Fashion show features costumes made from found items | Applause

DANVILLE — What can you do with the stuff in your recycling bin? Win a fashion contest!

The Danville Arts Council is hosting the ABC (Anything But Clothes) Fashion Show 5.0 next Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pine Barn Inn.

In previous ABC Fashion Shows, audiences have been astonished at the level of creativity, said Rebecca Dressler, executive director of the Danville Business Alliance.

“The designs are amazing,” she said. “The time and attention to detail the creators put into the designs just make for a fun evening.”

Nicole Polanichka and Mitchell Andjeski have participated in the past three shows. Although they now live in Elizabethtown, they used to live in the area and Polanichka was a member of the Danville Arts Council.

“We love it,” Polanichka said. “We live in the Harrisburg area now but still came back for it last year because it was so much fun.”

They worked on all three costumes together but alternated with who actually modeled it. The first year their theme was “Choose Your Vice.” They gathered objects from various vices — beer cans, cigarette packets, lottery tickets, poker chips, even Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey bags for shoes — and dressed Andjeski like a “cigarette girl” of the early 1900s.

The next year they chose a “Modern Dynasty” theme, decking Polanichka as a sort of knight warrior with “armor” made from baseball mitts, footballs, baseball pennants, a soccer goal net for a cape, skis for a weapon and a sliced basketball for a crown.

“Everyone seemed to love it. We had lots of accessories,” Polanichka said. “I think people were surprised with how elaborate we were.”

Last year they gathered stuffed animals and other kids’ toys to create a military, combat soldier for a “Toy Soldier” theme.

“It was great,” Polanichka said. “It’s a little bit like acting. You get to be someone other than yourself.”

The couple did not participate during the first year of the ABC Fashion Show because, she said, she cannot sew. But watching what other people did to create eye-catching costumes from recycled and household items, she realized she and Andjeski would have fun coming up with something.

“I’m an artist, and he is also very creative,” she said. “So it was an opportunity to do something together. And we’re both very competitive, and to create something with things that would get thrown away was really interesting to both of us.”

The competition keeps getting stiffer, she said, which also adds to the fun.

“Last year there was a Youth Category for high school kids,” she said. “It’s a fun way for anyone to get into the arts and get creative and not have to be serious.”

Judges will be Mary Fallon, Molly Lloyd and Ben Hartman. The Judge’s Choice Grand Prize winner will receive $150, the Runner-Up $100 and the People’s Choice $100. All voters for People’s Choice must be present.

The evening will also offer a raffle, Dressler said, adding a thank-you to local businesses for donating gift cards and baskets valued at over $1,000. A few local artists will sell their work. Iced tea, lemonade and coffee will be served, and a cash bar will be available. All profits benefit the Danville Arts Council.

“It’s a fun night out,” Dressler said.

“It’s fun,” Polanichka agreed. “You can take found materials and turn them into an outfit.”

For more information, see www.visitdanvillepa.org.

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at [email protected]

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