Inspired by Mad Men’s Betty, Peggy, and Joan, Kirsten redesigned a vintage dress that captured the nostalgia of the 60s, but modernized it for today’s wardrobe. The voters loved it and made Kirsten the Social Media Favorite winner of the Goodwill ReDesign Contest.
What is the ReDesign Contest?
The Goodwill ReDesign Contest required interested participants to buy items at Goodwill and transform the pieces. There were 4 winning categories:
- Social Media Favorite – Finalist with the most likes on Facebook won this category
- Avant Garde – Create an innovative look that is experimental and pushes the boundaries.
- Repurpose the Dress – Transform a dress (wedding, prom, formal) into another article of clothing.
- Accessories – Construct an accessory (i.e. handbag, hat, jewelry or shoes) using a variety of items.
They submitted an entry form, receipts from Goodwill, and before and after photos of a redesign to Goodwill Keystone Area. Entries were judged on the use of Goodwill items, originality, overall appearance, and technical ability. Selected finalists walked the catwalk in their designs at the fundraiser Goodwill Runway Show in April 2015. Each category winner received a $75 Goodwill gift card and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Berks County Living.
AN INTERVIEW WITH KIRSTEN
Why do you shop at Goodwill?
I started shopping at Goodwill over 15 years ago when I discovered I could purchase high-quality clothing and high-end designer pieces for my workwardrobe at great prices. After I had my children and with finding out how quickly they outgrew their clothes, it was a no-brainer to shop for them as well! My favorite Goodwill store is in East Earl (Lancaster County, PA) and my second would be Morgantown (Berks County, PA).
How did you get started in redesigning clothing?
My dream job is to be a fashion designer. I have always been crafting outfits on my own. I started redesigning when Goodwill announced it would have a ReDesign Contest at the Runway Show in 2011. Since then, I have had entries in each show. And I have won several times as well!
What items do you typically look for when considering a redesign piece?
I comb the racks hoping to find a treasure to transform. I never know when inspiration will strike.
Describe the creation of your redesign.
When I found the handmade, vintage, polyester, orange dress, I knew I had to update it (but keep its original style). To modernize the piece, I cut off the high collar and bell sleeves. I was going for a Mad Men look and feel. The hand-painted, silk screened design on the fabric only highlighted the era it came from and made a fun conversation piece when pointing out the actual signature of the original artist. Not wanting to waste the sleeves, I crafted them into a draw-string purse with faux tortoise shell handles.
What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?
I have enjoyed every show that I’ve been in and this year was no exception. Meeting the other designers and seeing their creations and talking about their ideas and plans is as much fun as the contest itself. I have made some great friends through this event. I learned that Goodwill is more than a place to buy used clothing and that they help people with challenges learn job skills and find jobs.
What advice do you have for aspiring redesigners?
Don’t be afraid and mostly, don’t think you are too old to try new things! I would have never thought at 42 that I would follow my dreams of being a fashion designer! Goodwill made that happen for me.