Fashion meets art through trash at ULAB’s Trashion Show
The Department of Media Studies & Journalism (MSJ) at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organised "Trashion Show" – a fashion show where students crafted different outfits and accessories using recycled waste materials.
As an essential part of the coursework of their Convergence Communication course, the students of the MSJ department dedicate themselves to the rigorous process of developing an artistic method of conveying a critical message on a specific real-life issue during the Trashion Show. The selected theme for the Fall'23 event was "Ecosystem Restoration", a nod of recognition to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
The most notable aspect of the Trashion Show is that the students try to promote the practice of upcycling rejected waste materials.
Lourdes Mary Rosario, a fourth-term student from the MSJ department, who also participated in this term's Trashion Show as a model, recounts the whole process and the requirements for the show.
"Firstly, we must use and reuse trash materials for making our costumes as well as all the props we would be presenting during the show. The selected theme for the term's Trashion Show is announced to us in the first two weeks of the term. After that, we have to form a group of four to five members and decide which role should be assigned to whom," says Rosario. "From the very beginning, we have to keep records, stating who was assigned which role, how many times we gathered together to work on our costumes and props, and how much time it took to get them ready. All this data will have to be incorporated in each participant's portfolio which must be presented to the course instructor by the end of the term."
The four-to-five-member group is supposed to consist of one team manager, two-three models, and one production manager. Each group chooses separate topics to work on. After gaining the course instructor's approval and further guidelines for the next steps, the students start collecting raw materials for the couture the models will be wearing and presenting during the Trashion Show. They also have to include pictures of them collecting and processing the trash materials in their portfolio.
"No team can start working on their creative project until they submit their chosen topic to the instructor of the course for his approval," adds Rosario. "They have to explain their reasons for adopting a particular topic and provide a compact and clear picture of what kind of couture they are envisioning and what trash material they are planning to recycle."
This term's Trashion Show took place on December 9 at ULAB's permanent campus. ULAB VC Prof. Imran Rahman, Pro-VC and also the Head of the MSJ Department Prof. Jude W.R. Genilo, and the instructor of the Convergence Communication course Assistant Prof. A F M Moniruzzaman Shipu were present among the audience at the event.
During the Trashion Show, participants had to convey a critical message to the audience while walking on the ramp, celebrating the rationale of the Convergence Communication course.
The models of the team Resto Couture – Lourdes Mary Rosario and Shyma Ahsan Raya – enacted an instance of marine pollution. Lourdes entered the stage with a used cigarette butt in her hand and heftily threw it in the water-filled glass bowl her stage partner Shyma was carrying, which represented the water bodies.
Lourdes represented the concept of "harm" as she wore a dress made of cigarette butts and packets of chips – products that play a huge role in polluting water bodies. Shyma embodied the concept of "harmed and eventually healed", wearing costumes adorned with natural products like real leaves and shells.
There were a total number of 13 groups that participated in the Trashion Show Fall'23 and boldly celebrated the boundlessness of creative expressions.
Rafia Sultana is a Campus Ambassador for The Daily Stars from University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.