Runway Repurposed 2015

Julia Lively, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Richard Lim

On Friday, Feb 15, at Crystal Gardens, the Livingston Arts Council hosted the seventh annual fundraiser for the Howell Opera House, which is a historic landmark in Howell that was built in 1881 and for 45 years served as one the towns main source for entertainment. The building now serves as a community staple and the home for the Livingston Arts Council.

“I think it is important to raise money for the Howell Opera House because it’s important for our community to recognize it’s historic landmarks,”  Ms. Mary Heikkenen, a member of the Livingston Arts Council and the co-chairperson of Runway Repurposed says.

Runway Repurposed was modeled off the hit television show, Lifetime’s Project Runway. Each person signs up to be either a designer or a model.

“We first got the idea seven years ago. My friend and colleague, Mary Rettenmaier, was a huge fan of the show Project Runway and thought it would be a good idea to bring it to Howell and the surrounding area,” Heikkinen says.

The designers are put into select categories: young beginner, beginner student, beginner adult, advanced, and avant garde. One of the rules is that each finished product must be at least 70% re-purposed clothes, which combines fashion with recycled clothing and materials. Once given their selection of materials the designers are given one month to make the most unique outfit with the theme “party time”.

Janice Kwan, a senior at Howell High School, was a model in the production wearing a dress created by former HHS teacher, Ms. Zentz.

“My job, as a model, was really just to show off the designers work to the best of my ability,” Kwan says.

At the end of the finished pieces are judged and placed in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for their category. The finished pieces were judged and given prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places within their category. At the end of the night each contestant received a gift bag and certificate with a ribbon for participation. $500 was also given to the 1st place advanced winner and $250 to the 2nd place advanced winner.

“My favorite part was seeing all the different outfits and seeing how they did with the theme,” Kwan says.