"I never thought banana peels could be so attractive," Babbie Lovett enthuses.
As it turns out, Lovett enthuses a lot when talking about the Curb Couture Trashion Show, a benefit for Memphis City Beautiful which will feature fashions made from recycled and found items and trash — such as T-shirts adorned with bits of dried fruits and vegetables. "It's going to be out-of this-world — [Lady] Gaga kind of style," says Lovett, director of the show.
The event will take place outside the Cannon Center with a runway area decorated by Garden District. There will be the runway show and models and dancers mingling in the audience. Mannequins featuring some of the styles will be up for auction. A DJ will spin music, and there will be food from Majestic Grille and drinks, of course. There could even be a sighting or two of hunky shirtless "garbage" men.
According to Lovett, with a few exceptions, all the fashions — some 30-plus — are wearable. Kittie Kyle and Joseph are participating. Oak Hall is creating a tie for Mayor A C Wharton out of leftover fabric, and Dawn's Couturiere is making a gown with a lampshade hat for opera diva Kallen Esperian. Pat Kerr Tigrett is showing one of her vintage wedding dresses.
On the more far-out side, there will be a cape made from an old screen door and a hat repurposed from a book by Hutchison senior and fashion whiz Evelyn Reed. Then there's a Wonder Woman-esque outfit made from plastic bottles and a skirt with flattened soda and beer cans. Other notable looks: a dress made from trash bags and pages from The National Enquirer ("absolutely adorable," per Lovett) and a sheath made of CDs ("absolutely incredible," she says).
Proceeds from the trashion show will go toward Memphis City Beautiful grants for funding community gardens, planting trees, and other small neighborhood greening projects.
"There will be crazy things to see at the show," Lovett says, "but it will have a purpose as well."
Curb Couture Trashion Show, Sunday, June 5th, 6-8 p.m. on Main in front of the Cannon Center. Tickets are $50 and are available at curbcouture.eventbrite.com or by calling 522-1135. Rain date is Sunday, June 12th.