Life Offbeat Video

By Jessica Testa


For some people, being stuck in quarantine allowed them to explore their creative side in interesting ways.

When professional dancer Ashleigh Renee Perrie, 31, arrived back to Perth after spending a grueling two months stranded on a cruise ship where she was working, she was required to spend two weeks quarantining in a hotel room at The Westin.

During this period, her food was delivered to her in paper bags.

Rather than just throwing them away, the clever dancer decided to get a little creative and recycle them into some beautiful homemade dresses.

Ashleigh said: “It was a very challenging experience onboard, and now that I was finally back on home soil, I had the time to put my mind to use and do something positive.”

She created five intricate designs all together, giving each of them quirky names along the way.

Creating the dresses wasn’t an easy task due to the elaborate designs, the tough materials she was working with and an unexpected colour change.

“Paper doesn’t stretch at all, so it was hard to create curves and shapes that fitted properly. I also had to make sure that everything was reinforced and secure enough to be able to move in, as paper tears easily.”

“It also threw me when they began delivering white paper bags instead of brown ones! In the end, this ended up adding flair to the designs as I had another color to play with.”

While there was a lot of trial and error, they eventually came together well with some quick thinking on Ashleigh’s part. As proud as she was of each outfit, she had a couple of favourites.

“Queen Quarantina I loved because I felt very regal wearing it, and it was a very extravagant design. I felt like I could have been on a catwalk! It had a lot of detail on both the back and front and I also managed to make it fit quite well.“

“The Bag-erina I loved because I am a dancer myself and it felt like I was wearing an actual tutu. I just had to be very careful of how I moved in it!”

Before her quarantine period ended, Ashleigh did a little photoshoot showcasing all of her incredible wearable designs with powerful poses.