DESIGNER/STYLIST/PHOTOGRAPHER/EDITOR DIGITAL PHOTO Maxime Chercover
DIRECTOR/EDITOR/DESIGNER/STYLIST VIDEO Maxime Chercover
FILM PHOTOGRAPHER Natasha Kopunovic
VIDEOGRAPHER Kate Carter
MODEL, VIDEO Angelina Kiriakos
MODEL, PHOTO Angelina Kiriakos & Mariah Contento
After learning how much waste the fashion industry produces every year, I began an experiment to measure my waste by keeping the scraps from my projects over the last six months. Over time, the scraps accumulated, eventually filling several large bags with sections of fabric too small to be useful on their own. How to repurpose them was the question, and sustainability was the forefront of inspiration. As necessity drove invention, the project developed into a collection. Another goal was demonstrating that sustainability could be sexy. Sustainable fashion has a background of being ethical, but not particularly sexy, until now. Building a zero-waste dress was the first step, but designing it sleeveless, with a slim silhouette and a low back are what made it sexy. From the dress’s success came tank tops, mini skirts, and COVID masks. The two piece coordinating sets can be styled diversely or worn together as sets. Finally, repurposed out-of-date heels are reupholstered with old magazine clippings, bringing them new life. With this collection I aimed to achieve awareness of sustainability, and aesthetic-forward designs. The resulting photography and film give life to these garments.
The short film “Ex-Maxhina” address another aspect of sustainability; tech-addiction, which is illustrated through a modern love-story. The film highlights the dangers of social media, addiction, and reliance on technology, which are all detrimental to mental and environmental health. I collaborated with recent graduate Kate Carter, and filmed on a camcorder to demonstrate that older methods of technology are simple, functional, and effective in slowing consumerism. This stylistic choice shows that using what one already has, is ethical and holds value. My goal as a designer is to empower women in whatever they chose to wear. Female empowerment and sustainability are some of the values essential to my work, and I strive to create awareness of both through this project. I am passionate about using fashion as a channel of expression and inspiring confidence, and these values, especially female empowerment, drive my designs. This film is created by a female forward, inclusive team featuring QTPOC members. The collection is made entirely of recycled and reclaimed materials, proving that sustainable fashion can be unique and sexy. Inspired by documentaries like “The Social Dilemma,” this film illustrates the negative effects of technology on mental health, and the harmful effects of fashion on the environment. We hope to encourage viewers to practice slow and sustainable fashion methods, and unplug themselves from technology, in order to reconnect with nature. Photography is done in collaboration with models Angelina Kiriakos, Mariah Contento, and photographer Natasha Kopunovic.