Sunday, April 19, 2009

Your Scraps are My Couture

The De Young Museum hosted a special preview last Friday night for the upcoming Discarded to Divine event on May 7th. Presented by the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the annual event invites both amateur and professional designers to transform discarded and donated clothing into custom couture pieces. The pieces are then auctioned off at the gala through a silent auction and fashion show with proceeds given to helping the poor and homeless.

The free preview was held in conjunction with the De Young’s increasingly popular Friday night event and drew quite a crowd. Guests waited in a long line wrapped around the main lobby to get inside the small space showcasing the designs, and competed with the crowd taking in the swing dancing and live band. Once inside, visitors were given the opportunity to view the pieces close up, each displayed with information on the original materials and outfits used along with the designer’s inspiration. The theme for this year was the De Young itself, with inspiration taken from exhibits both past and present. You can imagine what an impact the recently closed Yves Saint Laurent retrospective made on the participating designers.

A few stand out pieces included a plaid ruffled Edwardian jacket by Stephanie Hoffman, Holly Fowler’s Arc Dress with George Saxe’s inspired sharp angled lines and geometric design, a stunning black and white draped gown with a tartan flair by local French designer Christiane Parker, and a silk evening dress named “Heaven Beside You” by Jacqueline Canlas in many hues of blue. In addition to clothing, designers also contributed with accessories and home furnishings, including an amazing art deco inspired lamp created from men’s pants with a feather effect by interior designer Agustin Sanders.

Tickets for the main event are still available. This year’s Honorary Chair is Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Special Guest Designers include Sweet P (from Project Runway Season 4), Cari Borja, Louisa Parris, and Kailia Footwear. Members of the jury include the De Young Museum’s Jill D’Allessandro, 7x7’s Nerissa Pacio, Zem Joaquin and the IFCSF’s very own Yetunde Schuhmann. To buy tickets, click here.

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