By Kim Lawrence. A duct tape bustier with a pleated newspaper skirt. An outfit fashioned from Tim Horton’s cups and pastry bags. Or maybe a cocktail dress constructed entirely from carefully dyed toilet paper and an old shower curtain. All appropriate attire for any self-respecting Earth Day event-goer.
Photos by Kaitlyn Mahoney
First published 17/04/10
Kaitlyn Mahoney, a new UFV student and a graduate of SRT in Maple
Ridge, took the three-week assignment to heart and sought inspiration at
home. In the loo. Although her family is very supportive of her
educational path, they did not fully appreciate her using the entire
house stock of toilet paper to create her fashion confection.
she says, “and then I had to hand-sew them onto the shower curtain
base one by one, using myself as the model (she had no mannequin at
home).” Delivering the delicate garment to class for evaluation
presented another problem: she had to wait for a sunny day, lest the
whole thing dissolve in the rain. It was worth it; she earned a high B
on the project.
“I love the fact that this program is so hands-on,” she says. “I
took textiles courses throughout high school and felt drawn to fashion
as a career. I hope to use it as a way of seeing the world some day.”
Students in the UFV program usually do a major field trip to the garment
district in New York City once a year, so her goal is not far off.
creative students can get with unusual materials when challenged.
“I’ve seen it all over the years,” she says. “Dresses made
from flattened pop cans, paper doilies, fake leaf garlands — even a
long ball gown made from trash bags with a gorgeous trim of melted
plastic forks. It’s great to see the students express themselves while
thinking of the impact their work has on the environment.”