Thrift-Shop Garb Gets a Makeover in Missoula

March 13, 2009 at 8:36 am | Posted in News | 1 Comment

08designsThe Project Selvedge Challenge, a scavenger-chic version of TV’s Project Runway, happens every year on Missoula, Montana’s “Hip Strip.” Leah Morrow, owner of the Selvedge Studio fabric boutique, conceived the idea three years ago. Last Friday night, techno music resounded as models wearing altered thrift-shop garb strode a homemade catwalk during the first night of the month-long challenge, in which seven designers vie to create inspiring clothes on what Morrow calls “a recession budget.”

When the challenge began, “each designer headed to Secret Seconds, a thrift store on Broadway, for what Morrow deemed the ‘reconstruction challenge,'” reports the University of Montana newspaper. “They had one week and $25 store credit apiece to purchase and use whatever clothing and accessories they could find,” which they would then adapt to their liking. 

Entrants included a macramé bikini crafted of shredded fabric; designer Rachel Woodward tore her thrift-shop purchases into thin strips, which became her macramé “string.” Weaving the swimsuit took Woodward 24 hours. “Other creations included a rubber-stamped shirt by Gretchen Svee, a striped skirt designed by Chanel Tobin, a karate-inspired number by Ingrid Lovitt, an orange dress by Alison Moon, and a bag by Kathryn Walters.” The challenge continues until April 3.

Winners will receive $500 in fabric from Selvedge Studio, $125 gift certificate to Betty’s Divine boutique, and an oil change.



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  1. I love to look in thrift shops. I never know what treasure I may find

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