I just returned from judging entries for the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s “Discarded to Divine” fashion show fundraiser and went through 110 items in less than a couple hours. It’s a dizzying and fun experience taking in the array of women’s eveningwear, accessories, children’s wear and men’s wear ranging from on-trend and wearable to over-the-top Burning Man fabulous.
The contest calls for student designers from five of the area fashion schools (Academy of Art, Art Institute of San Francisco, City College, FIDM and SF State) to submit one-of-a-kind pieces crafted from unusable garments donated to St. Vincent’s Help Desk for the poor and homeless—not an easy challenge. A jury of 13 local fashion experts then scores each piece based on creativity, wearability, and construction, and the top scoring items are modeled on the runway and sold in a live auction at the benefit. Last year’s event raised more than $80,000 for St Vincent’s programs.
Diehard “Project Runway” fans will love the Andy Warhol-inspired red velour cocktail dress created by season five alum Kathleen “Sweet P” Vaughn, who will be attending the event at Live! @ 888 Brannan on May 7 as a special guest designer. Gr.Dano, Louisa Parris, Michael Boris and Cari Borja are among the other SF designers participating this year.
Here are a few other favorites:
Bold-stitch denim peacoat
Plaid perfect, one-shoulder gown
Short and sweet cocktail frock