Going Green Gets Fashionable: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure


Pulsing beats and bright lights mesmerize the audience as the first model hits the runway. She is dressed in black and white- an obvious answer to this season’s style report- her confidence is unfaltering despite the blinding flashes of the cameras. Her high heels pound the uneven cobblestone beneath her with a click, clack, commanding the attention of all eyes as she rounds the four corners of the courtyard. Graceful but fierce, she strikes her last pose before leaving the runway, making sure no one forgets her beautiful garments. “Chanel?” you might ask. “Prada? Louis Vuitton?” No, this  year’s finest fashions debuted at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Spring 2009 Fashion Show, One Man’s Trash is another Man’s Treasure.

Focusing on fashionable sustainability, design students at LdM were given old vintage clothing to reinvent and reconstruct into a new and unique pieces. With guidance from the Trend Forecasting students, the designers used three of 2009’s biggest trends as inspiration- black & white, Americana, and tribal. Dowdy knits and drab skirts where transformed into chic separates fit for any major designer’s runway, turning the trite saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” into “recycle, reconstruct, remarket”. Petra Barnes, director of the fashion show and School of Design Supervisor, explains the success of the event, “Most of the garments were created by first year fashion design students which are amazing accomplishments that the whole fashion department is very enthusiastic about. Our designers have been working hard all semester to produce new environmental friendly looks through different techniques such as screen printing, embroidery, beading, gathering and draping.” The design student’s hard work and determination paid off when their creations hit the runway for all to admire.

The masculine, edgy boldness offset by the feminine touches of the black and white theme created a beautiful contradiction. Black trousers paired with simple white t-shirts, embellished with puckering around the neckline and hand-sewn flowers made their way down the runway without fail. Mini skirts, dresses, and even an evening gown all marked with the stark contrast of the two colors were presented to the audience’s sheer delight.

Stars and stripes, rock n’ roll, and pop art all encompass the American spirit designers used as insight for their Americana creations. The vintage graphic T’s became a reoccurring motif throughout the scene along with lots and lots of denim. Varying shades of red, white and blue intermixed with unusual textures created a new spin on an old favorite. The audience loved the tribute to Old Glory- stars and stripes tres chic.

The newest global fusion fashion trend was executed with excellence in the tribal segment of the show. Models wore clothing featuring earth tones with the occasional and unexpected pops of electric blue and hot pink hues, which acted as the overall color palette. Bold prints were intensified with customized touches such as beading, feathers, and fringe. The tribal creations without a doubt left the audience wanting more.

In the end, one man’s trash did become another man’s (and woman’s) treasure! The designers rose to the occasion and embraced the sustainable elements of the new, “green” fashions with style and creativity. It’s safe to say we are all awaiting the next Lorenzo de Medici fashion show with eager anticipation.

McCauley Bennett

To view some of the pictures of the Spring 2009 fashion show please sign up for the Fashion Department Lorenzo de’Medici facebook group.