The NT

    MARION, Ind. – A never seen before event called Marion Made Fashion Show in downtown Marion was a huge success! People spilled out of the “standing room only” Washington Street alley  onto the sidewalks on the square on the night of Friday, June 29.

    The alley, staged as a fashion runway was decked with a staged backdrop of digital motion, a long aisle flanked by two rows of seats on either side, fine food served on bamboo plates, and lemonade hand sealed in brown bottles to a modern, vibrant atmosphere. This is a prime display of creative placemaking designed to gather a diverse community of people together for fun and celebration, says Wendy Puffer, Chief Placemaking Design Officer of Marion Design  Co.

    Marion Design Co. hosted several activities leading up to the success of the fashion extravaganza. It began on June 8th with a Marion Cinema House screening of the documentary film called The True Cost. The film (now available on Netflix) addresses human rights and environmental factors challenged by fast fashion, the industries answer to making clothes as fast as possible to meet the consumers demand for cheap but fashionable clothing.

    The following week, Marion Design Co. designers, Wildcat Art Academy high school students, The Quilter’s Hall of Fame, and other community members gathered at the MDC studio to assemble the donated clothing provided by individuals throughout the city into new, high fashion outfits. Volunteers from diverse parts of the city modeled the creations after being measured for shirts, pants, dresses, and jackets specially made for them.

    The featured event on the 29th began with hors d’oeuvres and hand-bottled lemonade served while Luke Anspach, Co-founder of Marion Design Co., entertained the audience with his original acoustic music. WBAT’s Tim George led the fashion show as MC as he announced the inspiration behind each outfit the 24 models displayed up and down the length of the alley runway. Judges were selected to score each outfit on Creativity, The Unexpected, Je ne sais quoi, and Particularity. The panel of judges included Tracy Lester, Linda Harmon, Anne Greeley, Bruce Campbell, Cathy and Bruce Weatherspoon, and Kristin Salate. In a surprise twist, the prizes were awarded to audience members who had corresponding numbers to the winners number hidden underneath their chairs.

    “This was so much fun! Thank you for letting me a part of it,” said model Gail Robinson. “I had a great time!” said models Phil Bowers and Whitney Renfroe.

    We’re already receiving requests to host this as an annual event. We’re thrilled that everyone had such a great time and so many people from  the  community  came!  said Yeabi Tabb (Design for Social Impact major, IWU and Marion Design Co. Placemaking Designer intern). We love this community and this event celebrated the great people who live here, said Grace Woodard (Graphic Design major, IWU, and Design Intern).