Senior & wedding photographer in Central Kansas. Serving Hutchinson, Wichita, McPherson, Pratt, Great Bend, and St. John, KS.


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  • An art competition and exhibition featuring dresses created from repurposed, upcycled, or recycled materials.

  • Inspiration and ideas here


  • High school art students


  • October 17th, 2018


    10:30 - Check in

    11:00 - Same-day construction begins

    3:00 - Final photoshoot and judging

    3:30 - Exhibit opens to the public

    4:00 - Presentation of awards

    4:15 - Exhibit closes


Competition Details

Schools may have as many entries as desired in each of the two categories. Dresses in either category must be worn by a live model and will be professionally photographed when construction is complete.



  • Dresses are constructed, in whole or in part, prior to the competition

  • Best option for more elaborate and time-consuming dresses

Same-Day Construction

  • Dresses are constructed entirely during the competition hours of 11:00 - 3:00

*Dresses featured in advertisements were each constructed by one artist in 3 hours.

  • Dresses may be constructed from new, used, or recycled materials that have been repurposed for this competition

  • Schools are responsible to bring any materials necessary to construct dresses (i.e. - glue, duct tape, extension cords, etc.)

    • Newspaper is an exception and will be provided if desired

  • Dresses may be built over an existing dress or freeform directly on the model

Additional Details

  • Entries consist of a dress and one student to model each dress

  • Hair and makeup artists have agreed to donate their time and will be available during the event to style models as dresses are constructed

    • Please specify during registration how many models will need hair and/or makeup services

    • Models being styled should come with clean hair and foundation only

    • Hair and makeup are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis upon registration


  • Pizza by the slice will be available for lunch provided by Tiger Town Pizza in St. John

Trash to Trends

Fine Print

  • All dresses must conform to school clothing guidelines

  • Judging: By entering this competition, participants agree to waive any right to claim any ambiguity or error in the judge’s decisions, and agree to be bound by all rulings of the judges, whose decisions are final. 

  • One adult sponsor should be present for every fifteen students

  • Disruptive or destructive behavior will not be tolerated.


Teacher *


Do dresses need to be made in advance?

No. You can choose to compete in the pre-constructed category where dresses are made in advance, in whole or in part, or you can choose to compete in the same-day construction category.

Are dresses constructed by a single student or a group of students?

This is up to you. Some of the more elaborate dresses may benefit from having more hands assisting, whereas others may work better in smaller numbers.

Can men’s fashion be designed for the competition?

Yes. Men’s and women’s fashion are both allowed.

Do dresses have to be created from used materials?

No. Dresses can be created from any kind of repurposed material, whether it is new, used, recycled, etc.

Can dresses be created on top of existing dresses/clothing?

Yes. Dresses can be constructed on top of existing dresses or designed free form.

Do dresses have to be displayed on a live model?

Yes. All entries must be worn by a live model.

Do models have to be art students?

No. Models can be any high school student, not necessarily an art student. You will need to bring your own models for the competition.

What accessories are allowed for the competition?

You can accessorize with regular heels and jewelry, or you can design/alter them to fit your creation (for instance, we covered high heels in newspaper for the newspaper dress, but we used regular fancy jewelry to accent the formal style).

Accessories you may want to consider embellishing/designing include an umbrella, purse, hair pieces, hat, jewelry, shoes, etc.

Our school doesn’t have an art program. Can we still compete?

Yes. Absolutely. We’d love for your students to have the opportunity to participate in this event. As long as they have a sponsor and are registered, you’re good to go.

What do you recommend models wear for the same-day construction?

We had models wear spandex volleyball shorts and a well-fitted spaghetti strap that they didn’t mind being covered in duct tape.

What materials can be used for these dresses?

Check out this Pinterest board for some of our favorites. Anything down this line would be perfect for this competition, or you can always come up with your own idea.

Do you have any helpful tips or recommendations about building the dresses?

Think about curves when creating your style. We spent a lot of time researching newspaper dresses before deciding on the design we wanted to do. The most flattering dresses were those that created/accentuated curves, rather than appearing so straight up and down. If doing a same day construction, make sure you’ve communicated with the models that they’ll need to be able to avoid going to the bathroom for five hours. The student who always needs a bathroom pass is not your best option.

Details add a lot to dresses, whether it’s little newspaper rosettes, hair pieces, matching shoes, etc., so don’t overlook the little things.

As far as construction goes, duct tape works great, as does hot glue. We suggest bringing lots of both. (And don’t forget extension cords.)

What do we do for lunch?

Pizza will be provided by the slice from Tiger Town Pizza, so remind your students to bring some cash or plan to pack a lunch.

Are models able to get in and out of the dress?

That’s up to you. If you want to create some kind of lace up design that models can get in and out of, you certainly can. We built the newspaper dresses around the models when we did it, so after the photoshoot was over, the dresses were destroyed.