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Any designer worth his/her salt can create a chic wedding gown using silk, satin or chiffon. But to craft one from a few rolls of toilet paper takes some talent. That, however, is exactly what the ten finalists of the 11th Annual "Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest" showcased on June 17, 2015.
What made the unconventional fashion show incredible was the intricate designs of the gowns that featured ruffles, appliques, full skirts, long trains and even gorgeous bodices. In short, they were dresses any bride would be proud to be seen in!
The competition is the brainchild of Laura Gawne and Susan Bain the co-founders of Cheap Chic-Weddings.com. The entrepreneurs came up with the idea in 2004 as a way to promote their website that gives brides and grooms tips on how to plan elegant and stylish weddings without spending their life savings. It was so successful that it became an annual event, one that is now sponsored by Procter and Gamble, the makers of Charmin toilet paper.
The rules are simple. Designers who wish to compete for the $10,000 USD prize are asked to submit photos of wedding gowns made from toilet paper (Charmin only of course) and "sewn" using needle and thread, paper, glue, and tape. No closures or Velcro is allowed. Entries are judged based on creativity, originality, workmanship and use of toilet paper.
This year's competition attracted 1,500 entries. The top ten selected by public vote, were invited to strut their gowns at a live runway show hosted by Kleinfeld Bridal, an upscale wedding dress boutique in New York City.
Though all ten ensembles were impressive, there could only be one $10,000 USD winner. This year, that honor went to "Top Hat, TP, and Tails," created by Brentwood, Tennessee designer, Donna Pope Vincler. It took the artist three months, twenty-two rolls of Charmin and copious amounts of glue and tape to put together the gorgeous tuxedo-inspired dress. Modeled by her daughter Aubrey, it boasted a halter neck and removable jacket. In keeping with the theme, Vincler also crafted a top hat and bow tie - all made from toilet paper of course!
Mimoza Haska, who took home the top prize in 2013, came in second, collecting a cool $5,000 USD for her efforts. The Surfside Beach, South Carolina resident's creation entitled "The Silhouette of my Garden," featured beautiful flower petals with slightly charred edges. For the second time in three years, Carolina Touchstone of Fort Lauderale, Florida took home the third prize of $2,500 USD. Her masterpiece called "Garden Party" contained an impressive 4,585 hand-cut toilet paper petals!
Though Haska and Touchstone will have to be satisfied with imagining a bride wearing their toilet-paper creations, Vincler may be able to witness one. That's because for the first time in the contest's history Kleinfeld Bridal is planning to transform the winning entry into a real wedding gown and retail it at their store.