Just when you thought the fashion world was nothing but tall, thin beauties and the glamorous life, it took a trip to the the library.

The Boston Public Library launched its Literacise exhibit on Saturday morning, inviting families to participate in the new trend. Mayor Thomas M. Menino was even in attendance to help with the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“It’s always great to be back at the library,” he said.

Literacise combines reading and exercising in an effort to develop more interest in reading for children. Irene Smalls, author of “Jonathan and His Mommy,” partnered with the BPL to put on the program. Her book became a large play area were the kids could read the story and follow along by bunny hopping, zigzagging and more, between the blown-up pages.

So what does child education have to do with fashion? Students from Lasell College’s Fashion Design and Production program were asked to design something based on a book.

Lasell junior Amanda Saladino circulated around the room with her model, Emmalyn Anderson, wearing a swimsuit inspired by Marcus Pfister’s “The Rainbow Fish.”

“Professor Mary Rupert brought this (project) too all the fashion students over the summer,” she said. Her final piece was made primarily from recycled newspaper, but also used paint, stained glass, shell and gold Lycra.

In a statement about her design, Saladino said, “As a child I found the book visually stimulating and was instinctively drawn towards the beauty and individuality of the Rainbow Fish. I considered him generous for giving away his scales and found it heartwarming that he gained friends through sharing.”

Though she added that as an adult she sees a more materialistic message in the story, the end result was heartwarming nonetheless. The suit got smiles from the children and Anderson was later accompanied by a pint-sized model in her own paper-made, fish scale inspired dress.

And so, Post-Boston Fashion Week reminded everyone that it’s not all glamour and guest lists – it’s about giving back to the city as well.

Photos: Brennan Degan for Blast. Licensing.

About The Author

Ashley Dean is a Blast staff writer

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