'Trashion' Show fundraiser is littered with creativity

A detail of rosettes fashioned from coffee filters from one of the dresses that will be featured on the runway April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Granite Theatre, 1 Granite St., Westerly. Proceeds from the Trashion Fashion Show benefit the Greater Westerly Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce and the campaign to repair the Granite Theatre.
A detail of rosettes fashioned from coffee filters from one of the dresses that will be featured on the runway April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Granite Theatre, 1 Granite St., Westerly. Proceeds from the Trashion Fashion Show benefit the Greater Westerly Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce and the campaign to repair the Granite Theatre. Photo courtesy of Lisa Konicki

WESTERLY — Could you make a dress out of coffee filters and chicken wire? How about hairstyling rods — or better yet - duct tape?

(Maybe the more appropriate question is that if you could make it, would you wear it for a night out?)

Roughly 40 local professionals were asked to do just this — to draw upon their resourcefulness and creativity to take part in a unique "Trashion Fashion" Show to support the campaign to repair the historic downtown Granite Theatre. The dresses and clothing on display will be pulled together from discarded, recycled or repurposed materials. Earth Day (Tuesday, April 22) is your chance to see what they made.

Many participants are using material drawn from their line of work, so expect to see paint samples, wine corks, utensils, leaves, packing paper, CDs, bubble wrap, balloons and beer tabs transformed into wearable items.

A slide show will display the process of each creation, and several of the dresses will be sold after the event.

The runway show kicks off at 7 p.m. at the theater, 1 Granite St. Refreshments, consignments, and "I Trashed The Granite Theatre" commemorative T-shirts will be sold as well. Tickets are $20, and are available at the Greater Westerly Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce on Route 1 (401.596.7751); Bella Vita Salon, 26 High St. (401.596.9990); and Woodees Boutique, 33 Broad St. (401.596.0200).

The Granite Theatre, a white-columned downtown landmark, began its life as a Greek Revival Church in 1846. Its steeple was lost during the Hurricane of 1938 but the rest of the building endured. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and while the main structure is in good condition, a recent inspection revealed that extensive work was needed on one of the columns and the portico.

Construction work has revealed some mysterious notes on the building's history; most recently the name "John H. Conroy" was found written in long script on a wall in the portico. Artistic directors David and Beth Jepson recently circulated the photo on the Granite's Facebook page, hoping to find someone who recognizes the name.

The theater stages a number of musicals, plays, original and musical performances each year.

The event is being coordinated by the Greater Westerly Pawcatuck Chamber. For more information, visit the theater's website or Facebook page or call 401.596.2341.

- Faye Parenteau

Construction work at the Granite Theatre has revealed some mysterious notes on the building’s history; most recently the name “John H. Conroy” was found written in long script on a wall in the portico.
Construction work at the Granite Theatre has revealed some mysterious notes on the building’s history; most recently the name “John H. Conroy” was found written in long script on a wall in the portico. Courtesy of the Granite Theatre
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