Festival's final days full of fun

Hundreds pour onto the grounds to view 'recycled' fashion designs and meet 'Criminal Minds' actors. Fun continues with celebrity event Saturday.

August 25, 2011|By Barbara Diamond,
  • From left to right: Erika Baldwin, artist Bradley Elsberry, Alicia Chavex, artist Adam Neely, Elizabeth McGhee and artist Janet Lewis. These were the first, second and third place winners at the Festival Runway Fashion Show at the Festival of Arts on Saturday.
From left to right: Erika Baldwin, artist Bradley Elsberry,… (Courtesy Pageant…)

The crowds keep on coming at the Festival of Arts.

Two events last weekend brought in a record number of visitors — a fashion show and a meet and greet with "Criminal Minds" cast members.

The upcoming Acura Celebrity Event on Saturday, hosted by singer-songwriter Richard Marx, is also expected to lure plenty of visitors to the festival, which ends its season Wednesday.


Re(f)use to Runway

The popular Festival Runway Fashion show, in its third year, drew its biggest crowd ever Saturday.

"Festival Runway Fashion has quickly become one of our most popular special events," said Susan Davis, festival director of special events. "Participating artists are competing for cash prizes, but really what they want are the bragging rights!"

The runway show features designs by festival exhibitors created from at least 80% reused, recycled or reclaimed materials.

Artist Brad Elsberry won the first prize of $1,000 for the second year in a row. His bridal gown and train was made of clear, plastic dry-cleaner bags with a strapless, backless bodice overlaid with "lace" made from white metal hangers. Even the bouquet was recycled — it was fashioned from laundry tickets and receipts.


Erika Baldwin, who modeled the gown, unfastened the train on the runway to show off a mini-skirted dress that would be suitable for a wedding reception.

Second place went to Adam Neely for "Novella," which was inspired by fashion magazines, the pages of which were folded into more than 1,000 fans that cascaded down the skirt. Alicia Chavex was the model.

Janet Lewis and Elizabeth McGhee won third place for their "Elizabethan Punk" design that re-recycled corks used in their 2010 entry. McGhee modeled.

Brittany Ryan's entry mimicked her metal sculptures with gold-painted paper bags. Jessica Arsenian was the model.

Sophie Higuchi modeled Dagmar Chaplin's "Sea Nymph."

Robert Schock used items found at any construction site — caution tape, a parking cone and black plastic bags — to create his entry, worn by Laura Lavor.

Yael Resnick modeled "Singing in the Rain," created by John Tolle from a shower curtain and scrunchy body puff.

Lou Bortone used duct tape, an old sheet and shade cloth to create "Festival Diva." Leah Bortone modeled.

"I love this event on a million levels, but mostly because it showcases the incredible talent of our artist," Davis said.

The fashions were judged by actress Marlee Matlin, Laguna Beach Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel and Nordstrom General Manager Robert Evans.

Coastline Pilot Articles Coastline Pilot Articles