A paper dress: Former PRC resident wins national contest
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Former Picayune dance instructor Donna Pope Vincler, recently became the 2015 grand prize winner of the Cheap Chic Weddings contest and all it took was about 22 rolls of Charmin toilet paper.
Vincler is the daughter of Joyce and the late Bob Pope of McNeill. For 13 years, she ran the Donna Pope School of Dance in Picayune. Currently, Vincler lives in Tennessee where she operates Kinderdance of Tennessee, which features dance and fitness classes for children three to five-years-old.
Last year, as Vincler was perusing her social media newsfeed she saw the winner of last year’s Cheap Chic Weddings contest, inspiring her to create her own submission.
For the past 11 years, Cheap Chic Weddings has hosted a contest where participants must create a wedding gown and headpiece out of Charmin brand toilet paper, the website states. Entrants may also utilize glue and tape but the gown must be sewn with needle and thread.
“I started looking into the contest and said ‘I can do this,”’ Vincler said. “My mom taught me to sew when I was younger.”
Vincler began her creation with a sketch of a regular bridal gown but decided to “think outside the box” with a tuxedo inspired gown.
The dress she designed is a structured mermaid tuxedo gown, which features a removable halter tuxedo jacket and detachable train, allowing the bride the option of two different looks for her wedding day.
Vincler’s mom helped her with construction of the dress and both said they laughed so much in the beginning.
“There’s definitely a learning curve when working with toilet paper,” Vincler said.
Vincler’s dress was made entirely of Charmin Ultra Strong, Ultra Soft and Basic toilet paper as well as several types of tape and glue.
Vincler also made a bow tie choker with a button closure, a pearl bracelet with a silver bow, a floral bouquet with ribbon and a floral headpiece to match.
“We had to boil the toilet paper until it became pulp in order to make the pearls,” Vincler said.
The dress was made to fit Vincler’s daughter Aubrey. However, she lives in California so the dress had to be made on a form. Luckily, the dress fit Aubrey perfectly, Vincler said.
It took about three months to complete the wedding dress.
After completion of the dress, Vincler sent photographs and a write-up to be judged among the 1,498 entries. From there, judges chose 10 entries to compete in a fashion show in New York City at the famed Kleinfeld bridal store, which is home to TLC’s show “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Aubrey modeled the dress down the runway and to Vincler’s delight, her dress won.
Men and women of all ages entered the contest, leading Vincler to feel honored she was chosen among all the designers who poured their heart and soul into their wedding gowns.
Vincler won $10,000 and her design will be made into a gown to be featured in Kleinfeld’s boutique.
The morning after her win, she was featured on NBC’s Today Show.
“I’m already thinking about entering next year’s contest,” Vincler said. “Who knew toilet paper could be so pretty.”
Learn more about Cheap Chic Weddings at www.cheap-chic-weddings.com.