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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lauralton Hall Earth Day Fashion Show

By Donna DiMassa

What comes out every spring in bright, bold colors? No, silly, not just flowers! Yes, yes, of course flowers - but also the models in the Earth Day Fashion Show hosted by the Environmental Club. During the 6th Annual Earth Day Fashion Show, 40 models celebrated spring by grabbing everything from chip bags to Mylar balloons – stuff that most people toss in the trash; they then turned that trash into a fashion statement.
Freshmen were the first to grace the runway in styles that designers in New York City might very well try to steal: Camille Amato,’14 of West Haven wore a shiny bright dress designed by Natalie Ambrosey,’14 of Milford; the entire dress was made from chip bags. Next, Kiernan Black,’14 of Fairfield wore a design made from candy wrappers while Kaitlyn Delallo,’14 of Norwalk modeled a design by Megan Fickes,’14 of Fairfield. Brittany Galuppo,’14 of Milford braved the runway in a skirt made from soda cans that had been sheared into thin strips – the outfit was designed by Morgan Burns,’14 of Stamford and Jeanne-Claire Vincent,’14 of Stamford. Isabella Giannini,’14 of Monroe wowed the crowd with an amazing dress made entirely from expired credit cards and membership cards that Maryclaire Barnard,’14 of Darien and Bella’s mom helped her design. Ann Marie Guzzi,’14 of Fairfield, with assistance from Taylor Whittaker,’14 of Milford, created a dress from repurposed plastic shopping bags. Micaela Murphy,’14 of Fairfield modeled a skirt made from strips of magazines that Anaka Mastrianni,’14 of Milford designed. Brenna Oricoli,’14 of Southport was a show-stopper in a dress made of wine-bottle corks. Her accessories included wine-cork earrings and a headband made from wine corks. Brenna and her designers Katie Foley,’14 of Wilton and Emma McCarthy,’14 of Huntington shared the following fact with the audience: Wine companies claim that screw caps on wine bottles are recycled, but they are not because they are too small to be picked up in sorting facilities and end up in landfills. The last freshman to model was Sarah Parlato,’14 of East Haven who wore a dress that she called The European Travel Dress decorated with pictures from travel magazines.
Not to be outdone by the freshmen, the sophomores came out next in bold, innovative styles. Model Vicki Bresnahan,’13 of Trumbull wore a design by Jenna Bump,’13 of Stratford. Vicki showed off a top made of gum-and-Starburst wrappers collected from friends and family. Vicki shimmied in her skirt of over 175 soda-bottle caps. Secondly, Dorothy Canevari,’13 of Stratford wore a stylish skirt designed by Emilia Tanu,’13 of Stamford. It consisted of The Advocate's Sunday paper, the classified section, and Barrons' newspaper. The two friends shared this startling fact: in the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history. The outfit worn by the third model Isabella Dalena,’13 of Trumbull was made from bottle caps, newspapers, and album covers. She also carried a purse created out of a variety of candy wrappers, and a ribbon-and-zipper hairclip. Bella shared the following environmental tip: most recycling companies do not recycle plastic water bottles that still have the caps on. So make sure you twist it off and drop it into the recycling bin, to help our environment! Model Amber Davis,’13 of Monroe wore a garbage-bag dress designed by Katie Wilcoxson,’13 of Shelton: Katie loves the Earth; therefore, she is repulsed by the fact that if you walk a mile along any highway, you will encounter 1,457 pieces of litter. The fifth model Cameron Gerrity,’13 of Stratford dressed in an outfit of Mylar balloons from her birthday celebration. She also wore sandals made from old jeans. Cameron wanted to remind everyone that Mylar balloons never decompose. Next, Elizabeth Leonard,’13 of Fairfield sported a Capri Sun-pouch dress designed by Isabella Serano,’13 of Norwalk while Abbey Maloney,’13 of Fairfield followed in a design by Brigid Rooney,’13 of Wilton. Caroline McCauley,’13 of Easton amazed everyone with her very creative dress made from men’s ties. Caroline reminded everyone that dandelions are one of the first food sources for pollinators each spring – don’t kill them! Next, Izzy Serrano wore a Chinese-newspaper dress designed by Catherine Priolet,’13 of Fairfield.

For the juniors, the third time’s a charm, because – with just one exception - this Earth Day Fashion Show was their third show. Lauren Bowlby,’12 of Milford was dressed to impress – she used her Lady Gaga outfit from Spirit Week as well as former Halloween costumes to create an enviable look. Second, Erin Montanez,’12 of Fairfield awed everyone with a sleek design made of those “useless college brochures that accumulate on your kitchen counter or pile up in a bedroom corner.” But her fact was as stunning as her outfit: 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the U.S. each year; the production, distribution and disposal of all this mail creates over 51 million metric tons of greenhouses gases annually, the equivalent emissions of more than 9.3 million cars.
Another veteran of the runway, Johana Rendon,’12 of Norwalk modeled a top made entirely of old T-shirts.
She informed the audience that laundry generates the largest single source of waste water. Following Johana, Madeline Rudden,’12 of East Norwalk wore a "Memory Dress" covered with pictures from the era when everyone received “doubles” when they developed film. The fifth model, Joanna Smykowski,’12 of Huntington enchanted the crowd with a stylish pink-and-black pleated skirt made from recycled shopping bags. She paired it with a black top also made from a biodegradable shopping tote and detailed with recycled materials. Joanna aspires to be a fashion designer. From cutting the plastic soda holders to recycling old fashion magazines, Joanna is an avid environmentalist who plans to save our planet one step at a time. Best friends Noelle Starr,’12 of Trumbull and Mary Siroky,’12 of Newtown may have modeled trash bags, but these dresses are far from trashy. The classy couture was constructed from both the exterior and interior of the bags, as seen by the blue-and-tan accents on both. Mary's favorite accent was her asymmetrical stripe, but Noelle preferred her trash bag bow. Garbage bags were chosen as a statement against wastefulness - plastic bags like these cannot biodegrade, and less than one percent of all plastic bags are recycled! Dina Cashman,’12 of Milford wore a one-of-a-kind shirt made from flattened Coke boxes. Her shorts were made from an old pair of jeans cut off at the knee.

The seniors were the grand finale – many of the seniors included the phrase “fourth and final” in their biographies – which club moderator Mrs. DiMassa found very poignant. First, Dominique Bonessi,’11 of Milford modeled an outfit that she recently wore in a play at Notre Dame of West Haven. She had to find a peasant costume for her part, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so she went to Goodwill and discovered a brown skirt; next, she cut sections out of a second-hand maternity jumper to make a peasant vest. Dominique would like everyone to know that you don’t have spend a lot to look great and that buying from a second-hand store is a way to save money and recycle material. She would also like to add that there are really five R’s: Refuse, Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The second model, Ashley Bresnahan,’11 of Trumbull loves to recycle paper - exactly what her dress was made out of! She took swim-meet schedules, old school papers, and old newspapers and made little fans with each. Ashley tries really hard to make sure her lunch is environmentally friendly by using reusable containers, forks, and bottles.. Her family drinks filtered water: NO WATER BOTTLES - YAY. The outfit worn by third model, Michele Dalena,’11 of Trumbull was made from magazine pages and CDs - her purse from Capri Sun pouches and her headband from zippers. The fourth model, Julia Hannigan,’11 of Trumbull sparkled in her outfit comprised of a combination of old costume materials that have piled up in her house over the years. Julia’s tip is to tell your family to lay off chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn. Next, Marisa Lucchesi,’11 of Norwalk, the secretary of the Environmental Club, wore a duct-tape corset complemented with a hand-me-down, button-down shirt. Her skirt was made out of water bottles and plastic shopping bags. The sixth model, Davian Manlapit,’11 of Bridgeport wore a stunning evening gown made from mementos from the LH 2010 prom - mementos being the decorative netting draped over the tablecloths. Davi shared this illuminating fact: Aluminum is one of the best things to recycle as it is cheaper and more energy efficient to use recycled aluminum than to mine aluminum ore. Following Davi, Maria Palacios,’11 of Norwalk sported an old jumper encrusted with soda-can tabs, collected from her friends and family. Her purse and bracelet were woven with soda tabs as well. Her stylish headband came from woven strips of magazine pages. Inspired by Mrs. Cook’s recycling-craft book and by The Color Purple, Danielle Sekerak,’11 of Monroe created a pair of eco-friendly pants. Her grandma sewed scraps of fabric to an old pair of jeans. Some of the patches are from tablecloths, t-shirts, and the pockets of her Lauralton Hall jumper. Danielle’s environmental fun fact was that Americans throw away more than sixty-eight pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year. Patch up the environment before it falls apart at the seams! Ahoy! Stephanie Simko,’11 of Milford modeled a dress made from recycled sail canvas, complemented by a rope belt and nautical accessories. Like many young girls, senior Lindsay Warren,’11 of Milford once had aspirations of being a princess. Since April offers the Class of 2011 not only a reprieve from uniforms, but also a chance to see a royal wedding, Lindsay decided to convert uniforms into a sleeveless version of Kate Middleton's engagement dress--navy really is useful outside of Lauralton! The outfit worn by Mary Watson,’11 of Trumbull was made of old newspapers and old telephone book pages, with a belt made out of bottle caps. The bottom was made out of paper fans taped and stapled to a Forever 21 Plastic bag as a base. Finalizing the show were the Environmental Club President Jackie Fickes,’11 of Fairfield and Vice President Grace Wilson,’11 of Norwalk. Jackie created a long flowing skirt decorated with coffee filters and Grace called her creation a shirt/skirt combo made from newspaper.
Despite all the fun of the fashion show, the models are serious about making the word garbage out of style – there really is a silver lining in all of that trash!


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