Wolf Files: You Look Like Garbage

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I have only one question: How are these bubble-wrap outfits packed? When we open the box, how do you know what to throw out and what to wear?

"Our customers don't have a problem," said Beverly Randolph of Bubble Body Wear, which makes dresses, bras, jackets, lingerie and even a $250 wedding dress from bubble wrap.

When Garbage Rules the Runways

Philadelphia University requires design students to fashion outfits from garbage — including Hefty bags, old cassette cases, Astroturf and cardboard — for its annual Design X fashion show.

"You take the ordinary and you make the extraordinary, that's what we're asking design students to do," said school spokesman Chris Clark.

"Bubble wrap is a popular material at these shows," he said. "What could be more 'pop' culture than bubble wrap?"

At the renowned Parsons School of Design in New York, duct tap ruled the runways in a show last April, as students presented formalwear, beach outfits and surreal costumes in a show entirely devoted to duct tape, which is now conveniently available in a rainbow of colors.

Today's students have definitely been influenced by garbage fashion.

A little more than a year ago, 17-year-old Sarah Blacketer of Rockwell, Texas, rummaged through her daddy's workshop to construct an all-metal "hardwear" dress from mesh screening, safety wire and an assortment of wing nuts, bolts, screws and scraps.

In years past, a parent would just assume the youngster was cobbling together a last-minute Halloween costume.

Actually, Blacketer had her sights set on making a big splash in fashion. The 2001 valedictorian of Rockwell High School won honors in a Texas statewide student art competition for her all-metal dress. She's now studying at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.

"I think the art is finding fashion in everyday objects," says Blacketer.

The young designer used screening for the skirt and bustier, with the wire "scrunched" to achieve a gathered look. The metal rings from spiral notebooks served as trim, with lock washers and wing nuts creating a sequined effect that would surely spin the Tin Man's rivets.