Guess What Material This Fashion Designer Used To Create Her Dresses For Walk For Life
by James Coulter
What do newspapers, garbage bags, and police tape all have in common? Most of us would consider this stuff garbage; but for fashion designer Hodette Radway, she considers them viable material for her fashion designs.
Last Saturday, Radway showcased two dresses that were created from this material: a sun dress and umbrella combo created from newspaper, and an evening gown created from black garbage can liners and police tape.
Radway created both dresses as a way to push her limits as a designer, as she wanted to design something “avant-garde.” What she ended up creating were two dresses most people would not assume to make.
This was not the first time the self-taught fashion designer decided to make something that no one else could. Four years ago, while on a cruise, she received an idea for a dress. She bought the fabric and took it to a seamstress, but the designer was unable to create the dress. So Radway decided to create it herself. That is how her fashion career started.
“It is something I really love doing,” she said. “I just like different clothing, and I don’t like what everyone else is wearing, so I choose to make my own.”
Since then, Radway has taught herself fashion design. She has used her self-taught knowledge to push her creativity to the limits. She has participated in many previous fashion shows, and will be hosting another in Orlando on September 1.
Aside from designing and showcasing her own clothes, she also sells clothes that are both self and custom made. Currently, she showcases them on her Instagram (@Trishae27), but will be launching her own website shortly.
“If you need something custom made, bring it to me,” she said.
Another self-taught fashion designer, Julia Borah, not only showcased her own designs at the same fashion show, but even took the opportunity to model one of her designs herself.
Sporting a black-and-white coat with black top and white high-waist pants, like a proud zebra, she proudly strutted her stuff down the runway, showing off the outfit that she had created herself.
Like Radway, Borah also taught herself how to create her own fashion designs, though this was the very first time that she had ever participated within a fashion show. The hardest part about creating her outfit were the small details, especially with the zippers and the bindings. Otherwise, the whole design simply fell into place for her.
She started fashion design five years ago, inspired by the fashion often worn by Rhianna. With this being her first show, the event more than exceeded her expectations, and has encouraged her plans to release her own clothing line in the future.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I knew that I loved fashion and anything with art, so I decided to become a fashion designer or a stylist,” she said.
Both fashion designers showcased their unique fashions during the Walk For Life fashion show, hosted at Redeemer City Church in Winter Haven on Saturday evening.
More than two dozen fashion models, including men, women, and children, walked up and down the makeshift runway within the church fellowship hall to show off the fashions of local designers and the Belk’s Department Store. The event that evening was hosted by the master of ceremonies, Dr. Alonzo Williams, Jr., and featured an interpretive dance performance by Amanda Marshall.
The fashion show served as a fundraiser for Heart 4 Winter Haven, a local non-profit organization that brings together local ministries, non-profits, and businesses to help solve social issues and take care of the poor and marginalized within the community.
Overall, through ticket sales and donations, the show was expected to raise anywhere between $3,000 to $4,000 for Hearts 4 Winter Haven, explained Bunny Reeves, a longtime volunteer who helped coordinate the show that evening.
This was the second fashion show that Reeves helped organized. Two years ago, she coordinated a similar show to help raise funds for Meals on Wheels and The Mission. Putting on the show like this is easy enough for her. The hard part is selling the tickets and advertising the show, she said. Even then, everything managed to come together nicely for that evening’s show, which nearly had a full house, she said.
“I felt really good because I love to help people and that is who I am, and because they do that, and what they do to get people back into the work force to help themselves, that is what I love…to help them get them back on their feet, when you help other people, they can help other people,” she said.
The funds raised for Hearts 4 Winter Haven will be used for their various programs. Their biggest program is Jobs 4 Life, which helps people who are unemployed or underemployed find a career path through employability.
Their program especially proves instrumental for inmates nearing the end of their sentences, helping them better integrate back into society by giving them essential job skills to help them become employable. Their program has since graduated nine classes, including their most recent from the South County Jail, explained Brad Beatty, Director of Heart 4 Winter Haven.
“So we are excited about that opportunity,” he said. “We get to take 15 inmates who are nearing the end of their incarceration time, and getting them ready for employability as they enter back into society.”
For more information about Hearts 4 Winter Haven, visit their website at: https://www.heart4wh.org/