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GBG #BagStagePass: Penny Henley & Jessica Dana

**Leading up to the 5th Annual Garbage Bag Gala, we will help you get to know a few of the 23 designers creating pieces for the show.**

Penny Henley

12074626_1518986551726339_4021193548199113939_nWhat initially interested you in fashion design? Tell us about when you began this pursuit.

What initially interested me in fashion design was the ability to create anything from your mind that you know no one has ever seen before. I love my unique style and I enjoy sharing it with the world.

It all started when I was a kid and my mom taught me how to hand sew and since then, I wanted to learn more. I later learned how to use a sewing machine and the rest was history.

Give us a brief outline of your creative process. What inspires you?

First, I think on a theme, next draw up a mood board or picture and then begin the process. All types of things inspire me…….from a baby crying, to the wind blowing a leaf on the ground. They all are God’s precious creations and it gives me life.

Homelessness is a consistent issue in St. Louis. What issues inspired you to participate in Garbage Bag Gala to support The Salvation Army?

There are a number of issues that should and need to be addressed in St.Louis but the main focus is on homelessness. I hate the fact that women and men have to endure this, but for the children, it’s worst to see them grow up in this type of environment. I am very honored to try and raise money for this cause and I pray it goes beyond expected.

How has this particular task – using all recycled goods, trash and garbage – influenced your designs for Garbage Bag Gala?

This task influenced me to never give up, meaning if a certain way didn’t turn out the way I plan,  I must keep going until I find the right way.

Garbage Bag Gala is all about creating fresh designs out of recycled goods. Tell us how you think sustainable design impacts our lives, especially when it comes to fashion.

As a person who recycles daily, I feel sustainable design very important  to our environment. We are able to save money and use it for better things to help each other.


Jessica Dana

jessicadanaWhat initially interested you in fashion design? Tell us about when you began this pursuit.

I have been a body artist and makeup /hair artist since 2001. I started extending my makeup and body art designs by painting fabric additions and making creative extensions of my body art with costuming with recycled materials many years ago.

Give us a brief outline of your creative process. What inspires you?

I am inspired by art of any kind.  I see good designs on a painting, or tile on the floor, a sculpture, an advertisement, or in nature; basically art is everywhere and I snap photos everywhere of beautiful things of all types.  I often work a lot in my head before my ideas go on paper.  Also, as I begin building the creation and use odd things to build costumes, my designs becomes more of a sculpture and move in their own direction based on the material.

Homelessness is a consistent issue in St. Louis. What issues inspired you to participate in Garbage Bag Gala to support The Salvation Army?

I see a massive amount of homelessness in St. Louis and it breaks my heart.  A recent trip to New Orleans brought me closer to realizing our problem because the homeless there were more out in the open then they are here.  I realized we had the same issues in STL just not so easy to openly view as frequent. This made me want to do something to help.

How has this particular task – using all recycled goods, trash and garbage – influenced your designs for Garbage Bag Gala?

Using recycled material forces me out of my comfort zone of regular materials I use to create art.  This creates texture and inspiration in a way pre-bought art supplies cannot do.  I want to help raise money for people I can’t afford to help daily by doing this event with resources I can afford (recycled items).  I hope to assist raising money by using my artistic skills to raise money to help those in need.

Garbage Bag Gala is all about creating fresh designs out of recycled goods. Tell us how you think sustainable design impacts our lives, especially when it comes to fashion.

By reusing materials we do good for the environment, by cutting back on landfill material and factory production.

The artist budget is always low and therefore we always looking to save on overhead. It also forces our brain to create new ideas using unusual textures and sculpting beyond normal fashion design norms and ideas.

Come back next Thursday for another #DesignerThursday! To attend Garbage Bag Gala 2015, click here to purchase tickets.