The Tonne Playhouse glittered in garbage and the debris was absolutely gorgeous. • In conjunction with Earth Day on Thursday, a sellout crowd oohed-and-aahed as 34 models pranced down the 27-foot runway in ensembles including swirling mini-dresses, evening gowns with trains and bustiers with tight-fitting skirts at Largo's Trashy Fashion Show 2010.
The creations were made by amateur designers honing their skills in trashion, a combination of fashion and trash. The outfits were made up of at least 75 percent recycled materials. They were created from such items as bottle caps, cereal boxes, plastic cups, dry cleaning bags, Burger King wrappers and dryer sheets.
At the end of the evening, the top honor, "trashiest designer," went to East Lake High School students Meghan Fretto and Christine Spiegel. Their entry, worn by Lisandra Rodriguez, was a strapless mini-dress made of junk mail including discarded Seventeen magazines and 19 self-addressed envelopes.
The judging was based on creativity, environmental impact and wearability.
On the students' entry form, they explained why they selected post office trash: "The junk mail that Americans receive in one day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes.''
At the preshow get-together, dubbed the Green Room, vendors displayed eco-friendly offerings and organic farmers rubbed elbows with fashion divas.
In the audience, a few 9-year-old girls sketched out fantasy dresses, including Olivia Conklin, a fourth grader from Bauder Elementary School. She attended the show with her mother, Chrystal Conklin.
"I wanted to come because I am interested in taking care of the environment,'' said Olivia, 9. "But I also love fashion. At home, I think about fashion a lot and use Disco Fashion Barbie Show on my computer.''
The judges included fashion designer Craig Taylor, St. Petersburg Times staff writer Dalia Colon and Roberta Fernandez, president of Planet Partnership.
Back again to serve as emcees were Jerome Ritchie and Holley Sinn, hosts of Studio 10 on WTSP-Ch. 10. Before the models took to the catwalk, Ritchie gave a shoutout to Marissa Segundo, Largo's recycling coordinator. "This is the second year in a row for us to be at the show, and we just want to say we appreciate Marissa Segundo for recycling us,'' he quipped.