Trashtopia by Maison Briz Vegas

van Lunn, Carla Anna & Binotto, Carla (2014) Trashtopia by Maison Briz Vegas. [Exhibition/Event]

Exhibition Image (Image: JPEG 4MB)
Image credit: Erika Fish QUT
Together Alone, revisited 2_IMage (Image: JPEG 300kB)
Supplemental Material.
Together Alone, revisited 1_image (Image: JPEG 306kB)
Supplemental Material.
Image credit: photo by Jono Parker


Description of the Work

Trashtopia was a fashion exhibition at Craft Queensland’s Artisan gallery showcasing outfits made entirely from rubbish materials. The exhibition was part of an on-going series by the Queensland Fashion Archives, called Remember or Revive. Maison Briz Vegas designers, Carla Binotto and Carla van Lunn created a dystopian beach holiday tableau referencing mid-century Californian and Gold Coast beach culture and style, and today’s plastic pollution of the world’s oceans.

The display engaged a popular audience with ideas about environmental destruction and climate change while bringing twentieth and twenty-first century consumer and leisure culture into question. The medium of fashion was used as a means of amusement and provocation. The fashion objects and installation questioned current mores about the material value of rubbish and the installation was also a work of environmental activism.

Statement of the Research Component

The work was framed by critical reflections of contemporary consumer culture and research fields questioning value in waste materials and fashion objects. The work is situated in the context of conceptual and experimental fashion design practice and fashion presentation. The exhibited work transgressed the conventional production methods and material choice of designer fashion garments, for example, discarded plastic shopping bags were painstakingly shredded to mimic ostrich feathers. The viewer was prompted to reflect on the materiality of rubbish and its potential for transformation. The exhibition also sits in the context of culture jamming and contemporary activist practice. The work references and subverts twentieth century beach holiday culture, contrasting resort wear with a contemporary picture of plastic pollution of the oceans and climate change. Hawaiian style prints contained a playful and dark narrative of dying marine-life and the viewer was invited to take a “Greetings from Trashtopia” postcard depicting fashion models floating in oceans of plastic rubbish.

This reflective creative practice sought to address the question of whether fashion made from recycled rubbish materials can critically and emotionally engage viewers with questions about contemporary consumer culture and material value. This work presents an innovative model of fashion design practice in which rubbish materials are transformed into designer garments and rubbish is placed centre stage in the public presentation of the designs. In overturning the traditional model of fashion presentation, the viewer is also given a deeper connection to the recycling process and complex ideas of waste and value. In 2015 two outfits from the exhibition were selected, along with works from three leading Australian fashion labels, and four leading New Zealand labels, for a commemorative ANZAC fashion collection shown at iD Dunedin Fashion Week. The show titled, “Together Alone, revisited” reprised an Australian and New Zealand fashion exhibition first held at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2009.

Impact and interest:

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Full-text downloads:

57 since deposited on 08 Jan 2015
40 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 79883
Item Type: Creative Work (Exhibition/Event)
Refereed: No
Funders: Artisan, Craft Queensland
Material: Secondhand T-shirts, consumer rubbish, video, printed vinyl stickers, printed postcards, secondhand beach accessories, mannequins, vinyl flooring.
Measurements or Duration: gallery floor space measuring 3.7 x 2.6 m
Number of Pieces: 5 outfits
Location: From date: To date:
Artisan, Gallery Two, 381 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 2014-07-05 2014-09-27
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Fashion Activism, Sustainable Fashion, Brisbane Fashion, Rubbish and Waste, Fashion and Craft, Recycling, Maison Briz Vegas
Divisions: Past > Disciplines > Fashion
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 08 Jan 2015 01:31
Last Modified: 21 May 2015 01:32

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