When it comes to the Trashion Show, it’s better to ask “what you can make with the trash, rather than what the trash can make for you,” says Danielle Meng ’20 of Beijing.
That approach paid off for Meng. The outfit she designed for model Claire Deplanck ’20 of Kuala Lumpur won first prize in the annual show, in which students make runway-ready outfits out of campus trash.
The Trashion Show, organized by student EcoReps and held in the Gray Athletic Building on Nov. 20 during the pre-Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner, highlights the amount and variety of waste the campus produces.
Not that you can necessarily tell that the outfits are trash-couture. Before and after the show, models and designers happily posed for portraits by Bates photographer Theophil Syslo and shared the creativity and philosophy behind their creations.
That’s a Wrap
Designer: Danielle Meng ’20 of Beijing
Model: Claire Deplanck ’20 of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Signature Trash: Bubble wrap, trash bags, and sourdough packaging from Commons
Assembly Time: About five hours
Creative Use of Trash: Tiara made from packing peanuts
The Designer Says: “I personally do a lot of online shopping and buy a lot of stuff, and I feel bad about the packaging and the cardboard and the tape and everything I waste. I feel like that definitely could be improved.”
P.S. “Use Amazon’s Delivery Day option!”
Designer: Women’s track and field team
Model: Elise Lambert ’22 of Amherst, N.H.
Signature Trash: Back issues of The Bates Student, and tape
Assembly Time: About 10 minutes, on the day of the show
The Designer Says: ”Anything can be repurposed,” says co-designer Olivia LaMarche ’20 of Lynnfield, Mass. “Sometimes it’s worth saving things.”
Suited to a Tea
Designer: Anne Trapp ’20 of Brunswick, Maine
Model: Sukanya Shukla ’20 of Dehradun, India
Signature Trash: Scrap muslin, lids of San Pellegrino drinks, chip bags, and candy wrappers
Assembly Time: 15 hours
Creative Use of Trash: Skirt made of teabag envelopes, partly from Commons and partly from the Olin Arts Center costume shop’s 2:30 p.m. tea-times.
Proceed with Caution
Designer: Hannah Webster ’22 of Shelburne, Vt.
Model: Max Freund ’22 of Newfields, N.H.
Signature Trash: Empty boxes of Mike’s Twisted Tea, caution tape, and a discarded necklace
Creative Use of Trash: Yellow caution tape collected after Back to Bates Weekend
The Designer Says: “Sort your recyclables and your trash!”
Layers & Layers
Designer: Jade Zhang ’21 of Hefei, China
Model: Ilze Smidt ’21 of Gibsonia, Pa.
Signature Trash: Leftover fabric, yarn, and ribbons
Assembly Time: About four hours
Creative Use of Trash: Layers of tissue paper in the skirt, collected from packaging over the course of a month
The Designer Says: “Tissue paper is super wasteful. If you buy two items, they give you so many of those tissue papers. It’s not necessary.”
Designers: Yueh Qi Chuah ’22 of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and Ahimy Soto-Garcia ’21 of Trenton, N.J.
Model: Sandia Taban ’22 of Changsu, China
Signature Trash: Felts, beads, and chip bags
Assembly Time: About 10 hours
Creative Use of Trash: Flowers made of plastic bags from Wal-Mart
The Designer Says: “Bring reusable bags for shopping,” says Chuah. ”A lot of plastic bags are being shipped to other countries — cough cough, Malaysia, cough cough.”
Trash & Tiaras
Designers: Madison Liistro ’20 of Farmington, Conn., and Maya Wilson ’20 of Toronto
Model: Eden Rickolt ’20 of Landenberg, Pa.
Signature Trash: Various treasures from the Smith Hall trash cans
Assembly Time: A few hours
Creative Use of Trash: A wig that was thrown out after Halloween
The Designer Says: ”Anybody can be Miss Universe if they try hard enough — or Miss Gray Cage.”
Model and Designer: Talia Sperduto ’21 of Canterbury, N.H.
Signature Trash: Discarded Outing Club tents
Assembly Time: 100-plus hours
The Designer Says: “We talk about trash as the plastic bottles that we use and the plastic that we get in Commons, but we forget about textile waste.”
Designer: The EcoReps, the Bates student organization that promotes environmentally responsible behavior on campus.
Model: Essie Martin ’21 of Newcastle, Maine
Signature Trash: Various packaging ”donated” by Commons
Assembly Time: 20 minutes
Creative Use of Trash: Bubble-wrap cape
The Designer Says: ”The amount of trash that Commons goes through in order to feed all of us is tremendous, and the amount of waste that we produce on top of that is a lot,” says co-designer Elly Beckerman ’22 of Washington, D.C.