On the runway this Saturday at 9 p.m., EMU’s fall trash fashion class will have the chance to show off their work recycling trash and rubbish into outfits.
Visual & Communication Arts Professor Cyndi Gusler has led a semester-long class instructing students on how to take trash and turn it into a treasured piece while focusing on consumer ethics. Gusler said, “As we work on [the outfits], we consider the consumer-driven economy. This causes us to think about what we buy and what we waste and how that influences our sense of identity.”
Throughout the semester, Gusler gave the class different assignments, asking students to construct everything from a gender-bending outfit to clothing for a formal affair. The students had to create one outfit without using any fabric, and another, titled an ‘extreme mash-up,’ where two very different materials had to be present.
Senior Jenna Longenecker used microfiche, reprinted journal articles on film donated by the library, and recycled art supply bags as supplies in constructing her outfit. Her process consisted of rolling the microfiche and journal articles into flowers.
Junior Joshua Mensah, wanting to combine formal and casual, took an unwanted dress suit from Gift & Thrift and cut the sleeves off of the blazer. Mensah then attached the sleeves of the blazer to a sleeveless denim jacket. To complete the outfit, he also shortened the suit pants and gave them the back pockets from a pair of jeans. For another project, Mensah mixed packing peanuts with construction plastic to fashion a dress.
This past Thursday, the class conducted a mini-rehearsal. Another rehearsal will take place tonight, giving the students one more chance to see their models strut their recycled ensemble before the official fashion show.
Mensah said he was looking forward to the fashion show and the chance to show his work. With the fashion show, “You know you’re not working for nothing.”
Beyond the Saturday fashion show, the class will also have the opportunity to showcase their projects at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Phoenix, Ariz. this summer.
The fashion show this upcoming Saturday will be in the EMU Mainstage Theatre, under technical director David Vogel and director Cyndi Gusler. There is a two-dollar admission.
-Alicia Calkins, Staff Writer