The Rubbish To Riches Story Of The Things We Throw Away

Venera Kazarova, always knew that she would be a designer but was torn between fashion and theatre costume design. Her latest collection, Recycling into Art, is proof that her decision to foray into the cutthroat world of fashion, was the right one.

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Her sense of the theatrical is not lost in the collection though – carnival-esque head dresses and accentuated shoulders give the range a dramatic quality that wouldn’t be out of place on a stage or in a carnival. The models wear extravagant headpieces and striking dresses made from the mundane, lifeless materials we use everyday without thinking about: foil, wrapping paper, and disposable utensils.

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Inspired by nature, Venera finds pleasure in creating new textures and looks out for simple things from the natural world, or the man-made materials we give very little value to in their original state.

As well as an emphasis on the ‘unloved’ mediums she uses, the experimental designer is primarily focused on form – shape always dominates her pieces.

The contrast of garbage with sparkles on the models emits a strong visual effect, and is proof that everyday materials can be reused and recycled into art.

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We spoke to the visionary about working with trash and glitter.

The Plus: What inspired this project? Why now?
Venera Kazarova:
Together with make­up artist Olga Glazunova, we wanted to create a project where sparkles go with something of maximum contrast. We were inspired by this contrast and the visual effect that it gives. When I started developing this theme I realized the subtext that it contains, I mean ecology & recycling.

TP: Did you go out looking for specific things or did you draw inspiration from what you found?
VK:
I had a very rough feeling of what I wanted, I didn’t make any specific sketches for that. Very often I have ideas come to me when I found something & I realize it could be the detail of a headdress or something else, so I drew inspiration from all the rubbish I found.

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TP: There is an air of despondency with some of the models, what other emotions, or atmosphere, did you want to portray?
VK:
The mood & atmosphere was suggested by photographer Ira Bordo. We wanted to give a sense of detached existence, models are separate like in their own reality. They exist as art objects.

TP: Which material, or item, did you find most challenging to work with and why?
VK:
It was polyethylene. it is very fragile and it is difficult to sew, it tears easily. In addition, this material has a specific shine that sometimes looks too cheap so I had to use it really carefully to not go too far.

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TP: Which is your favourite piece?
VK:
My favorite one is the piece with white spoons around the head, it reminds me of a halo. I like this association.

TP: How long did the collection take to design?
VK:
It took about a month.

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TP: How did you put together the creative team?
VK:
I’ve actually worked with this team for a long time, it’s kind of a union. Especially with photographer Ira Bordo, we have collaborated since 2009. She takes pictures in the technique of art, this is perfect for my pieces.
Make­up artist Olga Glazunova is always open for creative projects & this particular project was her initiative, as make­up has a great importance here.
Model agency Aquarelle models provided us models and we have worked with this agency for a long time as well.

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TP: What’s next for you?
VK:
The next thing for me is developing in an art­-fashion direction. Now I’m working on a new project; a white collection. All the pieces are extra shaped and white – I want to add a light to make illumination on the costumes.

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