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      The Red Shelf presents: 'Old Vogue; New Tricks'

      by Martha Mukaiwa

      The Red Shelf's 'Old Vogue; New Tricks'

      TEQUILA bottles become trendy lamps, and sneakers get a second life in The Red Shelf's 'Old Vogue; New Tricks'.

      Now on display at the Namibia Craft Centre's Omba Gallery, the showcase of upcycled art, fashion and decor, artistic fashion, and restored vintage uses materials “mostly donated by reformed hoarders” to illustrate the amazing potential of repurposing familiar and often discarded items.

      Though it's hard to believe the exhibition's sparkling chandelier was once a collection of La Vie water bottles, or that a stylish black sweater was formerly a pair of pantyhose, 'Old Vogue; New Tricks' charms with its little origin stories.

      “I used to be empty chip packets and fabric offcuts,” reads a card next to some purses made from colourful NikNaks bags.

      Each item features a similar story or a method of transformation meant to inspire visitors to do their own repurposing.

      “This is our way of illustrating the importance, value, responsibility and fun in upcycling, recycling, rewearing, repurposing and reusing just about anything,” says The Red Shelf's Sekai Katedza-Hartz, who presents the showcase alongside a host of the thrift and consignment store's friends, including Margit Calegari, Emilia Hartz, Connie Pimenta, AfroPrint Line, Cheroline Ripunda, Tisha Attires, Mavis Makumbiza, Exclusive Artworks and Art, and My Little Tribe.

      The Red Shelf began facilitating upcycling workshops in 2018.

      Upcycling is the act of transforming the used, old, or discarded in such a way that the new item is of higher value than the original.

      “This collection of works was created from everyday objects and clothing that would have been part of the over 4% of dumpsite waste, and about 92 million tonnes of clothing headed to dumpsites worldwide,” says Katedza-Hartz.

      “Vintage items were restored and upcycled using readily available tools, accessories and supplies from sewing boxes around town. All upcycled items had other uses or have now adopted a new, creative restored form.”

      Well curated and noble in its pursuit, 'Old Vogue; New Tricks' will inspire you to breathe new life into those faded black jeans, use your wine bottle collection as storage, and employ your artist friends to draw sweet designs on your denim cut-offs.

      “'Old Vogue; New Tricks' hopes to teach people that they can recycle, upcycle and modify fashion and decor without losing value or aesthetic,” says Katedza-Hartz.

      “Old fashion shouldn't be boring. So many elements can be added. There are no limits to using everything you have.”

      'Old Vogue; New Tricks' will be on display at the Namibia Craft Centre's Omba Gallery until 18 September, and will close with a fashion show featuring a selection of gorgeous creations and beautiful prints.

      Follow @theredshelfnamibia on Instagram for more information.

      –martha@namibian.com.na, Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram, marthamukaiwa.com


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