Fashion students upcycle trash into wearable art
Credit: ANGELA MCINNES
Used packaging materials and recycled car parts, donated by Lexus, were the sources of inspiration for fashion designs at Centuries in Motion - A Wearable Art Show.
The sold-out show, called Centuries in Motion – A Wearable Art Show, displayed 37 runway-level designs by students enrolled in Fanshawe’s fashion marketing and management and design foundations programs. Their materials included old packaging and recycled car parts, donated by Lexus. The students upcycled (creatively reused) the materials to make men’s and women’s clothing encompassing the show’s theme of past, present and future centuries.
Design foundations professor, Monica de Wit, said that challenging students to turn junk into something wearable is one of the many ways the program encourages future designers to integrate sustainability with innovation.
“Sustainability is kind of an underlying theme throughout the course. We teach sustainability as part of the design process, designing so that it’s circular as opposed to linear,” adding that her favourite part of the evening was seeing what students ultimately did with their materials.
Floor mats, interior netting and deflated airbags all appeared on the runway in the form of high-fashion dresses, skirts, pants and shirts. A panel of industry and sustainability experts judged each design’s quality and originality within three categories.
Doeun Kim (fashion marketing and management) won for best use of recycled and upcycled materials. Carlie Cutio (design foundations) won for best representation of the Lexus brand, while Angelina Gomes and Abigail Klassen fashion marketing and management) won for best representation of the show’s theme.
At the end of the show, Gomes and Klassen told Interrobang that for the past three months, they had often stayed on campus into the early hours of the morning to work on their vintage Dior-inspired design.
“It’s really good to see the hard work pay off,” Gomes said. “Fashion being the number two pollutant in the world, I think it’s good to bring more awareness to people about upcycling.”
Klassen agreed with Gomes about the importance in highlighting the value of upcycling.
“When you’re creating something new out of [upcycling], you put your heart into it,” Klassen said. “There’s something special about it, it’s not just something you just grab off the rack. You put your heart and soul in so it has meaning.”
The second-year fashion marketing and management students organized the show, solicited donations, found models and set the stage. The program also collaborated with Fanshawe’s hair stylist and esthetics programs, as well as broadcast television and film production and photography.
The evening had a silent auction and 50/50 draw with proceeds going towards the Children’s Health Foundation.
“They’ve done such an amazing job, not only the designers, but the producers,” said Linda Jenken, a professor in the fashion marketing and management program. “It was a sold-out night, and we’re looking forward to next year.”
ALL PHOTOS BELOW ARE COURTESY OF ANGELA MCINNES