Get Ready for a Little Trashion Fashion ~ at The Dwyer in Harlem August 8th




The ‘Fantastic Plastic’ dress from Virginia Beach fashion designer Sonya Phillips, worn by model Queen Ayesha at Virginia Fashion Week. SONYA PHILLIPS

It’s a Movement with a focus on our environment ~ Trashion Fashion ~ a whimsical and fun way to create everything from art, jewelry and fashion by way of upcycling what was historically thrown in the garbage heap.

Next Up ~ August 8th

Research shows us that this concept is far from new. Throughout history, people have salvaged materials, creating what they might need or like by using discarded bags, bottle tops, feed sacks, gum wrappers, cans, you name it.

Well known for his salvaged art ~ the Ghanaian sculptor, El Anatsui, who in 2023 sold one of his large-scale wall hangings for over $2 million at Christie’s in New York. Knowing little about Trashion beyond El Anatsui, we were recently introduced to this creative art form by non other than (tree hugger extraordinaire) artist, Susan Stair who introduced us to the MIT Trashion Show, with student designers from MIT and other Boston area schools creating pieces made of trash and recycled materials, and modeled on their runway ~ an annual event since 2011.

Even the New York Times, writing in 2019 that “The Future Is Trashion“, highlighted  ‘the ragpicker of Brooklyn’ in its Style section.

All you need is a little trash ~ something we each have way too much of. Here’s how to get started. Join artist Susan Stair and costume designer Agnes Faireye for Trashion Show and Design Workshops to be held at the Dwyer Cultural Center on June 13th, with follow-up workshops on July 11th and August 8th. Learn to develop ideas and create artwork and garments using discarded plastics, bottle caps and paper.

The workshops will take place from 6:30 to 7:30pm at The Dwyer, located at 309 West 123rd Street, between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can create, and all participants are invited to model their creations in a Trashion Show this fall in Morningside Park!

“There comes a time when humanity is called to shift their consciousness, to reach for higher ground, a time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other.  That time is now.” Wangari Maathai, Nobel prize winner and founder the Green Belt Movement.