven from dozens of dry cleaner bags complimented with a necklace and bracelet made from the plastic pull tabs found in dairy product packaging and Teflon covered picture framing wire. All the models also wore earrings made from plastic bread bag closures and a dairy pull tab ring accented with tiny artificial cemetery flowers.

Above is Greta Hahn, the "Recycled Flower Girl". She is wearing a dress made entirely of artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters. It was created on a water soluble stabilizer ... which means that there is no "foundation" material. It is simply flowers and thread! The flower basket was a silk lamp shade fitted with a handle recycled from an aquarium supply plastic bucket and trimmed with more artificial cemetery flowers.


The pre-judging took place in the hallway outside the basement level dressing rooms (see the first photo!). The judges came by in groups and then everyone was transported to the "holding area" via the freight elevator!

(Above: The Recycled Bridal Party, back stage, waiting their turn on the runway.)

The entire cast of 61 models walked the runway, one-after-another, as a preview. Then, each one had their own 45 seconds on the catwalk with the techno-music blasting and the large audience screaming with approval. A spot light followed them from the middle of the stage, down two steps, onto a raised platform runway and back again. Large screens on the stage flashed the name of the designer and model and then televised other angles of the live action. It was all quite professional. Finally, the entire cast walked the runway as a finale. Awards were presented and though none of my entries received a prize, we all felt like winners.

I even made myself a "special" dress for the occasion. It is an opaque, plastic garment bag from the old Rackes Women's Apparel Shop to which I added a sash from Coplon's, another one of Columbia's finer boutiques for beautiful dresses.

(Above: Susan Lenz and Barbara Rackes at Runaway Runway 2011.)

Although the Rackes Shop no longer exists, Barbara Rackes is doing amazing things with her new company, The Rackes Group, a strategic Internet communications business. Fortunately, she approved of my dress!


lynda Howells said...

Wow..if you didn't win..what did the winners look like? Your work was AMAZINGxx you looked as if you had fun too which is importantxxlynda

Lynn Cohen said...

I can't believe these dresses did not win prizes! I could comment on each one but surfice it to say you ARE ALL WINNERS!!!

Wanda said...

Wow Susan...unless you actually KNOW that these are made from plastic laundry bags and things like that, it's actually difficult to tell! You look great, in your drycleaning bag dress!! Why oh why didn't we think this advanced when we were kids????? Can you imagine the hours of fun we would have had? Well, I guess the paperdolls would have been put to the side for sure!