— -- That blow-your-budget dream wedding gown doesn’t have to be mothballed after its limited run. Bridal designer and season five "Project Runway" winner Leanne Marshall says she's found ways to help her clients transform their gowns into completely different looks.
"These are beautiful one-time only wear garments,” Marshall told "Good Morning America." "A lot of consumers even have a problem with that, knowing that they’re going to wear this dress one time and then it’s going to sit in the back of their closet, or end up in a landfill potentially. So it’s really smart to think of alternative uses."
"GMA" decided put that idea to the test and challenged three teams of students, from Marist College, in upstate New York, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and Montclair State University in New Jersey, to remake a wedding dress into a completely new look.
Time: 2 weeks
Additional Budget: $50
Challenge: Use as much fabric from the original wedding dress as possible.
Judging Criteria: Creativity, technical skill, the amount of fabric used from the wedding dress.
Judges: Fashion expert Joe Zee and Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider.
Marist College student designers Gabrielle Amaturo and Katherine Norkeliunas led going into the competition in the category of dress usage, using all of the dress except for 2 ounces of leftover fabric.
Zee and Fulenwider were wowed by the dramatic transformations.
Montclair State University design students Giselle Castaneda and John Estefa, offered a black and purple, rosette-studded gothic-inspired gown.
Amaturo and Norkeliunas presented a three-piece outfit accessorized with a matching handbag. Their blouse, culottes and vest ensemble were hand-dyed yellow and lavender with organic turmeric powder and rose petals.
Thomas Jefferson University’s Tommy Heidebrecht and Keren Espina collaborated to create a yellow bandeau top and shorts combination accompanied by a blue kimono-style robe embellished with elaborate lace appliques.
The winner: Thomas Jefferson students
The judges raved about the versatility and handiwork of the Thomas Jefferson University team.
“That could be on the runway of New York Fashion week,” said Zee. “A young girl would wear that all the time.”
“She could wear it in so many different ways, the jacket could go over a cocktail dress or a sleek pair of pants,” said Fulenwider. “The shorts are really flattering which is really tough to do.”