Garbage Bag Gala raises money for Salvation Army

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Models, designers and people who love fashion are jamming a hotel Friday night, where a special fashion show put the "garb" in “garbage".

It’s all happening at the Moorise Hotel on the Delmar Loop.   It’s the Salvation Army’s annual Garbage Bag Gala.

More than 15 models and 15 designers teamed up again this year to turn recycled materials into fashionable duds. One model’s outfit is made from corks, a plastic bag a hula hoop and lots of duct tape.

Model Chelsea Williams explains, “I love the head piece, love the top, so I’m very excited.”

When asked if she would buy such a dress, she replies, “Oh yeah totally.” Where would she wear something like this? “Halloween party.”

The choice of materials can be tough to work with. Fashion Design Student Autumn Gay says designers have be to ready for anything, “Not tearing the garbage bag was hard, so it’s a lot of duct taping, all the mistakes you tape it back together. Lots of Velcro and a hot glue gun.”

FOX 2’s Meteorologist Angela Hutti wore some garbage garb and served as emcee.

The event raised about $13,000 for the Salvation Army.  Capt. Matthew O`Neil says this time of year they can use extra help to help those in need, “A lot of people remember us just at Christmas time, but we operate 24/7 365 days a year serving thousands of people in the St. Louis area.”

Nearly 350,000 people in the bi-state area get assistance from the Salvation Army every year.  Angie Merseal says the fundraiser provided a lot of fun for lots of folks and at the same time it provided a message for everyone in the area, “Many of the people that we serve are sometime looked as throwaway items and so this is an opportunity for us to say everything deserves a second chance.”

The Garbage Bag Gala was brought to St. Louis after the Salvation Army in Pittsburg had a great deal of success staging it.

The prizes are a lot more valuable than the fashions.  The top designer picked by three judges won a sewing machine. Some of the designers are students who can really use one of those. The top model wins Cubs/Cards tickets for an upcoming game.