As the Barnstable High School Annual Fashion Show approaches, the Fashion 1 students have been turning plastic into something fantastic. This beginner fashion class that includes freshmen through seniors is using various recycled materials to create garments. According to Fashion Design teacher Aimee Butterfield, 70 percent of this project requires recycled materials. This includes things like trash bags, grocery bags and old CDs. Another requirement is that students must use three methods of construction, such as wiring, gluing and sewing. Butterfield said that this project has been around in the past, but she was inspired by a recycled fashion competition while studying in Ireland called “Junk Kouture” to continue this unconventional project.
Ana Silva, a senior in Fashion 1, is working on a dress made out of tinsel. Silva said it will be braided on the top, and the bottom will have lots of fringe. What inspired this dress was an image Silva found online. According to Silva and Butterfield this is the Fashion 1 students’ first hands-on project; before this they were mostly sketching and drawing. Silva said she is enjoying this project because, “You can do a lot from recycled materials and I didn’t know this was possible before.”
Another student designer, junior Catherine Reilly, is collecting trash bags and old CDs for her project. Reilly’s final product will be a long ball gown, which will be tight on the top and have a flowy floor length bottom. Reilly describes her first designing project in Fashion 1 as “a lot harder than you might think; you need to find creative ways to put things together but it’s a lot of fun.”
Sophomore Grace Cooney is using bicycle tire inner tubes, coffee filters, newspaper, rope and chicken wire for her garment. Cooney said, “The inner tubes will be used together to make a big fabric and cut for measurements.” She also said that the bottom will be in the shape of triangles and have a big slit, along with a tinfoil braided belt. Cooney contacted Seaside Sports for the bicycle tires, and many of her other materials have been donated by members of the school who saw flyers in the hallways.
“This has been a cool experience because before this I’ve only ever worked with fabric. This showed me a new outlook on how to make clothes,” Cooney said.
Butterfield said that these garments will be on display in March for a critique, and she encourages students and staff to attend. The Barnstable High School Annual Fashion Show will be held in the PAC on April 11. She also said that this class is still in need of certain recycled materials such as coffee filters, plastic bags, bike inner tube tires, onion bags, construction netting and newspapers.