EUGENE, Ore. — Marjorie Taylor said she enjoys making weird clothing.
She has created an elaborate costume for the 2008 Slug Queen Marie Antoinette Slugtoinette and her designs have been featured at Eugene's Fashion Week.
Most recently, the 62-year-old Taylor wanted to make a Valentine's Day-themed dress to display in the window of her downtown Eugene boutique, Velvet Edge. She wanted the dress to be fun and not overly romantic.
Taylor's quirky taste led her to purchase online 160 decks of used casino playing cards.
She used only the hearts cards — about 1,500 of them — and sewed them onto a poofy circle skirt she bought at Nobody's Baby, a vintage clothing shop.
To make the dress, she folded the cards over to create a rounded, pointed edge — or a "porcupine feel," as Taylor described it — and stapled the cards in the back to hold them in place.
The bottom of the dress starts with aces, then gradually builds to the 10 of hearts to create a fading effect, from white to red.
Taylor created a form-fitting bodice made of queen of hearts cards on a size 6 mannequin and then sewed two royal flushes to accentuate a certain female body part.
"It stops people in their tracks," Taylor said of the dress in the store window at 187 E. Broadway.
Taylor said she worked on the dress named "Lucky in Love?" in the evenings for a couple of weeks while she watched TV.
She said she has been inspired before to create ornate window displays for her business.
"I enjoy looking at really nice window displays," Taylor said. "It makes it more fun to walk around downtown Eugene."
At Christmastime, she created two gowns made of leftover Christmas tree branches and poinsettias.
In a few months, Taylor said, she plans to create a graduation-themed dress, possibly made out of Scrabble tiles or books.
Taylor, who also is a University of Oregon psychology professor, said she has created things most of her life, including what she calls "brain art" — fabric art inspired by neuroscience images. One design she created on a hooked wool rug won "Best in Show" at the Mayor's Art Show in 2009.
One of her brain art pieces sold for $1,300, she said.
Taylor said she doesn't plan to sell the playing cards dress, but would consider donating it.
Her daughter, Amber Taylor, who runs the women's clothing boutique with her, said she hopes the dress stays in the family because there might be an appropriate occasion to wear it one day.
"If I ever have a Vegas wedding," she said jokingly.