Wornout 2019 – wearable art

WornOUT 2019 – Wearable Art is the second category from the WornOUT? event, showcasing some amazing designers as they explore The Future of Waste.

The WornOUT 2019 event, hosted by Reverse Garbage Queensland, is proudly sponsored by Brisbane City Council (who have signed a 3 year sponsorship agreement, 2019 being the first year), as well as the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

Again, Rebecca Livingston of ABC Radio Brisbane and Jane Milburn of Textile Beat take up the roles of Masters of Ceremonies for the Wearable Art component of the show.

Brian (part of my review team) was my “plus one” for the night and took the majority of photos for this post (credit/links will be given to those sourced from other areas).

Wearable Art

According to Oxford Reference, wearable art is “clothing of a consciously artistic, unconventional and entertaining design” and the designs on show at this year’s WornOUT? 2019 showcase certainly covered all that!

It was a treat to see the creative ways in which this year’s designers created their wearable art entries to showcase their talents in reusing, upcycling and employing zero waste ideas to their creations.

This year’s entrants and their creative designs for the Wornout 2019 – Wearable Art Showcase:

Alex & Mira Westaway

WornOUT 2019 - Wearable Art

This mother and daughter team love the creative challenge of envisioning a future of waste that embodies playfulness, ingenuity and crafty skills, whilst also drawing attention to the little-mentioned issue; the impact of plastic toys on the waste stream.

Mira is a 15 year old artist who loves op shopping. Her unique style is inspired by vintage clothing, film & television and 90s grunge aesthetic.

Alex, a yoga teacher and DIY creator, has been op-shopping and up-cycling since her childhood. She loves to share the self-reliance, mindfulness and pleasure of cultivating old-school skills, which pass to her by her mother.

Alex and Mira exhibited two garments:

*The Queen of the Urban Jungle – a gown made of thrift store sheets, deconstructed soft toys and plastic soy sauce fish, and a crown of miscellaneous plastic stuff.

*Sir Recycle-lot – chain mail shirt and coif created from thrift store crochet cottons embellished with soy sauce fish, bubble wrap, sequins, plastic toys, buttons and other miscellaneous items. The tunic and cape made from thrifted sheets and hand stitched. The shield is made using a corflute sign, old yoga mat and thrifted sheet.

You can follow Alex & Mira’s adventures here

Bridget White

WornOUT 2019 - Wearable Art

Bridie (aka Bridget White) is a a debutante to WornOUT, who exhibited her “Future Flapper” design on the runway.

The artistic statement that Bridie brings to the stage with her design is a nod to the nostalgic 1920’s era of home sewing and timeless tailoring. It’s also about recognising the era for its rapid social change.

Bridie has salvaged single serve plastic yoghurt containers, copper wire from a dishwasher transformer and a bed sheet to create her design.

“I find reflecting on past social changes a source of hope when considering the social transformation required now if we are to successfully create a sustainable future for all” Bridie said.

You can see more of her work and follow her here

Erica Bates

WornOUT 2019 - Wearable Art
The Future of Waste Mermaid-Oracle, Messenger and Harbinger

This year Erica brought 3 garments to the runway with her “Future of Waste” collection which have all been constructed with her own spun ‘plarn’ (plastic yarn made from plastic bread bags), plastic feathers (constructed from milk bottles), horse feed bulk bags and other plastic and farm waste products.

*The Future of Waste Mermaid-Oracle seeks solutions to the issues of plastics in her oceans, she is optimistic seeing visions of a cleaner future in the orb she carries.

*The Future of Waste Messenger carries the Oracle’s message of hope through air and sea, connecting the feathered and finned, using her horseshoe trident to awaken those living on the land.

*The Future of Waste Harbinger travels the land spreading further the Oracle’s wisdom and foretelling the vision of hope given to him by the Messenger.

To view more of Erica’s creative designs and refashions, follow her Instagram account here

Helen Markland

Wearable Art
Clothing made from Merlo coffee and Frozen Fruit packets

Helen uses plastic food packaging to create wearable works of art. They’re sourced from bins, cafes and saved by friends, cleaned up ready to use. Plastic is durable and stitches together well on a regular sewing machine.

This year’s creations consist of a 1960s sun outfit that consists of bikini, sun coat and hat made from Merlo coffee packets.

The second outfit uses brightly coloured frozen fruit packets, tea bag ‘sleeves’ and strapping material. Helen made a bubble skirt, and continued the circular theme in the bodice. The matching hat made of the same materials compliments the look.

Helen wanted to portray a feeling of fun, vibrancy and cheeky playfulness with these garments.

Jan Williams

This outfit is made solely of rubber off-cuts (industrial waste) and bicycle inner tubes

Jan’s outfit consists of a cape, a dress and headpiece made solely out of rubber off-cuts (industrial waste sourced through Reverse Garbage QLD) and salvaged bicycle inner tubes.

Jan set the challenge of not using any glue or other fasteners and decided to keep the construction simple yet robust with minimal fuss to fit the model (whilst also staying true to her concept).

The intention being to showcase the various ways the material could be manipulated to produce a fashion forward aesthetic that is both wearable and striking.

You can follow more of Jan’s designs on her facebook page here

Janet Laird

Janet’s two designs – Bubble Dress and Clockwork Orange

Janet loves creating art in clothing forms and last year her work starred at Pacific Runway in Sydney.

Janet has been sewing her whole life and has worked in manufacturing and alterations for decades. Now Janet is turning trash into treasure, producing one-off individual pieces for return customers.

Whilst Janet has the skills and ability to make anything, she adopts a play-based approach to design and loves the surprise elements involved in recycling and upcycling. Her process is triggered by unusual materials or thrifted items, the designs evolving from there.

*Bubble Dress – Janet discovered a striking grey nylon curtain (with CD discs inside it) at Reverse Garbage Queensland and has re-imagined it into a dress with a bubble skirt, knitting puff sleeves into it.

*Clockwork Orange – using a 1970s orange and brown bedspread, Janet has recreated it into this stunning jacket and shorts set. The jacket has a real clock on the back, and the outfit is brought together with a bowler hat.

You can check out other awesome designs created by Janet here

Jessica Rankine

Jess exhibiting her entry into the Wearable Art Showcase

Jess spends her free time on dates with her glue gun or sewing machine. Her style is best described as Toddler Granny, as she loves colours, mixing patterns and breaking rules.

For her exhibition piece for Wornout 2019 – Wearable Art, Jessica channelled the core of this year’s theme – The Future of Waste.

“I am terrified of a future where our consumption of fast fashion today and yesterday catch up with us” Jess explained.

“I am very concerned about the environmental impacts of our modern lifestyle. I am imagining what it would look like to survive in a post apocalyptic world.”

You can follow along with Jess and her creations here

Karen Benjamin

1950’s inspired paper dresses

Karen has appeared at not only the 2017 and 2018 exhibitions, she’s also a featured artist at Reverse Garbage’s Reverse Emporium. This year, Karen exhibited in the Wearable Art category.

Last year she dazzled with plastic creations, this year she featured paper creations, with two paper dresses that tell the story of two sisters that moved to Brisbane after WWII – who belong to the era of mend, repair, recycle.

The dresses were constructed from vintage 1950’s paper maps, recycled Queensland maps and 1950’s sci-fi books.

Karen said “the paper dresses are part of a series that tell the stories of women who have shaped generations of families through our state”.

You can check out more of Karen’s work here

Kathleen Hunt

Kathleen’s Wearable Art entries – these accessories are definite conversation starters

Kathleen is currently a BA Arts Honors student at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University with a professional arts practice that has been developed on a concept of ‘Waste as Resource’.

She exhibited two looks on the Wornout 2019 – Wearable Art runway, which she constructed using discarded copper wire, electrical cords, cotton waste and newspaper.

Describing the selected discards as “materials of contemporary conversation”, Kathleen sees the process of re-contextualising such materials for the body “as a voice of environmental awareness”.

“The studio process is based on twisting – both materials and meanings” explained Kathleen. “This twisting gives a cultural connection to knowledge invested in the hands: familial and ancient”.

You can see more of Kathleen’s creations here

Liz Saltwell

Liz’s son modelling her design on the runway

Liz was one of a few designers who exhibited menswear on the Wornout 2019 – Wearable Art runway. Modelled by her son, Liz’s piece is an introspective challenge to society’s love affair with plastic.

“Plastic is destroying our oceans and littering our beaches. Plastic rubbish… leads to plastic in our fish… plastic on our beaches”, she explained.

Liz’s passion for reuse and challenging our habits as consumers of fast fashion, has been lifelong.

“As far back as I can remember, upcycling has been my lifestyle, my joy and my inspiration”, said Liz.

You can check out more of Liz’s creations here

Paul Hagger

An extraordinary creation, where the outfits of all 3 models are connected together

Paul is a returning exhibitor to the Wornout 2019 – Wearable Art runway, and showcased this stunning collection, where the outfits of all 3 models are actually interconnected, making it one piece.

His entry is called “The Symbion – The Celestial Weavers of Time & Space”.

Last year he was the sole Wearable Art exhibitor, this year he was joined by an additional 16 designers in this category.

Historically, Paul’s show-stopping pieces have given drama through scale and volume,, and his Symbion collection didn’t fail to deliver.

“I’m a Jack of all trades, or the more technical term would be mixed media artist” Paul said.

“I dabble in many different things, depending on my mood and wearable art is right up there with my fave things I like to create”.

You can view more of Paul’s show-stopping designs here

Natalie Parish

Stunning creation by Natalie

Another show-stopping entry to the Wearable Art runway comes from the talented Natalie Parish, a mixed media eco artisan who creates and designs under her label, Sacred Ibis.

This year, Natalie showcased a 3 piece look on the runway, consisting of an exquisite bra, skirt and headpiece set that have been largely constructed from natural materials, artificial flowers and reclaimed t-shirt fabric.

“I want to use items that come from my own house-hold rubbish so that we may think about what we are putting into the soil and what consequences this might have on the natural world above the ground that we rely on”, said Natalie.

Be sure to check this and many other creations on her website here

Tahnya Morrison

More stunning creations on the runway

Tahnya is a bespoke costume designer with her own label ‘wolF and bbE designs’ specialising in creating hand crafted unique pieces from re-claimed fabrics and jewellery; sourced from bins and op shops. This was her first year exhibiting with Wornout.

“My design concepts behind my creativing are inspired by historical fashion templates that transpose to modern dystopia,” shared Tahnya.

The textiles she used for her exhibition collection include leather, canvas, feathers and bicycle inner tubes, allowing the realization of re-designed concepts into wearable functioning art and practical living pieces, with consideration to climate changes and individual comfort.

You can view more of Tahnya’s creations here

Teddy McRitchie

Dress made from bicycle inner tubes, and fascinator made using an electric fan cover

Although Teddy may be the youngest solo designer to feature at WornOUT this year, his skills and vision surpass his years.

He is an emerging designer from Noosa and is currently undergoing secondary studies at Sunshine Beach State High School.

Teddy is the owner of the design page, TMC Costumes and has already won several awards for his Wearable Art designs, including the Student Award at the 2019 Australian Wearable Art Festival and the Youth Award at the 2019 Wearable Art Mandurah Exhibition.

You can follow along with Teddy’s adventures and latest creations here

That brings us to the end of the list of designers for the WornOUT 2019 “Wearable Art’ Showcase – what extremely creative and talented designers all using their skills to bring new life to textiles that may well have ended up in landfill if it wasn’t for them salvaging them.

This is the second part in a three part series featuring the WornOUT 2019 fashion show, you can check out the remaining two parts here (if not uploaded, come back daily to check for them):

Part One: WornOUT 2019 – Refashion
Part Three: WornOUT2019 – Upcycle Cosplay Challenge

Stay tuned for Part Three in the series, as always, let us know what creative zero waste projects you’re up to in the comments section below!

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