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Zaria M models this dress. Her hair was styled by Kimi Hayes, and her makeup was done by Jessie Gomez.
Designer Tiffany Rae says: “This design was made out of randomness. All I knew was I wanted to make something elegant and glittery. So I didn’t care what I used; I just wanted to make something that I felt fit that description. The material included everything from popsicle sticks to plastic, glitter, and beads—basically pure randomness.
All I can say is that I will never use glitter again. It should be illegal. I am still finding glitter. I used glitter in one room, and I thought I cleaned up the scene and left no evidence. But oh no, I was terribly wrong. Ever since then I have seen specks of glitter in every room, in m y car, on my clothes. I have even found it under the couch cushions. Glitter is very friendly, too. I have had friends say that after they left my house, they saw glitter on their clothes and in their car. But besides the glitter epidemic I experienced, I am totally in love and could not be happier with this design.
It’s fierce, it’s bold, it’s elegant and glittery. I designed the look I was going for.”
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Made out of plasticware, this dress is worn by Katelyn Kern, with hair by Jessie Gomez and hair by Kimi Hayes.
Tiffany says: "I really wanted to show off the beauty of the shapes of the material. I loved the idea of using the material in a way that is beautiful and where people have to ask what it is made of. Some people thought I covered the skirt with egg shells because that’s the only think they could think of at first glance. Then once they saw the forks in the top and on the back of the heels, they would realize, ‘Oh, wow. Those are spoons.’
"The best moments I have are when people see such beauty in what I make. They see spoons every day. But they are used to just throwing plastic spoons away; they never thought that they would ever use the world beautiful to describe an outfit made of things they eat with. I get to take the normal things and make them into something beautiful. I love it."
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Worn by model Melanie Anne, with hair done by Kimi Hayes and makeup by Jessie Gomez, this dress was made out of Christmas tree garland.
"Royal was the word that inspired this design, especially the shoulder piece," Tiffany says. "Now, as I created the bottom piece to match the top, it started to transform into a warrior type vibe. After everything was from complete, the total look has a the feel of a futuristic warrior princess, which I like.
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This dress is composed of coffee straws and worn by Julia Jahnke, whose hair was done by Kimi Hayes and whose makeup was done by Jessie Gomez.
"This was an impulse design," Tiffany says. "No sketch, no prior thought of what I was going design. I happened to run out of on another design I was working on. It was going to be like a week before I got material to finish that design. So to occupy my time, I wanted to start working on a new design, so I just grabbed what I had and tried to make a design. I never knew what my design was going to look like until it was done. I like the finished product, though. It reminds me of the word cage and the word bird. I guess I made a bird cage dress?"
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This design is made of toothpicks, with popsicle stick and dowels used as supports.
“This was my first design I made in my first collection and only my seventh design overall,” Tiffany says. “With only a little over a year of experience, I made this. It was not easy. It took me about two months to make. There is a lot of detail and pattern work involved. It needed to be structured with a balancing act of placement so that everything aligned around the body perfectly and could be worn. I will say I was proud of what I made. All the detail is so enchanting and magical."
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This dress is made of copies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“When people think paper, they would probably think I would be making a girly tutu, fluffy dress, or something, but instead, my concept was futuristic,” Tiffany says. “My style in general is very architectural. Every design I made in my collection could be described as architectural, which makes sense because sometimes I almost feel like I’m building an outfit and also because I want everything to align and make sense. I just don’t curve a material for no reason or cut into a certain shape just to throw it together. Everything has a reason when it comes to my designs; nothing is just thrown together. It’s a creative thought process. This is an example of that. I was even cutting paper that took me hours because I had to find sections or pages of printed words but without pictures. I didn’t want it to look like a newspaper was slapped on there.”
By Jonas Weir
Tiffany Rae has overcome some pretty amazing odds to become one of Missouri's most exciting fashion designers. As a child, she was diagnosed with spinal chiari malformation, an abnormality that causes the cerebellum to grow unnaturally into the spinal cord, and she underwent several surgeries throughout her childhood.
Now, it's been seven years since her last surgery, and she's a rising star in the fashion world. Tiffany sets herself apart by incorporating unconventional materials into her designs:newspapers, decks of cards, and wrapping paper. Check out some of her avant-garde designs in the slideshow above. Read the February 2015 issue of Missouri Life for our full story, and visit her website for more information on upcoming events and to see more of her designs.