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Berry Middle School student Lola Waldrop’s design is a semifinalist in Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star competition.
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Hoover resident Francesca Dichiara created her design using Alabama peanuts and peanut bags. Photos courtesy of Juan Rodriguez Photography.
Birmingham Fashion Week
- May 7-9
- Pepper Place
- Downtown Birmingham
Francesca Dichiara had always known peanuts were an Alabama enterprise since she had visited the Peanut Depot in downtown Birmingham, but it wasn’t until this year that she saw how that could translate into fashion.
Francesca’s peanut-inspired design is one of the 38 semi-finalists for Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star competition. Each contestant crafted a garment representing one of Alabama’s major industries (agriculture, livestock, transportation, technology, fishing, forestry and mining) with recycled or alternative materials such as glue, staples, tape, safety pins and paper clips. These garments were on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art through April 26.
To create her design, Francesca started with a base made with chicken wire and duck tape and layered on top of it peanut shell “sequins” that she spray painted.
To create the skirt, the St. Rose Academy student and Hoover resident draped burlap-like peanut bags over the chicken wire before spray painting them as well, and used string to lace up the back. To complete the look, she created a flower out of peach seeds, which she got at Peach Park in Chilton County when she picked up the peanuts on her way home from Spring Break. In all of it, she incorporated her favorite color, blue.
“I feel like it is a mature color and very relaxing,” she said of the color.
Berry Middle School student Lola Waldrop is also a finalist in the competition. Her design mimicked the look of the interior of cave. Using a base of duct tape, wire, trash bags aluminum and chicken wire, she used charcoal and rock salt to create a texture like one seen in a cave that she used on the collar and the under side of the skirt.
A select number of contestants will advance to the final round of the competition to showcase their design on the Birmingham Fashion Week runway Thursday, May 7 and Friday, May 8. In addition to their initial runway look, the design students selected to progress to the next round will also be required to create a second look from recycled Buffalo Rock Co. materials to walk the runway and compete for the sought-after title of Birmingham Fashion Week’s Rising Design Star. Semifinalists will move on to the final round of judging during the finale runway show on Saturday, May 9, with the winner will be announced that evening and awarded a $500 scholarship.