Photo courtesy of Chuck St. John Photography.
0312 MBJH Fashion
Clare Friday models Gracie Carmichael’s design.
Whenever seventh grader Gracie Carmichael is bored, she sketches fashion designs or dance routine outfits—a skill that she put to good use to design a dress made of playing cards and duct tape in just one day.
Her design not only landed her a place to compete in Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Star Design Challenge; the finished product, modeled live by her friend Clare Friday, also won third place in the competition. The Rising Star Challenge judged high school and junior high students on garments made of nontraditional items, and the top 20 designers showed their designs in the Saturday night fashion finale. Gracie was awarded a $200 scholarship from Mercedes-Benz for her third place finish.
Gracie had made jewelry and flip flops out of duct tape for fun before. For her design for the competition, she created the top of the dress out of red and black tape, laced up in the back with a shoelace. For the skirt, she superglued two decks of playing cards to a sheet of plastic.
Gracie completed the dress in one week, spending about three hours on it a day, before the big runway event, where she got to meet models backstage as well as the other Rising Start contestants.
“People told me they liked how the cards and duct tape all went together,” she said.
“They said it looked like something they would actually wear in real life.”
Gracie hopes to compete in the Rising Star competition again next year. In the meantime, the Mountain Brook Junior High student stays busy dancing at Linda Dobbins Dance and working on sketches.