Haute Trash designs celebrate Earth Day

Published on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 by Tara Nelson

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Those interested in trashy fashion trends will want to attend the RE Store’s Trash Fashion Show this Saturday in Bellingham.

The RE Store is partnering with Robin Worley and the New York Fashion Academy to inspire and provoke creative reuse and get people to think differently about their garbage. 

Worley, also known as Rayona Visqueen, said she has seen the movement boom in the last five years. With close to 30 years of experience in designing and emceeing trash fashion shows, Worley is an original member of Haute Trash, a troupe of resourceful designers who produce runway fashion shows featuring haute couture made from trash.

Haute Trash designs have been seen at the Seattle Art Museum, Burning Man, county fairs and dozens of other community festivals throughout the country.

The show challenges professional and amateur designers and artists to craft fashion designs from a minimum of 90 percent reclaimed materials such as carpet padding, vinyl flooring, used automobile upholstery, erosion control netting, chain link fencing, candy wrappers and drink containers.  Designs have taken shape as ball gowns, wedding dresses, warrior wear, super hero garb, night club ensembles and futuristic accoutrement.

This year’s submissions include work by seasoned trash fashion designers, inspired newcomers and an entire class from Arunas Oslapas’s Industrial Design class at Western Washington University (WWU). More than 40 submissions will be juried.

Trash fashions will hit the catwalk for one all-ages show at 7 p.m. and a 21-and-older-show at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, at the WWU Viking Union multi-purpose room. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Tickets are $15 or $25 for V.I.P. seating, and $11 for students. 

“Every year we are joined by seasoned and new designers and every year the designs are fresh, beautiful, thoughtful and extremely well made,” Worley said.

The Trash Fashion Show is the flagship event in The RE Store’s 10th Annual Recycled Arts and Fashion Show, featuring four galleries, four trash fashion shows, a month-long, hands-on, recycled art workshop at the Whatcom Museum’s family interactive gallery and a beach cleanup that will turn litter into a temporary art installation.

For more information or a complete list of events, visit www.re-store.org.