Recycled. Restyled. Remarkable.
What an exciting night we had at Young At Art’s “10th Annual Recycled Fashion Show- Surrealism Restyled”. This show was produced by teens from YAA Volunteer/Leadership Program and PACE Center for Girls, Broward, which is an alternative high school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This fundraiser benefitted YAA Teen Leadership and At-Risk Youth
Programs. The teens earned community service hours for the time they devoted to this project; many working nearly 100 hours. The teens had a Project Runway style challenged where they selected a surrealist artist and environmental issue out of a hat. This challenged the teens to come up with a design concept, linked to an important environmental concern. Their creations had to be made from 70% recyclable materials.
The girls worked for months researching their artist and environmental issue, meeting with staff and fashion consultants, collecting recycled materials and then creating their designs. The level of talent and professionalism from these teens was so inspiring!
We had the opportunity to go backstage to visit the designers and models before the show. I met Jolie and her friend who would be modeling her design. She is the youngest designer at only 8 years old and this was her 3rd year participating. Her artist was Salvador Dali and she used cardboard, dryer sheets, and lint to make her dress.
I also met with Neilah Richardson, 18. This was also her 3rd year as a participant. She selected Surrealist, Vladimir Kush and her issue was Over-fishing. She tied it to her Haitian culture where 90% of their coral reef is dead due to over-fishing. She diligently collected over 500 plastic bags for her gown.
Her dress is pictured next to 15-year-old designer Ela Krekora’s. Her Surreal Artist inspiration was Damien Hirst and her environmental issue was Desertification. Her design represented the land becoming so dry that it cannot be farmed. She did this by using water bottles and painting them the color of dirt to create a dried riverbed. She used colorful butterflies on the back as juxtaposition.
The event was so lovely and so well planned. Inside the children’s art museum, before the fashion show started there were food and drinks, a recycled jewelry making station, a Nail Art Bar provided by Kaizen Beauty Academy. There was also a space to make your own photo-booth prop with recycled material. They had a silent auction and raffle to help raise additional funds.
The fashion show music was provided by “Girls Make Beats” which is a non-profit organization that empowers girls ages 7 and up to expand the female presence of DJ’s, Music Producers, and Audio Engineers.
Joy Taylor from The Zazlow and Joy show on AM 790 The Ticket hosted the event. She was so personable with the girls when she interviewed each one of them while their models walked the runway. I had a chance to meet her and talk before the show. She shared with me that she actually had studied art and fashion. She was excited to be involved with this event that was inspiring and empowering for young girls. I agreed with her that is was so valuable and beneficial to have an event where the girls felt appreciated and admired by the community for their talent and ingenuity, especially in our culture where girls often feel judged negatively. It’s so wonderful that they have this positive outlet to express and celebrate their creativity.
The judges had a very tough time selecting a winner. First place went to Sierra Decordova who is 15 years old. Her issue was Overgrazing and her Surreal Artist inspiration was Nene Thomas. She learned from her research that in 2013, the Australian government authorized the killing of 1600 kangaroos because of overgrazing. She used 800 aluminum cans and scrap metal to represent only half of the kangaroos that died that year. Her gown depicted a dead overgrazed landscape with a surprise feature that fully opened and clipped back to represent a lush landscape with controlled animal population.
Congratulations to all of the girls involved and all of the staff at YAA. It was an incredible event culminating months of hard work and dedication. These girls have a bright future ahead of themselves!
Young at Art Children’s Museum, located in Davie, FL, is open to the public. With over 55,000 square feet of exhibits, sculptures, classrooms, and other activities, you can spend the whole day there. They offer camp, classes, workshops, an art institute, birthday parties and field trips. This place is a must see if you’re in South Florida, and it’s a registered non-profit organization.
To learn more about Young At Art Museum, click here.
I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect-
they are much more interesting.
Girls’ Outfit Details:
Dress- Guess/Shoes- Ruby and Bloom- Nordstrom
Top, Pants, Shoes- Cherokee USA