Fashions that Look Good and are Good for the Earth!

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The 9th Annual Children’s Art Show at the National Arts Club in New York City provided a real feast for the eyes of everyone who packed the opening:  186 artworks by 200 young artists (ages 3 – 18) in every conceivable medium: oils, watercolors, photography, pencil, wood, plaster, clay, chalk, cardboard, paper, and this year, dominoes (creating a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr.!).

The proud parents, young artists, Children’s Aid Society staff, Board members and guests who attended the reception on Wednesday, February 24 were in for a treat: a show of eco-fashions – dresses created from recyclable materials including MetroCards, newspapers, plastic trash bags and recycled fabric. They’re great dresses: slinky cocktail outfits created and modeled by members of the Eco-Fashion and Green Design Club of M.S. 324 at the Mirabal Sisters Campus, a Children’s Aid community school located in Washington Heights.

One dress was said to contain 1,000 MetroCards. Another comprised dozens of copies of the New York Post folded into a retro beauty of a dress. The students have focused on these outfits since September 2009. They are the product of design, and collaborative stapling, pinning, measuring and gluing, all under the guidance of club director Crystal Chaparro, herself a visual artist and vegetarian caterer who promotes green values, natural living and sustainability.

“Crystal has created an open and nurturing space where all students have the opportunity to shine,” says Marinieves Alba, community school director at the Mirabal Sisters Campus. And at their fashion show, these students were beaming with the confidence and self esteem that are boosted when the arts are integrated into the school day and blossom in the minds and hearts of young people. Photo by  Lily Kesselman