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See tuxedo pants, dresses transformed in Bellingham runway show

Marybeth Spector prepares to transform raw materials — tuxedo pants and a cocktail dress — into a new creation for Ragfinery’s Fancy Pants Runway Challenge. The runway show is Friday, May 20, at The Leopold’s Crystal Ballroom.
Marybeth Spector prepares to transform raw materials — tuxedo pants and a cocktail dress — into a new creation for Ragfinery’s Fancy Pants Runway Challenge. The runway show is Friday, May 20, at The Leopold’s Crystal Ballroom. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

What happens when you give artists one pair of tuxedo pants, one cocktail dress and two months to combine the two into a piece of fashion for a runway show?

That’s the concept behind the Fancy Pants Runway Challenge, which asks people to upcycle old textiles.

The wearable creations from 25 contestants will go down a 50-foot runway at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom, 1224 Cornwall Ave., at 7 p.m. Friday, May 20.

Tickets, $10, are available at Ragfinery.com. Or you can make the donation at the door, but the event is limited to 300 people. Seats also are limited, so arrive early if you can’t stand through the estimated two-hour event.

Judges will evaluate the garments in three categories — fanciest, creative transformation and presentation.

DJ Alternate Fields will provide the musical backdrop for the event; beer from Stones Throw Brewery, wine and refreshments will be available for purchase.

This is the second such fashion challenge for Ragfinery, which diverts unwanted textiles and upcycles them in a training business that provides transitional jobs for low-income people. Last year artists made wedding dresses from recycled material.

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