Apr. 26: Discarded to Divine

April 26th Gala Evening with cocktail party, silent and live auction of recycled couture to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s programs for the poor and homeless.

Discarded to Divine
Recycled Couture Fashion Show, Auction and Cocktail Party
Saturday, April 26, 2008 – 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Hosted by Academy of Art University, 601 Brannan Street, San Francisco

General Tickets: $45 advance/$55 door; VIP Tickets (limited): $75 advance/$90 door
Space is limited. RSVP to (415) 977-1270 or online at www.discardedtodivine.org

The New York Spring 2008 runways were abuzz with “new” chic sustainable fashions that the Bay Area has long supported and produced. Events such as the third annual Discarded to Divine charity auction and fashion show, which benefits the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco, have piqued national interest in sustainable design while touting the four R’s of life: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect.

Bay Area fashion designers such as Jessica McClintock, Colleen Quen, Nice Collective, Cari Borja, Verrieres & Sako, Michael Boris and Sara Shepherd join students from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), City College of San Francisco and Academy of Art University in designing one-of-a-kind fashions in ‘real’ sizes made from recycled materials and inspired by the de Young Museum’s permanent collection.

“We have all heard that green is the new black,” said Sara Shepherd, a participating local designer whose line sells at M.A.C. and Eco Citizen and who was featured in the 2007 Gen Art’s Fresh Faces in Fashion. “The Bay Area has long been at the forefront of eco-friendly designs and in prompting the nation to think seriously about sustainability and take accountability for its actions.”

“Respect for the poor is sewn into each design, as every designer trekked down to the Help Desk to pick their materials from our discard box and witness how we serve the Bay Area’s most needy,” said Sally Rosen, Director of the Vincentian Help Desk and co-chair of Discarded to Divine. “On auction night there is not a dry eye in the house when the bidding starts to rise. These gorgeous pieces on the runway all had their beginnings as donated materials, but are now transformed into elegant gowns, fun cocktail dresses and unique evening wraps that anyone would be thrilled to own and wear.” View images online at www.discardedtodivine.org.

The discarded items used include high-quality materials that have no use in the day-to-day survival of a homeless person, such as upholstery textiles, curtains, formal and bridesmaid dresses, and vintage fabrics. Highlights of fashions created for auction include a man’s tuxedo redesigned using elements of women’s clothing and inspired by Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic sculpture; an evening jacket of matte and textured fabrics inspired by the Dale Chihuly glass art exhibit; a bustier and dress made from a different garments dyed the same color to create a contrast of textures and inspired by the photographic work of David Seymour; and a gown and man’s suit inspired by Fragonard’s “Woman with a Parrot” made from 20 pairs of jeans.

Honorary Chair of the event, Wilkes Bashford, points out, “Not only is our community leading the green movement but it is incredibly rich in design talent and creative thinking. This exciting event sheds light on some serious topics in a very fun way.” Bette McKenzie, VP of Public Relations for Macy’s West (presenting sponsor of Discarded To Divine) adds “Fashion is how we express our individual style and values every day – those of us in the fashion business are in a unique position to promote the message of sustainability.”