Reused & Refashioned

Photographs courtesy of Nancy Judd

Nancy Judd, whose ReDress: Upcycled Style exhibit opened at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center September 19, sees treasure in the plastic, junk mail, cans and glass we recycle. “I’m inspired to educate about the environment,” explains Judd, who uses our discards to create eco-couture as a resourceful means for discourse on conservation and climate change. “I want to capture people’s attention, use creativity to help solve a larger problem.”

Judd’s Recycle Runway Collection was born in 1998, when she realized that blending art with fashion design offered a means for raising consciousness. Her method is playful; at first glance one sees dresses. Look closer and you come to understand each one as a symbolic message that elicits contemplation about the materials, their provenance and their long-term, negative impact. Together, the collection becomes a call to action that demands collective involvement. “I’m often amazed how it draws people to think, to have a conversation,” says Judd.

Photographs courtesy of Nancy Judd

Judd asked children to write what they could do to help the environment on pieces of recycled paper. The pledges were turned into chain links to cover this dress made of discarded sheets.
Using a picnic basket, plants
and dried flowers, this dress was
inspired by amateur naturalist and
diarist Opal Whiteley, who grew up in
logging camps in western Oregon.

By wrapping police crime-scene tape around a dress made from torn tablecloths, Judd calls our attention to the synthetic chemicals and contaminants we breathe and ingest. They accumulate in our bodies, creating susceptibility to a variety of health problems, including cancer.
Taking 650 hours to create, this gown’s ruffled train is made up of scraps of recycled cereal boxes, each containing an eco-pledge. All 5,000 scraps are painted with recycled paint, and attached to a dress made from parachute strips.

Two opportunities to meet NANCY JUDD in person

Nancy Judd will attend the September 26 Farm to Table Supper benefit, an evening of artisanal food and signature cocktails by chef Joe Jenkins. The evening will include a preview tour of ReDress: Upcycled Style led by the artist.

Come up with your own eco-pledge September 27, when Judd will lead a Transformation Workshop. Tweens are invited to be creative and fashion old t-shirts into functional, usable toys, bags and accessories.

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