At the Festival of Arts fashion show, the outfits are made from lottery tickets and paint chips – OCRegister

Lottery tickets. Bubble wrap. Paint chips. Crayon wrappers.  These are just a few of the items that made up the outfits in the Festival Runway Fashion Show at the Festival of Arts, Saturday, August 12.

Models walked the runway wearing “found” designs – in which at least 80 percent of the material is reclaimed, reused or recycled – from seven artists.


The runway show was hosted by actress Kate Flannery, known for her role in “The Office.”

This is the 9th year for the show, organized by special events director Susan Davis. Davis said she came up with the idea after attending a theater production in Los Angeles where everything was made from items found at a 99-cent store.

“I thought we could do some amazing things if we had a fashion show and had our artists creating ensembles,” Davis said.

Instead of making looks with items found at the 99-cent store, Davis decided looks would be made from recycled materials.

“It has grown and become highly competitive, which stimulates people to do bigger and better and greater things,” she said.

One notable look by ceramics artist Richard Moren was a dress made of 1,600 lottery tickets, worth more than $4,800.

Another standout piece was a dress by acrylic painter Brad Elsberry. The look was made of plastic water bottles, plastic soda bottles and plastic food bins all painted with sunset colors.

After the runway show, the public and judges were given the opportunity to look at how the outfits were made before the winners were announced.

Fashion show winners:

Most creative concept: Elizabeth McGhee

Most exciting ensemble: Brad Elsberry

Most innovative use of materials: Kirsten Whalen

Most “red carpet”-worthy creation: Richard Moren

People’s choice award: Richard Moren


It wasn’t just the materials that were unusual for a fashion show. The artists featured were not fashion designers.

“We have people who are ceramists, sculptures, painters, people from all different art forms are competing,” Davis said. “They are artists and creative thinkers. They show an incredible ability to step outside of their area of expertise and come up with these incredible pieces.”

Mike Tauber, a ceramic artist, brought his art form to his design – a dress made of paint chips.

“I’m using paint chips like the color of the ocean,” Tauber said. “I’m calling it the paint chip dress. I wanted to do something fun at the festival that’s beyond my regular booth and my tile work. I wanted to do something a little crazy.”

Tauber does paintings of the ocean and landscapes. The blue and green paint chips found in the dress are his normal color palette.

His model, Sophie Higuchi, works at the ground crew at the Festival of Arts. She helped Tauber with the dress by building a bodice of duct tape, while Tauber attached paint chips with hot glue. The outfit also featured a headpiece made of sea shells.

“Fingers crossed it holds together. I’m pretty nervous,” Tauber said before the show.

Elizabeth McGhee, an oil painter, has been participating in the runway show for eight years—first as a model before entering designs of her own.

On Saturday, McGhee modeled a dress with a bodice made from crayon wrappers laced together.

“I used leftover craft supplies,” McGhee said. “I used more than 600 crayon wrappers and sewed them and laced them all together to make the bodice of the dress. I went for a playful, kids-craft-supply dress.”

In addition to the crayon-wrapper bodice, the bows were made from purple duct tape and the skirt and collar were made from scrap construction paper from children’s art classes McGhee teaches through the Laguna Outreach Community Arts.

“It’s another way of exercising my brain. It’s like playing. Getting to solve the problem of putting a dress together,” she said.

After the runway show, McGhee plans to display her dress at her booth at the Festival of Arts.

The outfit, she jokes, may be her Halloween costume.


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