Baggy look is in

October 26, 2000

Baggy look is in

By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Want to go someplace "trashy" tonight?

Try the Berkeley Senior Center.


That's where "Rose's Plastic Bag Sensations" will be on display. The sensations are 60 costumes designed by Rose Caudell to be modeled by 30 members of the Senior Kickers - average age 70 - for the amusement of the hundreds of people expected and for the financial benefit of the senior center.

From a plastic horse to a full-blown "Victorian wedding" party the costumes are designed to eye-catching and unique displays of garbage bag and plastic chic. The grooms will wear tuxedos made from black plastic tablecloths and the bridesmaid dresses were made from 31 garbage bags.

"I wanted to be a costume designer all my life," said the exuberant Caudell, who admits to being "60 something" and a retired Civil Service employee. "Ever since I was a kid. I never had a chance."


She loved the old movie musicals with the spectacular costumes, but they had gone out of fashion by the time she wanted to design that kind of fashion.

Now, as a senior, she's found her bag.

Three hundred bags to be exact. That's how many she used in this show - black, green, blue, pink, yellow, orange, even scented. She went through 550 hot glue sticks and countless rolls of electrical, Scotch and duct tape putting everything together.

She glued on Styrofoam packing peanuts to accessorize a full-length, Russian-style coat. She's got garbage bag chaps for a cowboy uniform to be worn by the sheriff, an octopus hat, a pill box hat, and line dancers who will be outfitted in identical uniforms.

She's also got her models so worked up they can hardly sleep at night, Caudell said.

"It's remarkable how much zest they have," she said. "We had a practice Tuesday and you'd have thought I had a kindergarten class here. Everybody was just laughing."

The models, including local politicians and candidates, will display their wares on a raised runway built for the event.

Thursday, wellness and volunteer coordinator Dawn Gonano was prancing around in a horse outfit. Caudell's husband Martin made the head and tail out of paneling, but the rest was pure plastic, as designed by Rose.

"This has really become kind of a huge event," Gonano said. "We have the usual, who are here regularly, but there will be a lot of people we never see."

The spring fashion show in April drew 325 people. This one is expected to bring in even more.

"A lot of people who saw the last show wanted to see this one," said Martin Caudell.

In addition to the show, food will served and door prizes will awarded. There's no admission charge, but organizers will pass the hat - or bag - seeking donations for the senior center. They made about $700 in April.

There's another fashionable advantage to attending, Caudell said.

"This is the one trashy show in town you don't have to worry about telling people you were at," she said.

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