Recycle in Style

Couture fashion shows typically feature cutting-edge designs that are daring and innovative. But how often do such original style creations incorporate bottle caps, egg cartons and plastic bags?

For more than a decade, it’s been a yearly staple of the Recycled Fashion Show. On Nov. 17, the 12th annual event will feature couture designs made from recycled materials created by teen volunteers at Young at Art Museum in Davie.

The imaginative artistry of museum volunteers sparked the creation of the show, says Sue Aguilera, teaching coordinator at the YAA Institute. Volunteers create jewelry and trinkets from reused or recycled materials that are displayed in the museum’s recycling exhibit, which highlights environmental concerns through the craftsmanship of artists.

“Their creativity knew no bounds,” Aguilera says. “So we decided to show off what they could do.”
Teenagers, ages 13 to 18, research their designs, work with fashion designers and learn to sew high-concept dresses. The contestants’ creations are judged on representation of a chosen environmental issue, creativity and usage of recycled material, and adherence to the theme.

The theme for this year’s event is “Cosplay Couture Restyled.” Cosplay, a contraction of the words “costume play,” is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game. “They can show homage to their favorite characters, find someone who inspired them, or make up their own character to use as inspiration for their garment,” Aguilera says.

The fashion show supports YAA’s outreach initiatives—such as the Girls ’N Power program at PACE Center for Girls (Broward) in Wilton Manors, an alternative academic program for girls in middle and high school who may have suffered abuse or violence in the home. The Girls ’N Power program uses art such as digital photography to build self-esteem and critical thinking skills for at-risk girls. “It helps with self-expression, especially when they might not have much control in their lives,” Aguilera says. “It’s a cathartic way of making art.”

Students from the program also serve as volunteers to create designs highlighted in the fashion show, which will feature a recycled jewelry station and a nail art station.

“The fashion show not only raises awareness for all environmental issues, but it lights the fuse for creativity in our teens,” Aguilera says. “If they can make a dress out of bottle caps, they can conquer the world.”

Recycled Fashion Show
When: Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Young at Art Museum, 751 SW 121st Ave., Davie
Ticket price: $35
Contact: 954.424.0085;

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