LADYfits: thriving fashion into art - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

LADYfits: thriving fashion into art

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Fashion and art; a Cedar Rapids woman is combining the two, while giving back to her community. She's calling it 'social art.'

"So I wanted to create something that can be broken down and still be wearable," fashion designer Sonya Darrow said at her studio in Cedar Rapids.

It's the studio for LADYfits, a collaboration between Darrow and Goodwill of the Heartland.

"I don't know what the final project is Oman look like," Darrow said.

The idea explores the different areas of a thrift store through textile compositions. Like most artists, she needs her supplies but her source is at Goodwill, on the racks.

"A lot of times when I go into a thrift store it's for inspiration," Darrow said. "Sometimes I'll pick up an item and have an idea instantly of what I want to do with it. Sometimes I'll take an item and I feel comfortable that it'll have it's place somewhere down the line."

She has several examples. One which she created during the month of October, based on a bird costume theme. Darrow found fabric from old sweaters to make the outfit.

"I think it looks like a bird only when it's in this shape," Darrow said as she put it around her waist.

This project took shape after Darrow realized she wanted to do something to give back to her community.

"A thrift store is a cultural pocket of a neighborhood. And that's one aspect that I love playing around with because it shows the culture of the neighborhood, it shows the history of Cedar Rapids," Darrow said.

After the floods of 2008 she realized how easily artifacts can be lost. LADYfits was the perfect opportunity to preserve history, by making it new.

"I have a Czech background and I've really explored the whole folk embroidery, folk motifs, and just try to evolve that into today's world," Darrow said.

A world where fashion doesn't have to be expensive. And can, in fact, be reused, andredesigned to make a statement.

"It can continue to evolve and move and hopefully become a part of the community," Darrow said.

A community, that for her, is discovered on the racks at Goodwill and transformed into art.

Darrow publishes monthly newsletters and distributes them to Goodwill stores across Cedar Rapids and Marion. She shares tips and give examples of ways to reuse clothing and make a statement.

For much more on this story, including pictures and video, visit Lauren's blog.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

Follow Lauren on Twitter.

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