A little more than a year ago, 17-year-old Sarah Blacketer of Rockwell, Texas, rummaged through her daddy's workshop to construct an all-metal "hardwear" dress from mesh screening, safety wire and an assortment of wing nuts, bolts, screws and scraps.
In years past, a parent would just assume the youngster was cobbling together a last-minute Halloween costume.
Actually, Blacketer had her sights set on making a big splash in fashion. The 2001 valedictorian of Rockwell High School won honors in a Texas statewide student art competition for her all-metal dress. She's now studying at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.
"I think the art is finding fashion in everyday objects," says Blacketer.
The young designer used screening for the skirt and bustier, with the wire "scrunched" to achieve a gathered look. The metal rings from spiral notebooks served as trim, with lock washers and wing nuts creating a sequined effect that would surely spin the Tin Man's rivets.
Interestingly, while Rockwell High School officials hailed her innovative design, they were none too pleased when she dyed her hair shocking pink to match her own prom dress. Nevertheless, classmates voted her "Most Likely to Succeed."
Why didn't she wear her metal outfit to prom? She said, "I was onto something else."
Larry Hagman’s Gem of a Gallstone
If you're looking for the ultimate in recycled fashion, you might turn to actor Larry Hagman, who has one gem of a gallstone.
After having several gallstones removed several years ago along with a liver transplant, TV's J.R. Ewing sent them to New York conceptual artist Barton Benees, who made one stone into a ring.
Now, we don't even have to discard old body parts!
Benes is a master collector of celebrity garbage. He has one of Adolf Hitler's spoons, a throat lozenge that President Clinton spat into an ashtray, and a pencil Geraldo Rivera chewed on. Some of these objects come with documentation, he says, others come from "very reliable sources."
"Garbage is very rich working material for an artist or designer," Benes said.
"You show me what a person throws out and I will tell you about that person," he said. "It only makes sense that our garbage would live on in clothing and jewelry."
Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.