Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life-Size Plane for Spring 2012 Paris Couture Week Show!

As if fashion wasn’t already synonymous with environmental excess. (Tell us something we don't know, Really!)

Karl Lagerfeld commisioned a life-size aircraft to house Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2012 couture show inside the Grand Palais in Paris on Tuesday. Subtlety has never been the designer’s strongest suit—this is the man who flew a 265-ton glacier to the City of Lights on a whim, after all—but the display of such extravagance in a depressed economy feels gauche even by the most liberal standards. Set designers didn’t just spend five days constructing the plane (or at least, the innards of one) from anodized aluminum. They also outfitted it with an extra-wide 164-foot aisle, 180-degree swivel seats for 250 high-profile guests, double-C monogrammed carpet, a holographic cockpit, and a slatted roof that revealed a vista of clouds. Mon dieu! 

You can view more pictures here:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Happens to Our Cast Off Clothing?

A friend sent me this great article and I wanted to share it with you. Please do take time to read it.

Ever wonder what happens to your clothes when you just have to let them go? Maybe you were kind enough to spare them from ending up in a landfill by donating them to a thrift store for a tax credit; maybe you were even clever enough to “new-life” them into cut offs, a mini-skirt or something else relatively simple to make.
There are many ways to keep our clothes from contributing to landfills and pollution, and according to Dr. Jana Hawley, whose focus is on finding solutions to textile waste in fashion, “Our clothing are 100% recyclable.” So why then, according to SMART, a textile recycling organization that partners with Goodwill and The Salvation Army, do roughly 75% of our discarded clothes get put in the trash and end up in landfills?
Clothing has an enormous, toxic, environmental footprint, one that gets bigger when it is unnecessarily wasted and not given the opportunity to live up to its fullest capacity through multiple lives, multiple owners or textile recycling.
While we may never consider our clothes after we’ve discarded them, our cast-offs go on exciting adventures around the globe. Thrift stores are simply the first of many depositing and sorting grounds. Which part of the world they land in really depends on what shape and quality they are in when they leave your hands.
When your clothes arrive at the thrift store they get sorted, and provided they’re not terribly damaged, they are put on the racks. The premium grade used clothing has several possible fates in the drop-off store, one of which is purchase for resale at international vintage shops.
Vintage store owners around the world have been mining American thrift stores for cheap vintage, only to resell our cast offs back to us at premium vintage prices. Americans in particular get rid of some of the nicest digs in the world. In Paris you’d never find designer vintage on sale anywhere outside a pricey vintage shop. But here in the States, mint condition, vintage Gucci dresses on Salvation Army racks sell for $19.99. It’s no wonder that the world comes here for it’s vintage. At $5-$10 a pair, beat up old Levi’s might collect over $500 by a vintage dealer in Japan. And the hat your grandmother painstakingly hand knit you could easily end up in a Swedish or Dutch vintage boutique.
“We get all of our vintage from the States. The store owners take a 4-6 week long summer vacation in the U.S. visiting the same favorite routes to thrift stores year after year. Within a few weeks, they’ve more or less made the annual store inventory,” says an employee from Zipper, a vintage shop in Amsterdam.
Of course, all of this can be found on thrift store floor racks, where meticulous and discerning shoppers have the opportunity to snatch up the premium second hand at thrift store prices before they reach the vintage dealers provided they are willing to dig through racks.
Sometimes, this pursuit can seem more like archaeology than shopping, sifting through cross sections of society’s discarded duds to find the rare diamonds in the rough.

Please continue to read:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your Waste Materials!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday. Did you take time to make a wish or set a goal again this year? Not me, I decided not to do so and just let things flow and take it one day at a time.

Throughout the years, clients I used to work with had left so much stuff (fabrics, clothing) behind and most of them items that I cannot and wont be able to use in my line of work, so I decided to donate them as I hate throwing things away. Such a waste!
After I was done with my cleaning with a total of 6 bags I started to make a few calls to some companies that so far said they will collect materials.
Big surprise and some disappointment on the way.
The first one told me that the total of the materials need to be worth at least $1500.00 and as for fabrics each roll need to have 3 to 5 yards.Really? Are you kidding me or what?
The second one told me that I need to take pictures of everything I am ready to donate, wrote the quantity of yards per material and email to them, then they will review and see if it is worth to be collected. Really?
After the third one I said no more. I sincerely could not believe that madness and was so disappointed, frustrated and all.
So why is it so hard for a company to collect 6 bags of  materials? As donation!!!!

While calling those places and after listening to them, I had to share a little bit of what I do for living and about my work. I go and collect most of my materials, whether it is via Freecycle, other designers studio, people who are donating unwanted materials, I do not ask them to send me pictures of their items first, or asked them the worth of their total donation (it is a donation for God sake!) I just go and collect them. Most fabrics from the factories, whether they are getting rid of them or not unless it is scrap I do have to pay for them. Nonetheless I am very proud and happy to re-purpose. I love to recycle because it is a great way to help putting our landfills in a tough diet.
 I use to wonder why people around Park Slope leave boxes sometimes full of clothes, shoes outside or why they just hang them around their gates, why not call the Salvation Army or those Waste collectors to  have them picked-up? Maybe they give them the same turn around they gave me. Sorry folks, I wont criticize any longer, I do understand better now.

I am and still will continue using discarded umbrellas, recycled materials in my work because for me it is the right thing to do. I wish I had  enough money, a bigger studio and people working with me so I can collect and recycle more materials. We are living in a society where everything is disposable, we will have waste for a while, but if we can try to recycle as much as we can it will make a big difference.

All that to tell you that I am so grateful to Build It Green NYC (visit their website. located in the Gowanus. They will collect the bags at my studio and bring them to Materials of the Art. Yeah. So wonderful. Those babies will be able to find another home and possible a caring hand to take care of them as I have been shelter them for more than 2/3 years.

 Please think about Recycling as much as you can. Help yourself, Help your environment!