- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - High fashion’s beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to the vision of one group of devoted and creative artisans.

A stack of used casino playing cards, a box overflowing with used computer rubble and a mound of broken crayons - dumpster fodder from any angle - littered shelves and tables in Mary Hall’s art classroom at Suttons Bay High School. But her students will transform that garbage into fashion.

Their creations will hit the runway in the Northport Public Schools auditorium on March 20 at 7 p.m. during the third annual Trashion Fashion show, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle ( http://bit.ly/1K8vlKo ).

“It’s unbelievable what some people do,” said Jen Evans, Northport Public Schools art teacher and the show’s organizer. “I’ve seen an entire outfit made entirely out of light bulbs.”

This year’s show features dozens of repurposed outfits created by students and community members from across Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties. Models wearing 75 outfits strut their stuff on a runway that extends over the first four rows of the auditorium’s seats, Evans said.

Each one is a feat of both design and engineering.

“We’ve had someone buy 2,000 plastic spoons and make an outfit out of it,” Evans said. “It is usually a packed house … our auditorium only holds about 400 people.”

Students in Hall’s class spent the past few weeks planning and sketching their pieces. Eric Hutton, Fred Hall and Cameron McCool dove into their construction. The trio formed an assembly line, pushing broken crayon bits through a hot glue gun to produce a colorful splatter on plaster mask.

The teens intend to transform a box of used school and office supplies Hutton will don to strut down the catwalk. Nearby, Tim Porritt and Markku Smith took to a top hat with a needle and thread to begin attaching piles of used playing cards.

Their suit will feature heaps of assorted cards donated by a local casino that normally would find their way into a trash bin. The project is about more than just creating art for Hall.

“We’re hoping to have at least five outfits,” Hall said adding that her students a total of almost 14 hours on their projects. “It’s really good to start thinking consciously about how much we use, how much we waste. I asked my students, ‘What would it be like to carry all the waste you produce in a week?’”

The show isn’t just for students, either. The oldest registered artist is 83 and the youngest is 3, Evans said.

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com

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