2023 ReFashion winner Lynn Christensen wouldn't sell her first place creation, but she did agree to lend it to Bainbridge auteur Elizabeth Coplan, whose play, 'Til Death, is celebrating an Off-Broadway premiere for a limited run through the end of December 2023. Here Elizabeth poses in Lynn's "Shielded" outfit with the play's director, Chad Austin. Elizabeth's journey to the stage is featured in this Bainbridge Island Reviewarticle.
There were three entry categories, including a new* one: 1) Upcycled Ready-to-wear: Outfits submitted to this category should be made from used textiles or used clothing. If using articles of clothing, they must be altered significantly from what they started out as. Newer notions allowed for closures (e.g., zippers, buttons, etc). 2) Mystery Box: Outfits must be made using the materials from a box of mystery items supplied by the committee. Mystery box designers do not need to send sketches, just request a box by January 29 and pick up the box by February 3. 3) Connections*:What kind of connections do we see around us? What connections can we strengthen through ReFashion? Webs, roots, neural networks, communication networks, computer systems, woven fibers, mycelia, synapses, arteries, food webs, and quantum entanglement are ideas for networks that can be explored in your outfit.
All entries must be complete outfits. If your model can wear what you made without any store-bought clothing (other than shoes and undergarments), you are good.
Models must be able to move around freely and sit down in their outfit.
You must submit detailed sketches, to be juried, along with a list of raw materials that will be used.
All designers, if chosen, must provide their own models. Diverse models encouraged – all ages, gender, and ethnicity.
The deadline to enter is January 29, 2023. We will not accept any entries after this day.
You must be present for the event on May 21, 2023, at IslandWood 1-4pm, with a walk-through dress rehearsal TBD.
Each designer must submit a photo of the raw materials used to allow the audience to see what you began with. Photos must be at least 2000 px, 300DPI.
A descriptive paragraph of your outfit must be submitted that will be used during the event.
All outfits will be judged on a scale of 1-5 in these six categories:
Technique/Construction: How did the designer create the garment? Is the construction high quality and professional looking? Was the technique a good fit for the materials? Is there good craftsmanship?
Creativity: Is the style interesting and innovative? Have you seen lots of clothes like this before? Did the designer look at the materials in a new way?
Presentation: How is the outfit styled? Does everything look good together? Was it well thought out? Were all elements of the outfit considered?
Difficulty: How challenging was this outfit to create? How much time did it take? What kind of effort was made?
Materials Use: Are all of the main materials repurposed from items that would otherwise be discarded? Do the materials give you ideas for new ways to use items for a new life? Are the materials reused safely and without creating new trash? Are the materials interesting and have they been used in innovative ways? The materials should not be new; they should be upcycled/repurposed.
Reuse: Please ensure the outfit is sturdy enough to be used again, keeping fiber out of the landfill.
There will be a reception for artists and models at Sisters Cider House after the show.
Winners' outfits will be displayed in the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts store window during July and will have the option to be offered for sale.
Above left, clockwise: 1st place Upcycled Ready-to-Wear, Designer and model Lynn Christiansen "Shielded": It is interesting to discover the history of aspects of clothing. Ties originated from cloth worn around the neck to protect from a sword blade. Denim, once strictly the domain of the working class, is now worn by almost everyone, even royalty. Drawing influence from ceremonial armor, I have used denim and ties in the place of metal, chain, and fur to create a garment for a modern-day warrior.
1st place Mystery Box, Designer Moniece Charlton, Models Bianca Rose Suit and Thomas Schauwers "Garden Party" - Moniece created a Maxi dress with a colorful patchwork skirt, embellished with hand embroidered flowers and leaves. The top is made from a black t-shirt, with a hand-sewn beige sweater bodice, neck trim from red sweater pieces and a sweet button "necklace". The sleeves are made from a lace trimmed white cotton table napkin & tiny flowers from the same red knit and my buttons. The skirt is made from carefully designed panels, using red and beige sweater pieces, green fabric ( which I turned inside out because of the gold Christmas pattern ) and dark grey table napkins. All flowers are made from the sweater bits with black thread stitching . The deep ruffle trim is sourced from the grey napkins and the back of the skirt from the green fabric. The back of the top features a single red flower and stem with leaves- sewn onto another lace napkin, with pieces borrowed from the coordinating jacket and vintage buttons. This is designed as a maternity dress and can be worn after the baby comes as well ( or can be altered ).
"No Sweat" - This stylish jacket began its life as a plain grey sweatshirt. It has been Upcycled with an upholstery fabric trim , green fabric, and red, dark brown and beige sweater pieces. Black trim was sourced from the hem of the t-shirt used in the top of the dress. Pockets are made from wool plaid fabric scraps. Buttons are from my own collection. The back panel is made from a cotton pillow cover & trimmed with the plaid fabric and red knit pieces. Another black t-shirt and jeans are the model's own, which have been upcycled and deconstructed. This jacket is designed as a unisex piece, which can be worn separately, or over the maxi dress.
1st place Student: Designer Leilani Borneman, Model Elsa Costa "Isla de Plástico" - Thisgown is created from a rescued dress from Goodwill and commercial fishingnets (gillnets, seine, and trawling). I love the artistic and cultural expression of fashion, but that love has soured for me, when I learned from my mom and the documentary, “True Fashion, some years ago about fashion’s impact on our planet. Last year, my mom and I both participated in the up-cycled fashion show, choosing the Mystery Box. But this year I wanted to create something that combined my concern about our oceans as well as the negative effects of fashion on our planet. In 5th grade, I presented a science fair project about the effect of plastics on our oceans. This year, in eighth grade, we were challenged to invent something to help reverse the damage we’ve already done to our water. I designed a concept for a large-scale installation of hydroponics as a way to clean our waterways. I also learned this year that commercial fishing nets are made of nylon which is a kind of plastic. Fishermen end up with back piles of worn-out netting usually ending up in landfills. I searched all over the Seattle area, looking for where we could source reclaimed, damaged, fishing nets. I asked my mom to ask the Bainbridge Island Facebook page. Someone directed us to a link to Net Your Problem in Seattle, a grassroots, for-profit collection and recycling organization specifically for fishing nets no longer usable. The founder, Nicole Baker, has her master’s in marine biology and her first job was as a fishery observer. She saw that fishermen and companies didn’t know what else to do with the nets. Now she has built trusting relationships with independent and commercial fishermen. Nicole, her partner Sara Aubery who works on the East Coast, and volunteers collect, break down nets and test other plastic equipment to match up which plastics recyclers to send it all to, to keep it out of the landfills. I experimented with draping the gillnetting which almost has the look of chiffon (from a distance haha!). I felt it was not substantial enough so I used seine and trawling netting and used the gillnet to accent the dress instead. I wanted to show the whimsy of fashion and show a garment that represents how we can all work together for solutions to rid the plague of plastic waste from our planet. I hope I achieved my goal. 1st place Connections: Designer Brooke Fotheringham, Model Alexandra Ozanich"Chitin Couture" - This biomorphic, sleeveless, shawl collar wrap dress is a celebration of the cellular level forms created by nature’s second most abundant polymer. Chitin is a component of fungal cell walls and the bodies of arthropods, and our corner of the world is lucky enough to be host to an amazing variety of both. The skirt portion of the dress is fashioned after iridescent dragonfly wing cells, the bodice focuses on the looping chitin fibers in mushroom fruiting bodies, and the collars are a combination of both insect and fungal variations of chitin fibers. The dress is made from used and upcycled materials including plastic bottles cut up into rings, used dryer sheets, a shower curtain, a bedsheet, window curtains, foil snack and drink bags, serger thread and fabric from my local Buy Nothing group, with additional textiles from the Goodwill Outlet bins.
Rebecca Rockefeller: Rebecca Rockefeller is an almost-lifelong Bainbridge Islander, co-founder of the Buy Nothing Project, a worldwide gift economy movement, Head of Community for the free BuyNothing app, and co-author of The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan, a primer on pursuing a multifaceted Buy Nothing lifestyle. Rebecca's work on Buy Nothing stemmed from citizen science projects documenting local marine and watershed plastic waste conducted with her Buy Nothing co-founder and co-author, Liesl Clark, and their respective children. Her Buy Nothing life includes regular experimentation on herself, including a year spent wearing the same secondhand dress every single day, accessorized only with items she received as gifts from Buy Nothing Bainbridge.
Gabriel-Bello Lawrence-Diaz Gabriel-Bello Lawrence-Diaz is a Puerto Rican artist, education activist and community organizer. Diaz has spent his career flexibly navigating through various mediums, projects and initiatives with this same focus on highlighting underrepresented voices through multidisciplinary collaboration. One of his techniques as an artist is combining 3D printing and laser cut technology with leather to create custom leather products for clients including: accessories, jewelry, bags and various garments. He has curated half a dozen fashion shows focused on using fashion as an artform to express a deeper dialogue. Ancestral Future was his proudest fashion vision of highlighting indigenous and ancestral traditions of textiles and symbols through digital fabrication to help hidden stories of community emerge into public dialogue.
Robin Little Wing Sigo Robin Little Wing Sigo is a Suquamish Tribal Member, Director of the Suquamish Foundation, and creator of Sovereign Style, an event that celebrates the ingenuity, love and warrior voices of indigenous designers. She describes herself as a Researcher of Love, a Healer and Storycatcher. A mother to four children, she considers herself an aunty to every child she sees. Whether working or playing, you'll usually find her collecting sweet moments, helping others tell their stories and admiring everyone's style.
Thank You to Our 2023 Show Prize Sponsors!
Bainbridge Disposal has supported our show since its inception seven years ago. Bainbridge Disposal is a family-owned company that has proudly served our community for more than 50 years. Over the years, they have adapted to changes in the county waste streams by adding services for a more sustainable collection of the items we discard. The Vincent Road location has enhanced the recycling center so residents can properly dispose of their recycled items and keep them out of the landfill. They involve themselves in the community in more ways than we can acknowledge. Currently Bainbridge Disposal is are collaborating in the April Earth Month Island-wide Litter Pickup.
Jenn Herrmann returns as a second-year sponsor of our show. As she explains, “After studying and working as a textile designer, it became very clear that the fashion industry was a huge contributor to our landfill and air and water pollution. Frustrated that my passion of designing for textiles had strong negative impacts on our environment, I became compelled to think outside the box and support movements that can reshape the future of fashion. Collectively we can learn, support, and create positive change.” Jenn is also a sustainable chairperson for the PTSO in support of local groups and initiatives that will take us on the road to a cleaner greener future. Recently, she participated in the ReFashion clothing swap as an outfit stylist. As a realtor, Jenn is reachable here.
Bay Hay & Feed returns as another second-year sponsor for our 2022 show. As an island institution since 1979, Bay Hay & Feed has been at the forefront of running a sustainable business in our community. Known as a feed store, the business has expanded into so much more. Other departments in the buildings include plant nursery, clothing, food market, feed and chicks, propane refills, tableware/gifts and of course, their branded items that are seen around the world! In 2011, Bay Hay & Feed appeared on the “Washington Green 50” list as one of the most sustainably operated companies in Washington State. Besides composting, recycling, using solar generated power, and purchasing 100% green power for their main building, Bay Hay & Feed tries to purchase products in the most sustainable practice that they can for their customers. In 2019, the business was awarded the “Business Recycler of the Year” by the Washington State Recycling Association. Whenever possible, Bay Hay participates in community-minded sustainability activities. Currently these include Smartwool sock recycling during April Earth Month and nursery plant tag recycling anytime.
McCabe By Design LLC is a full-service design firm specializing in designing beautiful, functional spaces that embrace accessible + sustainable design. This Bainbridge-based company is another great partner that is in its third year as a cash sponsor. Principal Designer, Molly McCabe, previously founded and operated A Kitchen That Works LLC, a residential design-build firm that specialized in residential remodels. Molly’s business was designated as the “Sustainable Business of the Year” in 2017 by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce and has been nominated for the Kitsap County 2023 Earth Day Award for environmental stewardship. McCabe By Design provides clients with beautiful designs that seamlessly incorporate accessible and sustainable materials and design principles. Molly lives with her husband and their dog Mara in a Three Star Built Green® home that they designed and built in 2009. Molly holds the Certified Green Professional (CGP), Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) and Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) designations. Along with her professional involvement in sustainability, she has been a long-standing volunteer with Bainbridge Island Zero Waste!
his is the second year that 2atara will be a Refashion Show sponsor. 2atara design + construction is a construction company on Bainbridge Island in WA State. Designing and building with the future in mind, they work on projects that have design integrity and a sustainable vision that aligns with world resource preservation. The company has a lot of experience with sustainable practices – life cycle analysis, reuse, recycling, energy efficient systems, air quality, etc. They leverage this experience to capture the best in sustainable technologies. Here is how 2atara describes their projects: How 2atara describes their projects:
Healthy for people and planet
Site friendly designs to minimize impact on the land
Spaces that are not just a place to sleep at night, but reflections of who you are and what you believe in
We welcome Ecological Market as a new sponsor to the ReFashion Show! Ecological Market is an online sustainable lifestyle store offering household products that are eco-friendly, zero waste, and fair trade. Whether you want to replace single-use plastics with reusable solutions or eliminate harmful chemicals, they are here to help you find ways to make eco-friendly living easier and more enjoyable. The owners recently relocated from Denver, CO, to Bainbridge Island, having been inspired by the pristine natural setting of Washington State. While the store is currently entirely online, the owners look forward to a more locally minded philosophy and are growing roots in this vibrant community, including by volunteering with Bainbridge Island Zero Waste. No matter the path, they maintain their commitment to help protect the environment, reduce waste, and strive for sustainability.
Additional funding to support ReFashion Bainbridge comes from a COBI Cultural Arts grant.
A special thanks to Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, which displayed some of the winning entries July 7-30, 2023.