Trash Fashion: an Obsession

Plastic Obama campaign signs

I love Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show because it provides an outlet for my quirky passion – making fashion out of unconventional materials, what others might call trash.  My obsession started when, at 8, I wove a shirt out of a hodgepodge of found items: dried grass, scraps of yarn, and carded wool from my mom’s spinning basket. After that I was hooked.

The draw of trash-fashion comes from the materials themselves.  When I design, I start with the item, like old slides and film.  With the demise of film cameras, my cupboard is filled with boxes of 2nds (the slides that didn’t make the final show cut, but are still “good”).  The question arises – what could I do with them?  Make a dress of course.

Then the thrill begins.  I secretly sketch on napkins at restaurants, programs at lectures, and junk mail envelopes. I ponder how a series of hard squares might fit together on the human form, and how to attach them.  This creates months, maybe years of thrilling design time.

Finally the construction process begins.  For me it’s like rock climbing – a series of problems in front of me, some that seem impossible at first, but with patience and tenacity, in the end, I usually prevail.

Don’t miss the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show tomorrow night and see “Please don’t Take my Kodachrome Away,” by me (Karen Holm) and other artists renditions of their quirky passions.

 Thursday, December 8th, at the Century Center
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