Peers Runway Show Design Stars
A Very Unique Fashion Competition
There is a trend in fashion. Well, not so much a trend as it is a movement. I wrote about this movement several years ago for this magazine when I talked about repurposing thrift shop finds into new fashions.
The notion, movement – whatever you want to call it – has caught on and has taken off!
Maybe it’s because of the economy. Maybe it’s the “green” thing to do. Or, maybe it’s simply because people like to wear things that have a story. Whatever the reason, the new designer creations making an entrance into the world of fashion are amazing!
In April, I was part of a great event that showcased the repurpose/green apparel movement. Peers Cosmetic Laser Center partnered with Goodwill Industries of Michiana to bring together local designers to compete for the coveted title of “Peers Runway Show – Michiana Design Star.”
The rules were fairly simple. Each contestant was given $50 in the form of a Goodwill gift card. They were challenged to turn Goodwill finds into a runway ready collection. There were two categories: Runway and Accessories.
Debie Coble, vice president, Workforce Development Services, Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. said, “Goodwill was thrilled to be a part of this event. When we can partner with a project like this one that highlights local talent, encourages finding ones strengths for employment and uses the great donations we get at Goodwill…well, it’s a win for everyone!”
One of the best parts of this event was the panel of judges. Three local boutique owners sat on a panel with Project Runway (TV show on Lifetime) design star, Peach Carr. Peach gained national attention when she made a debut on season eight of Project Runway and quickly became a fan favorite. The other judges included Vanessa Cooreman-Smith from Flourish Boutique, Jill Hurst from Sorella and Danny Reynolds from Stephenson’s of Elkhart.
Event organizer, Nina Hershberger said, “We were thrilled to have Peach join us as our celebrity judge for this event. She is truly gracious and filled with talent.” Something all of the designers who competed in the contest echoed.
The contestants were judged on creativity, marketability, function, true to category, personality, trendy, use of Goodwill finds and degree of repurpose. Jill Hurst, owner of Sorella Boutique in Granger (the sister store to Jules Boutique in Goshen) said, “The level of creativity we saw on the runway was amazing. To be able to think outside the box and see each piece of clothing from Goodwill as a piece of fabric, now THAT is talent!”
Vanessa Cooreman-Smith, owner of Flourish Boutique in Granger went on to say, “Very creative pieces, and many that I would love to carry in my boutique!”
THE DESIGNERS ON THE RUNWAY
Fifteen designers stretched their creative abilities and pushed the envelope in coming up with truly unique collections. Jewelry designer Ali Oesch said, “This was a great way for me to really push my creative abilities. I am proud to say that my collection used 100% repurposed things from Goodwill.”
The quality and variety on the runway was remarkable – everything from denim skirts and shorts to leather jackets and wedding dresses. Many of these local seamstress and tailor artisans had never competed in anything like this before. One of the designers mentioned to me, “I love making things for other people. This was such a fun way to make something that wasn’t necessarily my style and allow one of my friends to wear it on a runway.” Each designer enlisted her own models to show her collection as well as professional hair and makeup for the runway.
AND THE WINNER IS…
The winners were given $300 cash, a Peers Cosmetic gift certificate, professional photo shoot with Peach Carr and photography spread in the upcoming new Beauty Times Magazine. The winning designs will also be on tour, making a stop at Flourish Boutique, Sorella Boutique, Jules Boutique, Stephenson’s and in area Goodwill stores.
The top three in each category were chosen by the judges, and the overall winners were determined by a ticket-vote from those in attendance at the event.
In the runway category, the winner was Lora Berry! The judges said that they loved, the detail, that the design was very on trend and that the collection inspired fashion and grabs one attention.
In the accessory category, the winner was Ali Oesch.
Of the process, Ali said, “I think the fact that the people chose me as the winner in this category, that is what makes it even more special of a win.”