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Fashion Maven: My passion for trashion

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By Alexandra Hehlen

As soon as I read about a trash fashion workshop at Fuller Lodge directed by designer Nancy Judd, I knew that this opportunity was one I could not miss out on. I found out that there would be a Trashion Show in Los Alamos, where I could model my design, so I signed myself up immediately and went to the workshop bursting with ideas.
Judd’s workshop was fantastic. An internationally renowned trashion designer, Judd creates clothing from recycled or recyclable materials to raise awareness about the fact that many recyclable products are going to waste.
She showed us pictures of some of her work, which included a gown made of more than 2,000 pieces of glass, a dress made from plastic bags and a bag adorned with nails. Judd has also done commissions for Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Target.
All the participants in the workshop shared their ideas for their designs and afterward, the room was charged with feelings of creativity. We soon got to work, and I began to construct my dress, which I had sketched out the day before.
By the end of the workshop, I had finished about half of the construction of the bodice and the detail on the shoulders.
In the next three weeks, I spent my free time designing for the fashion show.
My dress was built off of a base garment, which was an old, used T-shirt. The bust was constructed with some old pieces of blue and white polka dot felt that I sewed onto the shirt. Along the waist, I hand sewed pink and red candy wrappers that I had collected for years from all over the world.
Down the middle of the dress, I sewed a thin pink ribbon over the candy wrappers and glued on an old half marble, which I placed to look like a large button.
I decided to create epaulettes on the shoulders out of zebra-print fabric from a jacket I grew out of — and that was bought at a thrift store. To create some edgy but chic decorations for the epaulettes, I glued four old half marbles to each shoulder, then glued red beer bottle caps on top of each marble.
I then covered each sleeve in red fabric hearts, which were old Valentine’s Day table decorations. I sewed a wide black ribbon around the waist so that it could be tied into a bow in the back.
The skirt of the dress was constructed completely out of newspaper and bits of magazines.
Over time, I have accumulated a collection of small inner hanger straps that come on shirts and make them easier to hang up. I accordion-folded pieces of newspaper (mostly from the Los Alamos Monitor, of course) and secured the folds by tying them in place with the hanger straps I cut off from my shirts.
I then glued on the newspaper pleats one by one, in two layers, eventually forming a tutu-like skirt.
I topped off the design by using old party decorations, which I used to make a silver wire-mesh belt that a friend gave me. I glued two elegant silver decorations on the back of the dress to look like wings. I also snipped up some sequined decorations and glued the bits onto a mask I molded out of model magic, and wrapped some popsicle sticks in pearl-like decorations to create a handle for the mask.
I named my outfit “Heart on my Sleeve” because it expressed my love for fashion, creativity, being chic and writing.
When it was time for the Trashion show, I won first place in my category after modeling my design for an audience on the Fuller Lodge lawn.
I was truly wearing my heart on my sleeve. Fashion is my passion and I will express that in every way possible.

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To see more pictures of my design, view an archive of my articles, or send me ideas for my next fashion column, visit my blog at enstylopedia.tumblr.com