I had heard of this event before, but had never gone and so I never really 'got' the concept. But it is actually very cool. Thought up and organized by Wendy Tremayne, in a nutshell, swap-o-rama-rama is a clothing swap combined with a DIY - the epitome of the 3Rs.
You bring in clothes, shoes etc. that you don't want any more, pay $10, then go for it. Volunteer staff sort the stuff people bring in and separate it into piles - t-shirts, pants, skirts, men's shirts, pyjamas (and on, and on). Then you go through the piles and look for inspiration. And there was plenty of inspiration to be had. Clothes were being cut-up, sewn up and re-newed all over the place. People were coming in with big bags of things and leaving with some very funky garments. Even if you think you're not creative (like me) they've got stylists and seamstresses on hand to help you turn a dull find into a fantastic treasure.
What once started in Tremayne's apartment has grown into a huge event - and swap-o-rama-ramas have become popular in other parts of the US and Canada. If there's not one near you, she'll help you get one going.
It is a fantastic event - even for the non-fashion savvy folks like myself - it is fun to see the diversity of styles and expression, not to mention the fashion show of creations at the end of the day.