Recycled fashions hit the runway at Manatee County library

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 27, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Fashion models hit the runway at the Manatee County Central Library on Saturday.

The fashions were not just the typical designer apparel, though -- everything worn was saved from being garbage.

Over a dozen local students participated in the first ever Recycle Dream teen fashion show of recycled materials.

Teens worked for weeks to create original fashions made of recycled materials and then presented them on the runway before a panel of judges.

Walking away as the bell of the ball with her Recycled Ball Gown was Ava Clinton.

"I was hoping to win," Ava said. "I put a lot of hours into."

The Manatee School of the Arts student clutched her hard-earned grand prize, a brand new HP Spilt x2 laptop.

Ana spent over a hundred hours working on her ball gown. The skirt was made entirely of strips of Walmart bags. The top was made of cereal boxes with magazines.

"I've made garments before, but not something like this," she said. "I think it's going to be on display at my school."

Olivia Pullman took second place with her fashion entitled "Where wearing is pleasure," made completely out of Publix bags.

The panel of judges was impressed with her creation.

"We haven't seen that, where the shoes are incorporated into the outfit," one judge said. "I'm really pleased to see that. It works and it looks lovely on you."

"The construction of this

gown for what you used is phenomenal," another judge said.

Olivia, a student at Pine View School in Sarasota, learned of the contest from a friend at school.

"I started working on it that night," she said. " I worked on and off for about a month."

She had never done anything like this before she said, but was impressed by a charity fashion show she once attended.

Organizers were thrilled with the turnout and success of this first-time event.

"We are hoping to make this an annual event," children's librarian Christine Culp said.

The event materialized after several of the library staffers attended a similar one at State College of Florida.

"We knew when we saw that, we knew we wanted to do one," Culp said. "It was a dream I had, and we were able to pull it off."

With her creation, The Arizona Times, Olivia Lake earned herself an honorable mention. The name reflected the ensemble made of Arizona iced tea cans on top and newspaper clippings as part of the skirt.

"I just wanted to make something that was original and fun and had a lot of things that I like, and this was the result" she said.

The dress took her about a month create, she added.

"I made a bunch of sketches of what I wanted, and then I worked on how," she said. "This is what I envisioned it be."

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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