Trash Fusion paillette dress in progress

When it comes to fashion design projects, like this one for the Trash Fusion contest in Barrie, I tend to resist beginning them.  The usual ennui – fear of how long it will take, fear that my idea which looks so great in my head will end up looking ridiculous once executed.  Then, once I get started, and I get into it, the project becomes more about delight – delight with discovery, excitement to see how it will turn out.  Until the end of the project, when usually it begins to feel like an obligation, a job I must see through to the end if only to make all of the hours I’ve already put in worthwhile.

The little a-line dress, sewn from some leftover, slightly stained muslin, a cheap acetate lining, and of course an invisible zipper and one of the 1000 “Final Fashion” labels I had woven up for my grad collection in 2006 (of which I have used about 20 so far).  I didn’t have to go shopping for any of these things, everything was in my stash, so hopefully they won’t disqualify my entry as being composed of “trash”.  I drafted the pattern from scratch, cut and sewed it in just a few hours.  It is just a canvas for the really tricky bit…

Applying, one by one, by hand, small plastic paillettes.  The paillettes are made from a variety of objects that my scissors and hole punch can snip and punch, again, one by one.  Above you can see food containers, old library cards, student cards, and metrocards, pieces of red plastic beer cups, and so on.  I’m not applying these in any particular order or colour palette, letting the pattern create itself of its own accord  – however to realize my vision, I have to cover the entire dress, front and back, with these little bits of things.  So, I am on a mission.

If you would like to donate your pieces of useless plastic, please get in touch!  I am truly excited with how this project is turning out – the pictures don’t do the texture of the paillettes justice – in person they move and make noise, and from far away look dynamic and pixelated, completely unlike trash, and up close they display little pictures and brand names, small treasures of found objects.

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