Molly came in second place last year in “Runaway Runway,” an event sponsored by the Columbia Design League that showcases garments produced from recycled materials in an annual fashion show. To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, Molly attended a reception to explain the inspiration and construction process to the guests — and to party!
“When I began the production of the dress, there was no specific inspiration,” Molly admits. It’s made primarily of Monster Energy Drink cans, which she and her brother drink religiously. Coincidentally, Lady Gaga’s album “The Fame Monster” was on its rise to, well, fame, and so Molly focused the design the garment and the styling of her model around the pop superstar phenomenon. The dress also incorporates electrical chord, pop rivets and wire. Molly will present another garment at this year’s “Runaway Runway.” “Gaga will return,” she reveals.
Madison Cotterill, another featured designer present at the reception, shared Molly’s unplanned creativity. “The dress just sort of created itself,” the teenage sculptor says. “It kind of worked itself out.” She began by creating shapes through origami, and once the dress started coming together, she suddenly felt drawn toward the eccentric costumes from “Alice in Wonderland.” Although she doesn’t regularly design clothing, she created an impressive cardboard dress (should we tell her that dresses are normally made of fabric?), and plans to enter “Runaway Runway” again this year with a partner.
Jillian Owens had a more specific vision for her dress-shirt dress (shirt … dress … ?). “I thought, what could I take from a man and mess up that would make him mad? His dress shirt!” she exclaims. She began by draping the shirts randomly, and eventually the dress took a ball gown form. It was the first garment she constructed with her brand new sewing machine, which she received as a Christmas gift. Jillian is no stranger to revamping forgotten material for fashion’s sake. She has her own refashion blog and is collaborating with others like her to produce a worldwide recycled fashion blog board.
This year’s “Runaway Runway” will be held on Friday, April 29 at the Township Auditorium. The exhibit “Meet the Designer: Runaway Runway” will run in the Community Gallery of the Columbia Museum of Art through Feb. 20. Hurry up and go see it before it’s gone, and be sure to plan ahead for “RR.” Maybe Molly will indulge us all in an inappropriately impromptu dance party. We can only hope. In the mean time, check out G&B Style’s Facebook album from the reception for awesome pictures of some of last year’s best designs!