The paper dress captured the vibrant and consumerist zeitgeist of 1960s America so precisely that the fashion press speculated about paper garments taking over the market. But as the novelty appeal of paper clothes wore off, their downsides became more apparent and they very soon ended up as waste. Los Angeles based Venezuelan photographer Cristobal Valecillos’ series “A Cardboard Life” elevates paper back to a high fashion level, but his work’s allure comes with an urgent message. All of his images are made out of recyclable materials from the clothes on his models to their environments, styled after the splendor of Pre-Raphaelite painting and making us look at trash with new eyes.
Berlin-based artist Vermibus shocks passersby with haunting public interventions, in which he replaces fashion advertisements with his own manipulated versions. To create the staggering, sometimes startling images, Vermibus splashes a solvent across the printed surface. The chemical reaction causes the faces and flesh of models, as well as the logos and brands they represent, to wash away. This process can be viewed in a video produced by Open Walls Gallery in Berlin.
Photographer Fabrice Monteiro collaborated with Senegalese fashion and costume designer Doulsy (Jah Gal) and the Ecofund organization to create “The Prophecy,” a series in which the destruction of the African landscape is highlighted through theatrical costume and narrative. Larger-than-life characters wear costumes partially made from the trash found in the ten polluted environments where Monteiro photographed his models.
While he works primarily in advertising and editorial photography, Richard Burbridge has a vision that’s distinctly his own, no matter who the client is. The photographer has been based in New York City since 1993 and has shot a slew of covers and fashion features for the likes of Italian Vogue and Dazed & Confused. Though he photographs models in luxurious couture, Burbridge throws traditional beauty conventions out the window. He often alters the models’ faces and bodies with surreal props — bondage masks, baby doll heads, food, foam and anything that will give his sitters an otherworldly appearance. Unafraid to violate the models’ pristine hair and clothing, Burbridge confronts viewers with the beauty within the ugliness (and vice versa) and creates images that challenge our expectations.
At the intersection of fashion and sculpture you’ll find the wearable artwork of Copenhagen-based artist Nikoline Liv Andersen. “My work is expressive, living in the borderline between fashion and art with a big focus on textiles, textures and delicate details” Anderson said, describing her work. Many of Andersen’s designs challenge the purpose of ordinary materials, using them to create intricate works of art.