Is fashion a load of old rubbish?

Is fashion a load of old rubbish at Sunderland Museum

Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden are to exhibit recycled paper dresses designed and created by Sunderland College Year 1 Fashion and Clothing BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 students in a joint project with Groundwork North East and Cumbria

Groundwork North East and Cumbria have led an innovative new project with students from Sunderland College culminating in an eye-catching exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Paper dresses were all the rage in the late sixties as the American “throw-away” society emerged. The Pop Art ideal of merging common culture with fine art was expressed in disposable clothing that was in high demand. Paper dresses, designed and created by Year 1 students on Sunderland College’s Fashion and Clothing BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 course and will be on display in Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens between Saturday 31 January – Sunday 8 March 2015.

The dresses were commissioned by Wendy Fail, Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator at Groundwork North East and Cumbria.  The project has been delivered under the wider remit of the new Visitor and Education Centre, located in Wrekenton.  The centre is an integral part of South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership’s ambitious plans to make full use of the rubbish collected by Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils rather than sending it to landfill.  The waste partnership is working with SITA UK to help deliver these plans and SITA in turn work with Groundwork to assist in involving communities. The centre is quickly becoming established as a centre of excellence, providing school children and the wider community across the partner council’s the chance to find out more about recycling and sustainable waste management.

Wendy Fail, Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator at Groundwork North East and Cumbria said ‘The dresses show that, despite the challenges, beautiful, elegant, functional outfits can be created from material that might otherwise have been thrown away. I’ve been really impressed by the quality and creativity of the students on this project.’

Jan Miller, Lecturer in Art and Design at Sunderland College, stated ‘The Paper Dress project, completed with the help of their tutor Helen Willey, has given the First Year Fashion students an exciting creative challenge as well as extending their knowledge and understanding of the importance of recycling in today’s world.’

After their run at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden, the dresses will be on display at Hendon Library between 10 March – 7 April and Campground Visitor and Education Centre between 8 April-1 May, before being returned to Sunderland College for their End of Year Show.

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Perhaps Sunderland's most prominent landmark is Penshaw Monument. It was built in 1844 in honour of the first Earl of Durham, John George Lambton. Penshaw was modelled on Theseion, the Temple of Thesus in Athens.

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