The Trashion Fashion Show on October 7th at The Dwyer Cultural Art Center in Harlem




Trashion Fashion Show

It’s a movement! From Ed Molina’s East Harlem DSNY Trash Museum to your trash can, here’s a thoughtful and fun way to focus on our environment, creating everything from art and jewelry to fashion by upcycling what has been historically just tossed.

Now, after months of collaborative trashion design workshops, and weather cancellations, the much anticipated Trashion Fashion Show has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 7th indoors at The Dwyer Cultural Art Center in Harlem, when the fashionistas will take to the runway from 3:00 to 3:30pm.

‘Pulp Fiction’ necklace by artist Jaynie Crimmins for The Trashion Fashion Show. Image courtesy Susan Stair.

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.

Work in progress for The Trashion Fashion Show, at one of the design workshops L-R, Kathy Creutzberg (artist) and Jill Heller (sewer for productions on Broadway, currently with Mean Girls), wearing a shawl woven from plastic bags. Image courtesy Susan Stair.

Knowing little about Trashion beyond El Anatsui, many were introduced to this creative art form by none other than (tree hugger extraordinaire) and local 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 annually.

Another creation for Trashion Fashion. Image courtesy Susan Stair.

Let’s take a look at our models and their creations.

  1. ‘Enough’ modeled by Bailis Stair. Photo image: Salem Krieger
  2. ‘Earth’ modeled by Patrick Harper. Photo image: Salem Krieger
  3. ‘Indigenous Diva’ Honoring Rice since Rice Weaves through all cultures and connects us. Modeled by Diane Carey; Made by Deborah Quinones.
  4. ‘the Gypsies’ Memories of the gypsies in Brazil where she grew up. Made and modeled by Roselaine Gavidia
  5. ‘All That Bling’ Yael is a designer and uses recycled materials in her artwork. Made and modeled by Yael Dresdner
  6. ‘Silver Wear’ Valerie loves shiny objects. She’s a teacher and lawyer who recycles everything. Made and modeled by Valerie Ward.
  7. ‘Roaring ’23’ Made of coffee bean containers. Modeled by Carmen Harper; Made by Susan Stair.
  8. ‘Plastic Sunrise’ Made of sewed joined labels. Modeled by Jeanne Newhouse. Made by Susan Stair.
  9. ‘NY Subway’ Dryer pipe and Plastic creations. Made by Bea
  10. ‘Bumble Bee’ Pancho (or raincoat) with fabric and hat. Made and modeled by Hannah
  11. ‘Im no Secret’ Modeled by Pascale Crepon; Made by Dominique de Cock
  12. ‘Vested Interest’ Found buttons, fabric with a bottle cap clasp. Made and modeled by Vivianne Topp
  13. ‘Forever Fashion’ This vest was woven from plastic bags on a loom and the hat was knitted from bags. Modeled and made by Kathy Creutzberg
  14. ‘Sound and Motion’ Cynthia was a professional dancer. Modeled and made by Cynthia Reed
  15. ‘Forests Forever’ Like her art installation, it’s made of melted and joined Plastics. Made and modeled by Susan Stair
  16. ‘Molded Plastic Beads’ Daniel is a plastic ian and has been making art from recycled plastic for 30 years. He will be giving a talk in the series, ‘Spring at the Stage.’
Pulp Fiction’ was designed by Cynthia Holder for the Trashion Fashion Show. Image courtesy Susan Stair

The Trashion Show is presented by Art Lives Here, Friends of Morningside Park and artist Susan Stair. with choreography by Cynthia Reed. The Show will take place on October 7th, 2023 from 3:00 to 3:30pm, by the art installation ‘Setting the Stage for Climate Change’ at The Dwyer Cultural Art Center located at 303 West 123rd Street, between Frederick Douglass Blvd. and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem.

‘Pulp Fiction’ was designed by Cynthia Holder for the Trashion Fashion Show. Image courtesy Susan Stair

The Trashion Fashion Show compliments Susan Stair’s art installation, Setting the Stage for Climate Change, recently unveiled at the 116th Street entrance to Morningside Park. Stair’s art installation will be on view to August 8, 2024. The Runway Show is choreographed by dancer, Cynthia Reed.

Take a look back at New York City Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) Nelson Molina and his Treasures in the Trash Collection inside a DSNY garage, which led to the art exhibition, ‘What is Here is Open: Selections from the Treasures in the Trash Collection” at Hunter East Harlem Gallery in 2019.