Long Beach Middle School students demonstrated resourcefulness and a knack for style with the first ever Trashion Show, held on May 6 at the Youth and Family Services building on Magnolia Boulevard. This “green runway” event featured 41 outfits, a complete collection of clothing, accessories and footwear all created out of materials that would typically be considered waste in our landfills.
Students spent time researching and creating in their art classes for months prior to the show in order to piece together unique items that would stand and make an environmental statement on the runway. They transformed used papers, playbills from a recent school production, computer boxes and packaging supplies, plastic containers and much more into fun and fitting couture.
The pockets of worn-out jeans became slippers, dominoes from old game sets were converted to hat ornaments, magazines were repurposed into skirts, empty coffee packages collected from the school’s faculty café were configured into outfits and broken keyboard parts from the tech department proved to make the perfect tie embellishments. Items were donated by several staff members.
In addition to featuring students’ designs, the evening included three stunning individual student vocal song performances. MC and performer Philip Manzo, aka Phil’s Caribbean Party, produced a Trashion Show enviro- conscious video in collaboration with Long Beach Middle School art teacher Laura Swan.
Also at this event were fine art displays of watercolors reminding attendees of the need to care for nature and a seedling table ready for the garden in the Magnolia center courtyard. The “green” runway itself was solar-lit in order to conserve energy.
“Finding creative ways to reuse waste is both fun and important,” said Ms. Swan, who discussed the idea with Jen Hanono at a LB Bag It meeting back in October and then brought the initiative from concept to fruition. “We learned how keep waste out of our landfills and our oceans by creating fashion with it!”
The Trashion Show was a collaborative effort of the school district and community, sponsored by the Artists in Partnership organization. The event also served as an opportunity to promote the upcoming May 21 attempt to set a world record for “The Longest Line of Surfboards.”
View a video from the show here: https://vimeo.com/166280083