Local fashion designers have just over a month to take their artistic vision and make it a wearable creation to be modeled at an annual event.

The 9th annual Runway Repurposed Fashion Show will be held February 12th at the Crystal Gardens Banquet Center. The eco-friendly event is a fundraiser for the Howell Opera House and serves as an outlet for area fashion designers. The second evening of registration was held at the Opera House last night, where participating designers picked out materials from piles of used and donated clothing items. The designers will take the secondhand materials and reconstruct them to make an original, wearable creation that will be modeled at next month’s fashion show. There, the pieces will be sold and auctioned off.

The theme of this year’s fashion show is the “Four Seasons of Fashion”, according to event co-chair Barbara Smith. Smith says the event serves to recognize the skills of local fashion designers, while also raising money for the Opera House. However Smith says there is talk of creating a scholarship program through the fashion show for the event's 10th anniversary, beginning in 2017.

Howell resident Madison Haefner is 12 years old and participating as a designer in the fashion show for the first time this year. Haefner became involved a few years ago when she modeled a friend’s design on the runway. As Haefner sifted through piles of clothing, she informed WHMI that she’s excited and “not nervous at all”. Jill Baillargeon of Webberville has participated in the fashion show for the last five years and says she enjoys using her talents to benefit a good cause.

The top three winning designs will be announced in each of the five categories at the event. More information about Runway Repurposed and tickets can be found online through the links below. (DK)