Couture for a Cause 2016

edie kaye was delighted to participate in Couture for a Cause in November 2016.  Designers for the show created two looks each - a Ready-To-Wear and a Couture look.  I'm proud and humbled to say that edie kaye won best Couture gown!  The designers featured in this show are so talented and inspiring, I'm grateful I had the chance to work alongside them.

Couture for a Cause matches local designers up with local nonprofits to create looks that are inspired by their missions.  We also did some fundraising to support Activate Good’s mission to "activate volunteers to help charitable causes in the Triangle and beyond."  I hope this show helped to raise, not only donations, but volunteers who might not have heard about some of these organizations otherwise but feel passionate about their efforts.

Motheread, the nonprofit I was paired with, is an organization that puts books in the hands, literacy in the lives, and stories in the hearts of children and adults.  I chose to design for this nonprofit because learning to read and learning to love reading are skills that change lives. Being able to read is a life skill that opens doors to so many opportunities. Loving to read opens a mind to a whole world of knowledge, wisdom, and adventure.

My first look, inspired by children's classics and Motheread's logo - an open book.  You can see the nonprofit’s mission come through in the reference to the open pages of the book in Motheread's logo in the pleating on the bodice. The hem line of the dress has illustrations that were inspired by some of the books used in the Motheread curriculum.

To create the pleating on the bodice I wrote out the words to some of my favorite children's books on fabric and then pleated it in a sunburst pattern.  The hemline of the dress is covered in fabric squares that are traced with some of the sweetest illustrations.  Backstage, people had fun identifying them all :)


In my second look, I wanted to show the spirit of Motheread's imagination. People have been inspired by the stars and told stories through the constellations for thousands of years. I wanted to show the night sky in a gown.  When I see the name "Motheread" I can't help but think of Mother Goose flying through a starry sky. I love that part of Motheread's mission is giving the gift of stories to their students.

To create the look, I charted the constellations in the autumn sky onto my skirt and then sewed LED lights to all the stars.  To create the wings, I cut feathers from the pages of a 700 page book.  It's a little ironic that such an ethereal look weighed so much!

I'm so happy I was able to contribute to such a great and fun cause.  I loved working with my models and the team at Activate Good.  Thanks for a terrific experience!

Emily Kirchem