During New York’s fashion week, we took the opportunity to showcase Virginia’s growing fashion scene, and today we conclude that five-part series with a look at some future talent. Sandy Hausman spoke with students who created and modeled their own designs, many made from recycled materials.
The 10th annual Wearable Art Runway Show at St. Anne’s-Belfield School featured fashions made of surprising materials like shotgun shells, duct tape, corks and labels from bottles of cider and wine. Caroline DiGiacomo fashioned a southern ball gown from notebook paper and bubble wrap.
“I modeled mine after the old-fashioned dresses that St. Anne’s girls used to graduate in," says Caroline DiGiacomo. She sports a traditional southern ball gown with an off-the-shoulder top and a full white skirt.
Inspired by the four seasons, Elise Lindbergh made her dress from trail maps, covered with silk leaves and flowers from a local craft shop.
“I was there almost every day," she says with a laugh. " I’m pretty sure they know me now.”
Everette Chapman hung out at her favorite coffee shops, gathering used materials for her outfit.
“These are drinks that people drank and just gave me their cups afterwards.”
And Andy Wood found his inspiration at a popular spot for soccer.
“My theme was Darden Towe Park, so my materials were soccer balls and live grass.”
The event was both thrilling and educational. Berkeley Hoerr, Elizabeth Cardin, Sun Min Kim, Kelly Zhang and teacher Alexis Parker reflected on the experience:
“You have to learn to work with a bunch of different people, a bunch of personalities. You learn a lot about time management.”
“ I guess it’s grown my confidence walking down the runway in front of a lot of people.”
“I really like tHat people love my dress. I’m really happy and glad of that.”
“ It was first time for me to use sewing machine, but I made it!”
“It’s quite a feat to start something, see it through to the end, and then to also wear it. Anybody can put something on a mannequin, but wearing it is the hard part.”
But not so hard as to discourage according to Emmy Frazier, who fashioned her tribute to the Paramount Theater with popcorn boxes and strips of film.
“I would love to have a career in fashion. I think that would be very fun.”
And it appears she’s not alone. When St. Anne’s-Belfield began presenting its Wearable Art Show ten years ago, there were just six students involved. This year, there were 34.
You can watch at video of the show at