IFA Paris, sensitive to social and environmental problematics, is regularly involved in new battles. By choosing to have fashion and art coexist, the school multiplies its creative experimentations allowing garments to transgress their primary function and to reveal themselves as a dissenter medium. The last interpretation of our students, a cape made of plastic wastes of which the audacity denounces the environmental burden: a design created from scratch by three young designers from IFA Paris. Rima, Lemaris and Ivo designed this unusual dress worn by the artist Alexandra Mas during the 58th Venice Biennale and the Art Basel Fair Miami.Plastic waste dress in Miami

Immersed at sea, simulating a drowning caused by the hindrance of a cluster of floating bottles and wrappings, she finally managed to come out of the water, her body entirely covered by the “wastage dress”, metaphor of the wastage and plastic fragments pollution affecting all seas. Marco Tassini, immortalized this moment through a video titled “No, an ugly story”, and confronted the viewer to the consequences of a mass use of non-recyclable materials. Nobody was left unaffected by the film.

The first scene of No, an ugly story, straight evocation of the plastic polluting endangering the oceans has the merit of clarity and is striking. “the Venetian project was born when Alexandra Mas and Marco Tassini came to visit me at IFA Paris tells Jean-Baptiste Andréani, managing director of the Paris’ campus and one of the main support of the project. We talked about it and the idea of the collaboration was born. The short movie was first made and projected in Paris at Silencio (club created by film director David Lynch). Of course there are the pictures in this video but there also is the soundtrack, very elaborate, adds Jean-Baptiste Andréani. We hear the screams of the marine mammals, of children, words, voices, this “No” repeated by young persons – including IFA Paris’ students, French, Italians, Spaniards, Indians or Chinese – who refuse the fate of the plastic pollution.” Among these voices we can also hear Chinese artist Xin Wang’s. An invitation to not only “see” the damages of plastic pollution but to physiclally, intrinsically “feel” it.

Plastic waste dress in MiamiFollowing the Parisian projection, the artists were invited to the 58th Venice Biennale during which the scenography was reproduced live in the city of the Doges. From the Rialto Bridge to the Piazza San Marco, in a gondola or bare feet in the streets, Alexandra Mas wandered as a zombie, wearing the cape/sculpture before dropping it on the floor and make of this performance a persistent and distressing testimony.

The three students from IFA Paris made the plastic cape with all the wastes retrieved for 4 months by the artist, by Marco Tassini and by IFA Paris students who organized this collection for all its students. “A complicated task, says Jean-Baptiste Andreani. To sew plastics wastes to each other implies that they need to stick to each other. This plastic creation was significant, because Alexandra Mas wore and pulled it on a lot of kilometers in Venice, from the Saint-Mark’s square to the Giardini, a burden: the dress weighed 15kg!” A 9 kilometers long procession in the middle of Venetian crowd as stunned as fascinated. Once the Giardini reached, Alexandra Mas offloaded her plastic monster, creating and abandoning a horrible sculpture, symbol of, according to the artist, “the ecological urgency”.

50 to 60 billion of plastic bottles are produced and thrown away every year and some of the industrialized countries produce between 20 and 30 billion of plastic bags per year.

Alexandra Mas was also wearing a mask made of recycled plastic created by Sergio Boldrin (La Bottega dei Mascareri). “Furthermore, she was wearing a fine dress and a linen bolero, the most ecological fiber there is, symbol of a sustainable fashion, result of the collaboration between IFA Paris and the Textile Bio Normandie Company”.

The cape then left to Miami where it was once again presented during the Art Basel Fair Miami through two performances at the Aqua Art Plastic waste dress in MiamiMiami (https://www.aquaartmiami.com/events) and at Pinta Miami. For those who have missed the performances, the cape will be on display in Venice, during the 2020 Edition of the Carnival, at the Art Gallery “Spazio San Vidal” for 2 weeks.Fashion and art, which complement each other, multiply collaborations in order to attempt to positively influence behaviors. From the encounter of those intertwined universes are born beautiful projects with a creative, artistic, social or environmental dimension that create a different interpretation of the garment. You can discover the garment created by IFA Paris’ students and the aquatic performance here. A viewing of only a few seconds is enough to give an idea of the scale of the issues of protecting our natural resources so that the allegoric beauty of the mermaids keeps us fantasize as much as before…

You can find here all the content of our Bachelor Fashion Sustainability and our Upcycling Fashion Short Course