This mini dress was made entirely from natural materials- Wear it and Compost it! The intention of this outfit made with super antioxidant cranberries was that it would be trashed as the dancer wore it. We did a formal studio photo shoot of the dress intact and then let model/dancer Nita Bowerman go wild and dance her little heart out. The result is that cranberries were squished and Chinese Lanterns went flying! This is my first foray into video so it will be a while until i have an edit of this fantastical performance but i am really looking forward to this project. The cranberries that were left intact have now dried and are waiting to be repurposed into future projects. The dress was made from fresh Cranberries, Hemp thread, branches, Cattails and Chinese Lanterns. Headpiece is made from Birch bark, wasp nest, honeycombs, Blueberry branches, Amate paper. Boots were made from Birch bark over a wooden clog and lined with linen fabric. The style of the dress is based on the iconic shift dress of the 1960′s, which had no waistline and was therefore easy to dance in.
Concept, design and photography: Nicole Dextras. Model: Nita Bowerman, Lighting: Jordi Sancho, Makeup: April Beer, Video: Michael Sider.
The Mobile Garden Dress is a self-sustaining garden and shelter for the new urban nomad, complete with pots of edible plants and a hoop skirt which converts into a tent at night. This garment is 100% compostable and recyclable. It is contrusted from natural materials such as Willow, basketry reed, grasses and leaves. The hoop skirt is covered in pots containing live edible plants such as herbs and vegetables. The dress advocates for an autonomous and democratic urban lifestyle based on self-sufficiency. During the day, Madame Jardin interacts with people and engages them in conversations about plants, gardens and composting. At night she can sleep in her tent/skirt, unwind and water her plants in a local community garden. Like a true nomad, her camp can be quickly transformed; her hoop skirt collapses into a light-weight framework, her organic cotton tent fabric becomes an elegant dress and all her belongings fit onto her wheeled structure.
The Mobile Garden Dress was commissioned for the Vancouver Children’s Festival
and was worn everyday for a week by artist/actor Nita Bowerman
, who was usually followed by a gaggle of chatty children who wanted to water her plants and smell the herbs. During this week I taught workshops to kids who helped create the Eco-Wardrobe installation, which consisted of outfits made from leaves and flower petals hung on a clothesline on site. I later added more detail to the dress and we took photos of Nita wearing it in a greenhouse at Southlands Nursery
owned by Thomas Hobbs
. For this I created an elaborate head piece out of edible flowers and added accents to the dress such as the collar made from Peruvian Chili Peppers. She was right at home in the steamy greenhouse surrounded by her potted friends. Watch video of the dress in action here