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    Garb from garbage focus of Broad Avenue fashion show

    Barbara Bradley - The Commercial Appeal -

    Eric Evans, a local designer and partner in the boutique Sache, didn't know what he would make for the upcoming Memphis City Beautiful "trashion" show, which features designs made from recyclables. Then he looked up at his kitchen cabinets and saw his vase brimming with beer bottle caps.

    Lately, he has been flipping them to their silver side and hammering them flat with a rubber mallet to create a shimmering evening outfit.

    Creativity is coming from all corners for the second annual Curb Couture Trashion Show. The show will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the water tower warehouse in the Broad Avenue Arts District.

    There will be designs from 50 artists, all but a handful back from last year and 19 new ones, said Ginger Acuff, who is helping organize the event with Memphis City Beautiful executive director Eldra White.

    The show will use the dock area around the warehouse with the loading ramp as a runway.

    Elementary school children have made tabletop flowers out of toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, old pencils, baby food jar tops, clothes pins and "some shredded plastic things that look like amaryllis, Acuff said. "They are so bright and happy. It's a lot of fun to see."

    The event seems to have inspired people here and beyond. Designers include Bruce Bui, costume designer for Ballet Memphis, Dawn Austin of Dawn's Couturier and Dr. Cathy Wilson, director of the art education program at Memphis College of Art. Others include Jan Young, executive director of the Assisi Foundation; Cindy Gambrell, partner in Kittie Kyle; Sheila Zaricor-Wilson, owner of Master Design Salon and Spa; Anna Avant, owner of Hoot + Louise; and Mary Allison

    Cates, co-owner of Sew Memphis. A number of stores are sending outfits.

    Moziah Bridges, the young designer and entrepreneur of Mo's Bows, made a bow tie out of an old church pew cushion. It's a textured orange tie with buttons down one side.

    Bui said he was doing a couture mermaid gown made of dry cleaning bags (they have a lot of those at Ballet Memphis) and the blue rain bags used to protect The Commercial Appeal. "It's such a pretty blue," he said. He is stitching them to look like waves.

    The show will be narrated by Evans and local fashion personality Babbie Lovett. Tickets can be purchased for $50 by calling 901-522-1135.

    The idea of creating wastebasket chic appears contagious. The show has inspired a similar green fashion show planned for Dec. 2 in the Great Hall of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, according to a museum spokesman there. It is being directed by Connie Fails, manager of the Clinton Museum Store.

    Fails asked for some of the Memphis designs to be shown there, and plans for some designs created for that show to be shown here, according to Lovett.

    Evans, who has a graduate degree in design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, is creating coordinating anti-gravity shoes made of wine corks. It is taking about 100 hours to do both pieces, he said. Evans sells his own designs, custom creations and things from contemporary lines at Sache on South Main. He works in the back of the store.

    Wilson, who delighted the crowd last year with a dress made of CDs, is creating a "Kinky Elizabethan ball dress" made out of a curtain and a 1980s prom dress pulled from her daughters' old dress-up box.

    Some designers take their work home after the show. But, if not, the fashions are recycled. Acuff said she and others wear them or put them on mannequins when they make recycling presentations to kids at schools. Wilson's "disco dress" is well traveled.

    Acuff likes to wear her newspaper skirt into classrooms. Kids can be bored talking about sustainability. But "you wear a skirt made of newspapers and they sit up straight and remember what you are talking about," she said.

    "Children want to know how we made those things, and why we need to recycle."