Trashy Couture

We’ve come a long way from the hippie days of hemp T-shirts and bottle-cap bracelets. Today’s eco-fashion shows are more likely to reek of Chanel No. 5 than patchouli oil. And they are attended by fashionista celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Cameron Diaz. Don’t believe us? See Luis Valenzuela, whose dramatic, structured “art-to-wear” dresses have been featured in the pages of Vogue Italy and on New York City’s elite runways. His gowns seem inspired by 18th-century Parisian aristocratic fashion, with a modern nod to surrealist artists such as Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí. But in reality, they are made out of discarded lampshades, footballs, IKEA bags, and other random trash. This Sunday, the Miami-based Venezuelan designer will present a collection at Eco-Fashion for a Better World at Sustainatopia Honors 2011, an awards show celebrating celebrities and businesses that lead in sustainability. Held at the New World Center, the 7 p.m. fashion show will feature Swiss visual artist Natasha Tsakos, Venezuelan singer María Rivas, and supermodel Selita Ebanks. Proceeds benefit Shine on Sierra Leone. In addition, Valenzuela’s gowns will be on exhibit at the Albion Hotel (1650 James Ave., Miami Beach) through April 30.
Sun., April 3, 7 p.m., 2011
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Gabriela Garcia