Maple Grove Days: Duct Tape Fashion Show Inspires Ingenuity
In the summer months, kids have no shortage of options to help pass the time. For example, the Maple Grove Community Center offered a fashion design workshop earlier in June.
However, the workshop involved a material you wouldn’t normally associate with clothing.
“It’s basically, you make an entire outfit out of duct tape, however you want to,” said Alexa Gruber, the instructor leading the workshop.
It may not be the most practical skill in the world, but it could win a few workshop attendees some prize money.
“I hope so. I have a really good feeling about it,” said Madison Jellen, an 11-year-old from Maple Grove.
Jellen is referring to the Duct Tape Fashion Show, one of the highlights of Maple Grove Days.
Duct Tape Help from a Pro
Jellen and her two friends got a head start on the design process thanks to Alexa Gruber, a four-time champion of the fashion show. She brought one of her creations along to the workshop to serve as inspiration.
“You get quick at it, and I still sew a lot,” Gruber said. “So you know the pattern pieces you need and you just crank it out.”
The girls aren’t quite at Gruber’s level just yet, but one thing they have going for them is that the world of duct tape has evolved since the last time Gruber competed for a title.
“They have cat-printed duct tape,” Gruber exclaimed. “There wasn’t any cat-printed duct tape 10 years ago. That was not a thing!”
Yet, who needs cat-printed duct tape when you have a group of kids with vivid imaginations? The girls attending the workshop decided they wanted to look like Maple Grove High School cheerleaders. Gruber taught them the tricks of the trade.
“I think I used to sketch for like, a couple weeks, of all the different ways of doing things,” Gruber said. “It’s a lot of, kind of, reverse engineering that you wouldn’t think of.”
It remains to be seen just how well the girls will do when it comes time for the fashion show competition, but with help coming from a pro, at least they’re in good hands.
“It’s really cool. Especially since [Gruber]’s had so many years of experience,” Jellen said.
The grand prize for the winners of the Duct Tape Fashion Show is $50. The event takes place at Maple Grove’s Town Green on Saturday, July 13, at 2:15 p.m.