Marking their 100th anniversary of cookie sales, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington is celebrating the momentous milestone by showcasing six talented Seattle designers and female business owners at the Cookies and Cocktails Gala.
Inspired by an Alexander McQueen gummy bear dress, Stefanie Ellis, PR director for Girl Scouts of Western Washington came up with the idea to re-imagine Girl Scout cookies as dresses using the talents of local designers and modeled by business owners and girl scouts.
Designed by Casey Sagisi, the Trefoils cookie is re-imagined as a dress with a matching pillow hat. The 2013 graduate of the New York Fashion Academy displays the unique shape of the trefoil cookie in this dress, ready for the runway.
Modeled by Muses co-founder, Sandrine Espie, the dress visualizes the connective thread holding the four women pictured together. Joining Espie is Esther Hong, co-founder of Muses along with Girl Scouts Julia Witecki and Carleigh Templin. Thread, fabric and other sewing materials are at the core of their work which supports immigrants, refugees and those in developing nations.
As co-founders of Muses, Sandrine Espie and Esther Hong work daily to train apparel makers in immigrant and refugee communities. Their passion for working with the refugee communities in Seattle and fashion quickly grew into Muses, a nonprofit that teaches sewing skills to local immigrants and refugees so they can find jobs in the garment industry.
Girl Scouts, Julia Witecki and Carleigh Templin started the Bleedership Conference to help educate young girls on their cycle and take away the stigma surrounding periods. The girls also sew reusable pads for girls in developing nations who can’t go to school when they have their periods due to a lack of hygiene supplies. Witco and Templin use their Girl Scout cookie money to support their work and work to make a difference in the world around them.
Designer Danial Webster had the honor of designing a dress around this year’s newest cookie, the S’mores. The dress is set off with a hat, gloves and chocolate-covered shoes. Known for his knitwear, costumes and couture clothing, Webster added a whimsical flair to his design.
Trophy Cupcakes entrepreneur and Girl Scout alumna, Jennifer Shea models the dress along with Melody Nguyen, Girl Scout and Cupcake Wars/Chopped Junior contestant. This duo was paired due to their love of cupcakes and because Nguyen hopes to achieve the same level success as Shea in the culinary arena.
A Bastyr University trained nutritionist, Shea started Trophy Cupcakes in 2007 with her first shop in the Wallingford Center. Martha Stewart’s endorsement of the sweet treats in 2008 helped spread the delicious word about these cupcakes across the country. Today, Trophy Cupcakes has five locations across the Puget Sound region. Shea has also written a book, Trophy Cupcakes and Parties and teaches baking and decorating classes on craftsy.com
Girl Scout alumna, Shellie Moomey has a flair for the theatrical as the master draper at the Seattle’s Children’s Theatre and shows off her skills with the Patchwork Cookie Box Coat featuring cut-up cookie boxes. Girl Scout Hannah is wearing a skirt made out of the same patchwork material. Moomey knows how to take the dreams of costume designers and make them a reality. The patchwork cookie box fabric displays how “cookies do, quite literally, connect girls to their communities, and unite us all to one another in a singular tapestry,” said Ellis.”The girls in this scene with Shellie make their own blankets with their cookie money, which they donate to local shelters.”
Known for her outstanding bridal gowns, designer Luly Yang took inspiration from the Tagalongs cookie for her rhinestone creation. Yang has been wowing Seattle since 2000 when she entered a fashion show on a whim with a butterfly dress crafted entirely out of paper. Walking along 4th Avenue past the Fairmont Olympic hotel downtown affords a glimpse of her exquisite work.
Patricia Raskin models the Tagalongs dress and is a proud aunt to a Girl Scout. She also crafted the purse she is holding entirely out of real Girl Scout cookies and Swarovski crystals. The purse was a labor of love with an epic ant battle during the creation of the purse prototype. She persisted and ended up with a divine purse.
Featuring hand-embroidered cookie shapes, the cookie fairy gown comes from Rachel Vala of Class Act Tutu. Vala’s work can also be seen on the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Her whimsical design comes from the idea that the cookie fairy makes one’s cookies dreams come true. T’wina Franklin models the dress which has hand-embroidered cookies in three different varieties.
Shannon Avery and Chris Spahn make dreams come true with their non-profit, Birthday Dreams. The co-founders give free birthday parties to homeless children across Western Washington. The Renton organization was founded on the simple principle that children deserve one day enjoy the excitement of their birthday with a party. Girl Scouts donate the money they raise through cookie sales to local homeless shelters across the 17 counties in Western Washington that the Girl Scouts of Western Washington serve.
Designer Jamie Von Stratton is known for her wearable art and functional fashion but her Thin Mint Galaxy Goddess Gown might be her most amazing piece yet. Inspired by the multitude of STEM-related activities that the Girl Scouts are involved in, the Thin Mint Galaxy Goddess Gown has mermaid scales cut out of Thin Mint boxes and spray painted on one side. The Seattle Mermaids participant knows about mermaids and their costumes. The Girl Scouts know STEM and even have an all-girl LEGO Robotics league. The dress features a shoulder piece and arm bracelet made out of worbla. Von Stratton has designed outfits for the likes of Lady Gaga, So You Think You Can Dance contestants and Jinkx Monsoon, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 5.
To catch a glimpse of all the cookie gowns in person, jet on over to the Cookies and Cocktails Gala on March 2nd (this Thursday!) at Metropolis. From 6 to 9 p.m., mix and mingle with over 25 women chefs, bartenders and business owners while enjoying sweet and savory bites inspired by a century of Girl Scout cookies. And another important note, official cookie sales kick off on Friday, March 3rd!