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Saturday, August 23, 2014, 6:29 a.m.
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Trash to treasure

Heber Springs students picked for Curbside Couture fashion show

By Tammy Keith

This article was published April 27, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

heber-springs-students-faith-cowherd-from-left-maddie-vowels-grace-cowherd-delaney-drexler-mckensey-lathrop-sophie-lawrence-and-rylee-harrod-had-their-designs-selected-for-the-curbside-couture-fashion-show-at-7-pm-today-at-the-clinton-presidential-center-in-little-rock

Heber Springs students Faith Cowherd, from left, Maddie Vowels, Grace Cowherd, Delaney Drexler, McKensey Lathrop, Sophie Lawrence and Rylee Harrod had their designs selected for the Curbside Couture fashion show at 7 p.m. today at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

Most people see boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and see snacks, but Grace Cowherd of Heber Springs saw a dress.

Grace, 13, and her sister Faith, 10, are two of seven students in the Heber Springs School District whose creations were selected for the Curbside Couture fashion show scheduled for 7 p.m. today in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

Heber Springs Middle School gifted-and-talented-class teacher Amanda Brogdon said she first read about the Clinton Foundation event last year in the Wall Street Journal, “so it was on my radar,” she said.

“I thought this would be fun. I just encouraged all students to participate,” Brogdon said, although almost all of the students were from GT classes.

“We offer nothing like it at school,” Brogdon said. “The kids can show their originality and talent and do something they’re really interested in, create something new. And it’s also teaching the importance of recycling.”

It was a statewide contest, Brogdon said, and the clothes made out of recycled materials were taken to the Clinton Center, where 85 students were chosen to participate in the fashion show, according to the Clinton Foundation website.

Dr. Kristy Cowherd, mother of Faith and Grace, said that when she saw the information Brogdon sent from the school about the event, she asked her daughters if they were interested, and they said they were.

“They’ve never really done anything like this,” Kristy said.

“I thought it sounded pretty fun and different, Grace said when her GT teacher mentioned the fashion show. “My dad suggested a beach theme, and I like it.”

Grace said she was inspired by Girl Scout Cookies boxes to make her dress.

“It was around Girl Scout Cookies time, so I just used boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and cut up [the boxes] with the different colors, and then I glued them onto a trash bag and made a beach scene,” Grace said. “The different boxes were different colors. I cut up the blue ones and made the water, and the green ones and made an island,” she said.

The boxes had to be emptied first, of course.

“Faith sold them; we ate them,” Kristy said, laughing.

“That was pretty much it for the dress,” Grace said. “Then I made some shoes — some flip-flops. I just took some flip-flops and tied fabric that matched the colors of the dress onto [them].”

Faith, who made a skirt and top, said the idea of Curbside Couture appealed to her, too.

“I thought it would be fun because I could do my own design. I could fit it to where I could wear it, and I didn’t have to worry about making it for somebody,” she said.

For the skirt, she said, “I used silver lining from a cooler pack, and then I got Popsicle sticks you do crafts with, and I made this chevron pattern.”

Faith also got fabric in a “bluish-navy color, and I filled in every other row,” she said. The fabric was furniture-store samples given to her mother by a patient.

“For the shirt, I got a skirt that was a navy color and put Velcro underneath my arm. It has one sleeve. My other arm is out,” Faith said.

Students can model their clothes themselves or use another model. Faith is going to be the model for her and her sister’s outfits.

“I’m pretty excited,” she said.

She said what she learned from the experience was “just be yourself. It’s OK to be yourself.”

Grace said she is most looking forward to “just going there and meeting new people and seeing all the designs,” she said.

Kristy said a mentoring session with professional designers, including Korto Momolu of Little Rock, was held about a month ago. Momolu is a first runner-up on Project Runway, a clothing-design show on television that Grace said she enjoys watching.

“That was one of the biggest things for them,” Kristy said, referring to meeting the designers. She said the experts’ suggestions were helpful.

Plus, Grace said, a winner will be chosen, “and I think there’s money. I think they judge you there at the fashion show, and they give the winner the cash prize.”

She’s right. According to the Clinton Foundation website, high school designers, grades nine through 12, will win $500 for first place, $400 for second place, $300 for third place and $200 for fourth place. Middle school students, grades six through eight, will win $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third. Elementary school students have a chance to win $200, $100 and $75.

Other Heber Springs students participating are Delaney Drexler, Rylee Harrod, McKensey Lathrop, Sophie Lawrence and Madelyn Vowels.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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