Pop Bottle Flowers
Some years ago, the producer of Portland Fashion Week introduced me to the concept of “sustainable fashion.” Internet research led me to experiment with unconventional and recycled materials in my designs. The line I showed in DC Fashion Week 2014 included two dresses made from a shower curtain, and one made with sheets of rubber shelving liner. I decorated two of the dresses with plastic eating utensils. I cut the utensils into pieces, and melted the fork tines and spoons with a heat gun to bend and stretch them into flowers and leaves. I become addicted easily to art projects like this, and I found the process of making decorations with things that get thrown away a million times a day delightful. More importantly, I was intrigued by the ability to create unique accents and decorations. It sparked my imagination with new possibilities for dress designs.
Several other dresses I showed at DCFW 2014 featured pop bottle flowers. I cut up water and pop bottles, and used a heat gun to flatten and reshape the pieces into flowers and decorations. I drilled holes in the flowers so they could be sewn or tied to fabric. I learned how to use different types of bottles and parts of the bottles to make different shapes and flowers. I could spray paint them any colors I wanted, and I learned how to spray stripes, speckles, and other patterns using two or more different paints. The pop bottle material was more flexible than the plastic utensils, and much easier to work with. I was hooked. This was not just sustainable fashion, but a fun and versatile addition to my dress accents.
East Coast model Elena Maconaughey wore my finale pop bottle flower dress in DCFW 2014. We were interviewed by the local news after the show, and I was thrilled to see a picture of her in it on the website cover photo for DCFW 2015. All of my friends and relatives know they are no longer allowed to throw away their water and pop bottles---I need them for my dresses!