SHE: Danish Queen Audrey Frank has touch of class all her own


By Amanda Leitch-Lee • Last Updated 2:07 pm on Thursday, July 26, 2012

Miss Danish Festival reveals the secrets to her quirky and eclectic sense of style

One of the four points on the Miss America crown is for style. Reigning Danish Festival Queen Audrey Frank has a style all her own and can be just as thrifty as she is majestic.

2011 Danish Festival Queen Audrey Frank

For her run at the Miss Danish Festival Queen crown, Audrey, who recently graduated from Greenville High School, made several of the outfits she wore in the Miss Michigan and  Miss Danish Festival pageants. “I really like that style was a part of it,” Frank explained of her crown’s meaning. “It is about presenting yourself to other people and letting them know who you truly are.”

PUTTING HER OWN TOUCH ON ROYALTY FASHION 

At official events during her reign as Miss Danish Festival, Frank has let her personal sense of style show, all the while looking classy and appropriate.

“When I dress up for an event, I think about the fact that with a crown on my head, people will look at me, and I am representing my family, friends, the Danish Festival and the Miss America  organizations,” said the 20-year old West Michigan University student. “I need to look polished and real at the same time, and I have had to find the balance between my own style and how people will see me in the community.”

During her off time, Frank’s passion is sewing and she enjoys altering thrift store finds. She is somewhat of a thrift store junkie. One rule of thumb Frank goes by while thrift store shopping is to never spend more than $5 on an item. “Don’t spend more than $5 on anything,” she advises. “Remember, its secondhand and you could probably pay $10 in the store for a brand new item.”

Frank is studying both marketing and textiles and apparel studies in college. She learned the art of sewing from her grandmother and her aunt years ago.

“I like that I can take something, a shirt, a piece of fabric, anything, and make it into a completely new piece,” she explained. “I have a skirt that I made using $1-a-yard fabric. It is a geometric pattern with blue, green, pink, red, yellow and white shapes that I originally made into a dress.” She only wore the dress a few times, so Frank cut the top off and made it into a high wasted skirt, which, she said, she wears all the time.

LEARNING TO TURN DISASTER INTO DAZZLING

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Frank and her fashion ideas. During her junior year in high school, she decided she wanted to go to prom a week before the event. Instead of running to the mall like most ladies, Frank took action creating the perfect dress. She found a remnant of a blue and white geometric print fabric and some white satin to match. She got to work creating an empire waist dress that flowed.

“By Friday night, I was almost done,” she said. “But since I didn’t have time to hem the fabric, I used Stitch Witchery, the iron-on tape you normally use to shorten pant hems. While doing so, I accidentally ironed a huge glob of it right to the front of my dress. The directions said to hold the iron over the glob for 10 seconds and it would peel right off. I must have gotten distracted because when I lifted the iron up, my dress came with it. There was a huge hole right in the middle of my prom dress. I started crying. I had no idea how I was going to fix this.”

Audrey Frank (in front, far left) stands with fellow Miss Michigan contestants at Michigan’s capitol building in Lansing.

But, in typical Frank fashion, she turned a disaster into a success.

“The next morning, the day of prom, I woke up early with an idea. I hand stitched the hole closed, which created a neat gathered look. But I wasn’t done with it by the time my date showed up,” she said.

So Frank grabbed a sewing kit and kept stitching on the way to dinner.

“Thankfully, I was done by the time we got there, so I was able to enjoy the rest of my night and everyone commented on how much they liked the gathered center,” she said.

Frank’s experiences in prom dress-making taught her a valuable lesson.

“You never know where a project is going to take you. It could turn out better than you thought,” she said. “To this day, it was one of my favorite dresses to wear.”

Due to her craftiness, Frank was ahead of the trend when it came to a recent fashion phenomenon.

“I really love vintage shopping,” Frank said. “First of all, I have been wearing ‘ugly’ sweaters for years. They are so comfortable and they are great conversation starters. Personally, I wear them really big with the 80’s leggings. I have been doing this for so long.”

Scarves are also a big part of Frank’s college girl uniform. She goes for a comfortable laid-back look with a little bit of shine.

“I like that scarves can make an outfit like jeans and a t-shirt look more polished, and they are easy. You just throw one on and you are out the door,” she said.

Frank will be handing over her Danish Festival crown at the Queen’s Pageant at 7 p.m. at Greenville High School Performing Arts Center Saturday, Aug. 11.

“I am excited to pass on my crown,” she said. “One girl is going to have an awesome year, and I really want someone else to experience what I have this year. I am looking forward to seeing my name in the list of past Miss Danish queens and being a part of history!”

“The next morning, the day of prom, I woke up early with an idea. I hand stitched the hole closed, which created a neat gathered look. But I wasn’t done with it by the time my date showed up,” she said.

So Frank grabbed a sewing kit and kept stitching on the way to dinner.

“Thankfully, I was done by the time we got there, so I was able to enjoy the rest of my night and everyone commented on how much they liked the gathered center,” she said.

Frank’s experiences in prom dress-making taught her a valuable lesson.

“You never know where a project is going to take you. It could turn out better than you thought,” she said. “To this day, it was one of my favorite dresses to wear.”

Due to her craftiness, Frank was ahead of the trend when it came to a recent fashion phenomenon. “I really love vintage shopping,” Frank said. “First of all, I have been wearing ‘ugly’ sweaters for years. They are so comfortable and they are great conversation starters. Personally, I wear them really big with the 80’s leggings. I have been doing this for so long.”

Scarves are also a big part of Frank’s college girl uniform. She goes for a comfortable laid-back look with a little bit of shine. “I like that scarves can make an outfit like jeans and a t-shirt look more polished, and they are easy. You just throw one on and you are out the door,” she said.

Frank will be handing over her Danish Festival crown at the Queen’s Pageant at 7 p.m. at Greenville High School Performing Arts Center Saturday, Aug. 11.

“I am excited to pass on my crown,” she said. “One girl is going to have an awesome year, and I really want someone else to experience what I have this year. I am looking forward to seeing my name in the list of past Miss Danish queens and being a part of history!”

 

AUDREY FRANK’S THRIFT STORE SHOPPING TIPS

• Everything has potential, even a tablecloth can become something awesome.
• Look everywhere — you could find something that was mismarked or just put back in the wrong place. My favorite denim jacket was found in the men’s section.
• Check for rips that can’t be fixed, or stains that won’t come out, or pilling on sweaters and t-shirts. You want to make sure you will be able to wear what you buy.
• Wash everything you come home with, just to be on the safe side.
• Check often — most stores get new items daily. If you don’t find something you like, come back the next week.
• Alter items you love. If a dress is exactly what you are looking for, but a size too big, find someone who can take it in for you. Usually, it will still cost less than what you would buy in a department store and it will be one of a kind.
• Most thrift stores have “specials” where things will be on sale. Ask about their next sale. Think of it as a super sale.
• Don’t spend more than $5 on anything — remember, its secondhand, and you could probably pay $10 in the store for a brand new item.
• Look for books and other household items, too, usually they are 50¢ and you can find some really cool things.
• Most importantly, have fun with it! You never know what you can stumble upon, and just keep looking.

AUDREY FRANK’S BEST CLOTHING STORES

• Denim jacket — found in a men’s section, from the Gap — $4
• T-shirts — Frank has one that she turned into a dress that is from a San Diego Blood Drive. It has a dinosaur design on it. $1
• Ralph Lauren cashmere men’s sweater, brand new, which she gave to her brother. $5
• Strapless cream and peach dress —matched a pair of shoes she already owned — $4
• Vintage sewing patterns — 20¢ each.

AUDREY FRANK’S FAVORITE FASHION BOOKMARKS

• Trash to Couture: A great place for re-fashions, using things you might already have. www.trashtocouture.com
• Cut Out and Keep: Tutorials on everything from bathing suits to hats to food. www.cutoutandkeep.net
• Pinterest: A great way to browse for new ideas. www.pinterest.com
• BurdaStyle: This is for the sewer. This site has tons of free printable patterns and tutorials with techniques for sewing. www.burdastyle.com
• Youtube: Search for “DIY” or “sewing.” There are thousands of tutorials. Her favorite is “Threadbangers.”

AUDREY FRANK’S 5 TIPS FOR PRETEEN FASHION

• Be yourself — your clothes are a way to express yourself
• Wear something you are comfortable in for what you are doing.
• Be modest and classy. My favorite fashion quote- “ Your clothes should be tight enough to show you are a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady” -Marilyn Monroe.
• Make it your own with jewelry and other accessories. It is the easiest way to make or break an outfit.
• Experiment with styles. Fashion should be fun and there are new trends coming out daily. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

SHE is published in The Daily News every third Saturday of the month.

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