Duct tape fashion show debuts at Walworth County Fair

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, September 2, 2012

— When I was a girl, duct tape came in one color, and that color was gray.

We were happy with one color because duct tape was for one thing, and that thing was fixing stuff.

But some changes are for the good, and duct tape is a case in point.

On Saturday, young people—and a few adults—strutted, spun and otherwise cavorted across the stage at the Walworth County Fair for the event’s first ever duct tape fashion show. As duct tape now comes in numerous colors and a variety of patterns, including zebra stripe, space alien, floral, camouflage and a number of geometric designs, it was a spectacular show.

The youngest contestant was eight weeks old and the oldest was old enough for it to be impolite to ask for an age.

Anna Halpin, 8 weeks, of Lake Geneva sported a diaper with gold and silver trim made by her brother Nate Halpin, 10.

She was carried across the stage, sound asleep.

Lily Arntz, 9 months, of Walworth sported a purple duct tape dress with aqua trim. It was accessorized with stars and moons to go with this year’s fair theme, “Blast Off: We’re shooting for the stars.”

Arntz has two—and only two—tiny teeth that make their appearance when she smiles.

It was tricky to tailor a dress for Lily because she wouldn’t stay still.

“I had to put a bag over her,” said her mother, Amanda Arntz.

She put a bag over her baby?

Well, no, more like around her, to get a sense of how big around the dress should be.

“I made it too small, anyway,” Arntz said.

Her daughter gurgled happily but had no other comment.

The outfits were astounding. Duct tape rocket boosters were strapped to the back of a little boy in white duct tape pants. One girl had triangular pleats—yes, duct tape pleats—on her purse that matched a dress of same color pattern. Another had a sundress that alternated between a zebra-pattern and hot pink duct tape.

Amie Murphy, 8, of Lake Geneva and her American Girl doll, Kaylee, wore matching duct tape dresses.

Eris Fletcher, 12, of Racine wore a multi-colored dress, hat and accessories with a space theme. She is a duct tape pro.

“I’ve made flowers, wallets, purses, little flowers to put on pencils—a bunch of stuff,” Fletcher said.

At the end of the show, Mikaila Jacobs, 13, of Elkhorn took home the grand prize for a series of outfits she made for her friends. The award included a ribbon and ride tickets.

Judge Kathy Duesterbeck said she was impressed with Jacobs’ craftsmanship, creativity and ability to work with two-inch wide strips of material.

Last updated: 4:43 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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