Strutting their recycled stuff on the catwalk

May 05 - This year, Opal Center for Arts and Education hosted the 16th annual Trashion Show. The brainchild of Michele Rose, the Director of Opal, this one-of-a-kind, trash-filled, always sold-out show is uniquely Cottage Grove.

“We always plan on having the Trashion show coincide with Earth Day,” Rose said, “so we are keeping stuff out of the landfill and being creative at the same time.”

Each designer has a team of models, often including themselves, that they design for. The models wear the creations on the catwalk with appropriate, high-energy music. This is the fifth year that Carmen Dowell, one of the designers, has worked on the show, but it’s the first year that she has challenged her students to help her.

Dowell teaches arts and crafts at ACE Charter School and told her students of her involvement in the Trashion Show. She asked them to bring her candy bar wrappers and she would make a dress out of them for one of her models. The candy bar wrapper dress ended up being one of about 50 amazing designs on the runway for the 3-day event.

Other designers included Ivan DelSol, Sierah Edwards, Loki Hall, Robyln Jackman, Tam Jeppesen, Ava Klarr, Cheri Moritz, Michele Rose, Annabelle Stinnet, Tuesdaelou, Tabu, Tesla Thoms, Tallulah Thoms, Esme Troxel, and Terrisa West. Fittingly enough, Goodwill of Lane County was the show’s financial sponsor. Lighting and sound were by Jeremy Ross and Lance Troxel and Peter Dumbleton was backstage operating the silhouette curtain.

Ivan del Sol was MC for the show in addition to modeling. Each of the models posed behind a back-lit screen for their initial introduction then came around to the stage. They strutted and postured as they marched down the catwalk to the enthusiastic applause of the standing room only audience, showing off incredible outfits made of dryer sheets, twist ties, holiday tablecloths and bubble wrap.

Models wore masks, discarded jewelry and used shell casings and gave a whole new meaning to the term “cast offs.” There were no winners among the program’s performers, but there were certainly no losers. The models who sometimes spanned three generations were obviously having a ball.

“The trashions modeled must have at least 70% trash in their outfits,” explained Rose. “The whole point is re-use and re-cycle.”

Opal Center for Arts and Education will be putting on a Trashion Camp in August, but only 8 students can be accommodated due to the intensive student teacher involvement. Interested students should contact Opal, 541-623-0513, for more information. Scholarships are available.

If you missed this year’s Trashion Show, mark your calendar for next year’s Earth Day. Tickets always go on sale April 1.