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FASHION SHOW: Students are giving new life to old clothes for their annual fashion show

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When it comes to high fashion, you probably think New York, LA or Milan. But, these students say you’ll find it in Iowa this weekend. Iowa State University students will walk the runway in their 29th fashion show. They expect about 2,000 people for the annual event. And, this year the focus is on sustainability.

Kelsey Pedersen says her latest design is a, “1960’s inspired wedding gown.” She says it cost more her more creativity than money. She says,”All my fabric was actually found at the Salvation Army.” Pedersen says she spent about $25 on an old bedspread, lace curtains and napkins. She says, “Everything was found except the thread I used to sew it.”

A student model will wear it down the runway this weekend at The Fashion Show 2011. PR and Marketing Major Becky Bradshaw says, “We’re really trying to go for something different.”

Bradshaw is one of about 100 Iowa State students putting together the two hour show. This year features an eco-line with sustainable designs like Pedersen’s.

Faculty Advisor Natalie Sanger Gendle says, “So, maybe it’s organic cotton, maybe it’s the dyes used for the materials.” She goes on to say, “It could be recycled materials. I know we have pieces made from old men’s ties or denim.”

Students are also making the set sustainable by using donated plastic bags, plastic bottles and tee shirts. Set Tech Director Amanda Hendricks says, “We want to show that something starts as just a tee shirt, you know, something you’d forget about. And, then we want to make it into something that’s beautiful and different and show that afterwards they can be donated again.”

Pedersen says going green for fashion can help give the student-designers an edge in this trendy industry. She says, “As we move on with the green revolution, it’s going to be a major part of the fashion industry.”

The Fashion Show 2011 is Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium in Ames. The show will also feature ISU alum Matthew Christopher. He designs couture bridal gowns for his own label in New York City. Click here for a schedule of events the rest of this week and Saturday.