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Banner delights

The Center City District, which made a hit last October when it started making sacks out of used event banners -- the ones hanging from light poles that promote, say, museum events -- now has a whole new bag.

Today, fashion design students from the Art Institute of Philadelphia unveiled 35 new fashions using even more banners.  These aren't just bags, but also headbands, necklaces, aprons and -- how cute! -- some odd little doggie fashions like the one pictured here.

They come from banners advertising the Walnut Street Theater, the Art Museum and more. You want vivid colors and interesting pictures? They've got 'em.

Now, it's up to you to help decide which of the student's creations gets a longer life. You can see photos and vote online at  If you want a closer look, they'll also be on display at the Shops at Liberty Place until at least next Friday. The Center City District plans to produce the winning design and sell it  at local boutiques.

The banner bags and fashions are a win all the way around. They're not only a reuse of a material that would normally be tossed. They're laundered by prisoners in a vocational training program called Philacor, then hung out to dry - no electricity! -- and finally stitched up by Baker Industries, a nonprofit work rehab program.