Party Line: Another success in the can for annual Trashion fashion event

The Commercial Appeal Ballet Memphis dancer Virginia Pilgrim was a vision of dry cleaning bag/trash bag loveliness in her gown, which also was made of wrappers for The Commercial Appeal, in Memphis City Beautiful's Curb Couture Trashion Show. Bruce Bui (left), the dance company's wardrobe manager, designed the gown. With them is dancer Brandon Ramey.

Photo by Michael Donahue, The Commercial Appeal

The Commercial Appeal Ballet Memphis dancer Virginia Pilgrim was a vision of dry cleaning bag/trash bag loveliness in her gown, which also was made of wrappers for The Commercial Appeal, in Memphis City Beautiful's Curb Couture Trashion Show. Bruce Bui (left), the dance company's wardrobe manager, designed the gown. With them is dancer Brandon Ramey.

Coffee filters, duct tape, plastic bags and old CDs were among the materials used in clothing modeled at Sunday's Memphis City Beautiful Curb Couture Trashion Show. Even invitations from last year's Trashion show were included in one creation.

Local professional and aspiring designers featured their work in the show held outside in the Broad Avenue Arts District.

Shoelace eyelets accented a kimono worn by Tam Tran.

"I cut them off an old pair of sneakers," said Chad Irwin, who designed the kimono. He had worn holes in the sneakers' soles. "I can't wear them anymore."

The sky looked threatening, but Ballet Memphis dancer Virginia Pilgrim was ready. Virginia, one of the models, wore a gown made of plastic laundry bags, trash bags and some blue wrappers from The Commercial Appeal. Bruce Bui, the dance company's wardrobe manager, designed the floor-length piece, which was accented with round pieces from milk carton tops.

Alexis Grace was the emcee. Babbie Lovett and Eric "Sache" Evans were the fashion show commentators. Eldra White is the executive director of Memphis City Beautiful.

Chilly for Chili

The weather turned chilly just in time for the first Chili Cook-Off to benefit The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee Saturday in the organization's parking lot.

"Great Bowls of Fire" was the slogan for the contest, which featured 18 teams and a crowd of 500. "We raised $50,000 and that was our goal," said Jo Anne Fusco, executive director of the organization, a special needs facility.

And, she added, "The chili was delicious."

The Exceptional Foundation of Birmingham, the founding organization, has held a chili cook-off for years, Jo Anne said. "Last year, they had 80 teams and 6,000 people."

The West Tennessee chapter plans to hold another one next year, Jo Anne said.

"The Red Hot Chili Cookers" from The West Clinic took the first-place prize.

Asked their secret ingredient, team member Russ Ellis said, "The AmberBock beer."

A team from the Clear Channel came in second, and a team from Blind Bear took third place.

Patrick Fusco and Company performed.

Testing their mettle

Cold weather and rain didn't keep people from attending the Repair Days party and live and silent auction Saturday night at the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

A total of $42,000 was raised at the auctions, said museum director Carissa Hussong.

"We think it's the best we've ever done," she said.

Each year, metalsmiths from around the world converge to help fix broken metal objects and raise money for the museum. This year's event began Thursday and ended Sunday.

The Saturday night party is when metalsmiths unwind and the public bids on some of their work. Everybody gets homemade venison stew.

David McCade was high bidder on a beer bottle opener made of steel, bronze and brass made by Mike Chmielewski. Asked why he wanted the piece, David said, "I'm an old beer drinker from a long time ago."

And, he said, "When I first saw it, just the way it was built, I knew right then it was a masterpiece. It was awesome."

Asked what he paid for the bottle opener, David said, "I think it was $1,600. Which was a steal."

MIFA fundraiser

Some 975 people fed their bodies and more at "Feed the Soul," the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association. The indoor-outdoor event, which was jam-packed with activities, was Thursday night at The Warehouse on G.E. Patterson.

Inside, guests listened and danced to performers, ate, drank and partook of an oxygen bar. Outside, guests ate, drank, danced and partook of a cigar, Four Roses bourbon and Bacardi rum bar.

The Living Daylights and Stan "The Bellringer" Bell of V101 provided the music and the Havana Mix Cigar Emporium provided the smokes.

"The reason why we do this event is to attract younger donors," said Charlie Nelson, MIFA director of fundraising events. "We feel like to attract younger donors, we have to give them something for the money they're donating."

The party is aimed at the 25-to-45 age group "but you can see there are much older people there," Charlie said. "I shouldn't be at that party if that was the case. We can't say it's just for 25 to 45."

Becky and Chris Suhoza were the honorary co-chairmen.

Indie sneak peek

A hip place to be Thursday night was the third floor of A. Schwab on Beale at the Indie Memphis PEEP Show hosted by filmmaker Craig Brewer. Moviemakers and others involved with the arts in Memphis were on hand.

The sneak preview of films from the upcoming 2012 Indie Memphis Film Festival was featured along with food, drink, music by the Bluff City Backsliders and entertainment by Sock it To Me Burlesque.

The Indie Memphis Film Festival will be Nov. 1-4 at Playhouse on the Square, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Circuit Playhouse and Studio on the Square.

donahue@commercialappeal.com; 901-529-2797

© 2012 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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