Editor’s Note: Who’s Rachel Mace? You can learn more about her and her journey to become an alternative fashion designer from our profile of her.
Rachel Mace (aka Keseken) describes her debut of Totally Trashed Fashion (a clothing line made completely from trash) at the fourth annual Runway Renegade Show as the “most amazing experience of her entire life.” Every seat was filled, and the crowd cheered as Mace’s models were the first to strut down the runway. All of the small kinks had worked out to produce an “incredible” show. The audience’s positive feedback was the boost Mace needed to affirm her new role as an alternative fashion designer.
“This show helped me learn some things about myself: My design preference leans towards the more extravagant pieces. I had trouble finishing the really simple things because I just wasn’t as into it. I expect my next line to be full of big, exciting dresses,” said Mace.
Mace has already begun eagerly working on her second line for Spokane’s Sustainable Uprising Fashion Show in September. You can take a look at the some of the pictures from the Runway Renegade Show on the following pages (with Rachel’s comments); you can view them all at the Totally Trashed Flickr stream.
If you know any other designers creating fashion and saving the planet using unconventional materials, leave me a comment or send me an email at email@example.com. I’ll take a look and possibly feature them on sustainablog.
Next page: Magazines and ruffles
All images courtesy of Totally Trashed Fashion. Above: the whole team. Left to Right: Ariel in The Spokane Metro Dress, Ria Bertone in the Go Green Ballgown, Gabby in the Penny Lingerie Set, Taylor Weech in the Book Dress, and Rachel Mace (Me) on the ground again, in Garbage Glamour. all the jewelry was designed by eco-designer Mary Tafuri, and is on sale at her Etsy shop.
The Spokane Metro Dress: ‘I was contacted by Spokane Metro Magazine’s Nick Henderson a few months ago informing me that he was super interested in my sustainable fashions, and asking if I could make a dress out of their magazine, Spokane Metro. Spokane Metro is just getting back on its feet after a long hiatus, and I was more than happy to start work on it. It was my second piece to be made out of paper, and the dress is 100% Spokane Metro Magazine. It was custom fit to Ariel St. Clair, and took many messy hours to complete. It has had the largest response of all of my pieces, and will hopefully be featured in Spokane Metro Magazine. The Spokane Metro Magazine will go on display at Glamarita in Spokane, Washington.”
The Two Piece Black Ruffle Dress: “This dress was an experiment about what I could make out of just two trash bags. I cut one bag into strips and strategically melted them into a ruffled pattern, and then they were placed onto the other bag, which was cut lengthwise to form the base skirt and top. It ties in three places, and is wearable by more than just the intended model, Soukie Tanphantourath.”
Next: Ball gowns and books
The Go Green Ballgown: “The Go Green Ballgown was made primarily out of recycled plastics. The full skirt is made of up a series of Value Village hula hoops in various sizes, connected together with the wire from coat hangers. The rest of the dress is a mix of white plastic trash bags, and donated Barnes and Noble recycled plastic book bags. It is custom fit to the model, Ria Bertone, and took over 20 hours of work. It was my first dress made for the RunwayRenegades Fashion show and will be put up on display come Saturday the 20th at Glamarita in Spokane, Washington.”
The Book Dress: “The Book Dress was made out of books from our local bookstore, Aunties, which were donated because they were too ripped or torn to resell, and were on their way to the shredder. The skirt was made primarily out of a Spanish-to-English Dictionary, and the bodice was shaped especially to fit the model, Taylor Weech, out of a teen novel. Laced on the front and back by shoe lace, and built on a newspaper-coat-hanger frame, The Book Dress was my first excursion into making clothing out of paper. It was one of my best received pieces, and will go on display at Glamarita in Spokane, Washington on Saturday the 20th.”
Next: Chains and VHS tapes
The Chain Dress: “This was made from only grocery store and garbage bags, VHS tape, and broken jewelry. I melted the bags into thick strips and wove them together for the skirt with an open, fluffy back. The skirt fits on the natural waist with a clean line before turning into carefully cut strips of plastic, a shortened, mermaid inspired dress. The belt is made from knitted VHS tape, and the chain accents were from necklaces in my jewelry box with broken clasps, tied in strategic areas. Modeled by Ione Lohnes.”
The VHS and Roses Dress: “This piece was made out of an old, loose weave shell which I found at Value Village. Upon taking it home to incorporate into my wardrobe, I noticed it had several holes and seemed pretty unsalvageable for daily wear. It stayed in my closet for a while before I decided to try and revamp it with my new-found fashion skills. I wove old VHS tape through the holes to fill in the gaps in the fabric and add sparkle, then I melted trash bags and danger tape into a sturdy under-bust belt which laces in the back. I used some remaining danger tape to twist and melt into rose-bub shaped accents. Erin Francis was a natural choice to model this piece with her long black hair and pin-up look. I even incorporated hair pieces into her outfit.”
Next: Formal and fun
The Two Piece Evening Gown: “This is a two-piece formal gown made from a plastic table cloth and over 400 soda pop tabs for detail work. The idea came from wedding dresses with their long trains, and the table cloth was the only material I had with the kind of length that would let me achieve such a long line without melting or gluing. The dress was hand sewn with over 400 soda tabs, used as a trim along the edge of the skirt as well as holes for the four separate parts of the dress which lace. The best part about this dress is the raised front of the dress which lets air get under the train, causing a billowing effect whenever the model walks. Modeled by Kayla Zuniga.”
The Recycled Colors Dress: “This dress was a lot of fun. I took over 20 different bags which were donated to me from different stores, cut them into strips and made small ruffles out of them. They then attached to a skirt made out of white garbage bag to form a cha-cha inspired bustle. The top of the dress was made from white plastic table cloth remainders from the Two Piece Evening Gown, with colored bags to accent and dimes as button details, worn by Erin McMahon.”
The Dangerous Curves Dress: “This dress was an experiment with draw-strings and designing for plus-sized models. My goal was a pin-up looking pencil skirt which accented my model’s natural figure. I think that I did alright with this, but at the same time, it was more difficult than I expect. Having no formal design training, I just had to wing it on putting in darts and making my (very fickle) materials lay smooth and flat over curves. This dress was made out of black and white garbage backs with a danger tape belt. Worn by Kassandra Sandacker.”
Penny Lingerie: “Gabrielle Deede is modeling the Penny Piece, a lingerie item crafted out of melted and sewn garbage bags, beads, bells, and pennies. The idea was to form a sexy but not overly revealing ensemble which played up the natural beauty of my model. The panties have a ‘U’ shaped line from where the skirt starts, with each strip ending in a bead, button, bell, or penny. Then, the front of the panties are adored with pennies on their heads, and the back with pennies on tails.”
Garbage Glamour Dress: “This was my dress (right). It was made from one garbage bag, two plant hooks, and two overall hooks. The look was kind of Grecian with a slight bustle and plunging back. It was simple, yet elegant. There will be more pictures of this dress come Saturday.”