Transformed wedding dresses draw big crowd at Bellingham show

What could you do with an old wedding dress?

Hundreds of people showed up at the Ragfinery on North Forest Street to see what 22 artists had created, during a May 1 runway show to promote the reuse of clothing.

“We actually had to extend the runway so more people could see,” said Dallas Betz, media specialist for Ragfinery.

The designers ranged from high school students to textile artists. First place went to Jeni Cottrell, who repurposed a wedding gown and old videotape to create a twist on the classic black-and-white floor-length dress, complete with long train.

The audience chose their own winner, a white dress covered in tiny tiles that formed a pattern, created by Debbie Dickinson. See all of the winners on Ragfinery’s Facebook page.

This is the second year for the Upcycle Challenge. Last year’s theme was to transform old bus driver uniforms from Whatcom Transportation Authority.

The theme, Betz explained, “depends on what we have a lot of.”

The Ragfinery collects unwanted clothes and textiles and finds creative ways to reuse them. People can purchase fabric or products and learn how to upcycle textiles.

“We’re trying to show people what you can potentially do with clothing,” Betz said.

To learn more about the Ragfinery, go to ragfinery.com.