Discarded clothes turned to high fashion for San Francisco fundraiser

Clothing, cloth and discards too worn, dirty or damaged to be given to persons in need or to be sold were again turned into high fashion, home decor and significant funding via the San Francisco St. Vincent de Paul's "Discarded to Divine" fashion show and auction April 26.

Although a final revenue tally from the seventh annual staging of the event was not ready Monday, St. Vincent officials said the turnout was outstanding to view and bid on the 120 design finalists to make the show.

Only 17 of the fashion creations "made the runway," said Heather Ripley, St. Vincent events manager.

"Discarded to Divine" was staged at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria. A preview event was held April 13 at the de Young Museum, where an exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier work is in full swing through mid-August: "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk."

"Many of the designs were inspired by the artwork at the museum," Ripley said.

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Last year's event generated more than $100,000 for St. Vincent de Paul of San Francisco.

According Ripley, the show drew design executions -- employing otherwise nearly valueless donations -- from as far away as New York City. The majority were created locally by students and others at design and art schools, including San Francisco State University, the Academy of Art University, the California College of Art, and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

Some of the designs were held back and will be available on eBay, Ripley said.

Click here for more background on "Discarded to Divine."

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