From trash to trashion

trashion collection by MT Maiello

Pieces from the M.T. Maiello's trashion collection.

This Friday night models will strut down a catwalk at Revolution Hall wearing outfits made of stuff other people threw away -- in the garbage. Designers have been working for months on the trash couture that will be showcased at the annual Trashion show. No, you won't find people wearing this stuff off the runway -- but what these designers can do with trash is pretty amazing.

So how does trash become trashion?

mt maielloM.T. Maiello, an HVCC student, designed a five piece collection for this year's show. His work is a collage of things like tarps, dry cleaning bags, bubble wrap, vintage wrapping paper and deer netting held together with masking tape, packing tape, string Velcro and the occasional strategically placed staple.

"I spend six or seven months looking for trash," Maiello says. "Sometimes I'm in the car with my family or my friends and I'll see something on the side of the road and I'll yell 'Quick! Pull over!'"

Some of his pieces are made from trash he finds working at The Spectrum. "The popcorn kernels come in these huge paper bags. They're great. I look for things that are big. I want as much of one thing as possible. The popcorn bags are vast and wide and can be manipulated. Shower curtains are also good."

But this is garbage. Or, at least, it was. Maiello spends a lot of time transforming it into workable material. "First I clean the trash. Then I turn it into 'fabric' by painting it or laminating it with tape. Then I drape the fabric on my friends. I try to work fast because no one likes to stand there wearing trash for a long time. While I'm working I'm constantly asking them if they're comfortable because the pieces need to be wearable."

What's the best trash he's ever found? "Two hot pink inner tubes. I found them in Frear park. They were filthy, but I cut them open and cleaned them and turned them into a poodle skirt. Sometimes I'll look at a piece and know exactly what it has to be. Other times I have to think about it more."

M.T. designed his first piece of trashion three years ago as a high school junior. This year, his collection is a little 50s and a little 80s. "It's kind of 50's biker girl with a punk edge."

You can check it out Friday night at Revolution Hall between Troy Night Out festivities and the Official Unofficial After Party. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. There's a silent auction that gets underway at 7, and the show starts at 9.

Here are a few pieces from M.T.'s collection:

(click on the pictures for a closer look)

trashion_maiello_yellowA dress made of a dry cleaning bag, pop corn kernel bag, and garbage bag scarf. He plucked the belt out of the trash at a Goodwill.

trashion_maiello_nettingPlastic Tarp, deer netting, duct tape and a belt from the trash at Goodwill.

trashion_maiello_grayPopcorn kernel bag, plastic tarp, deer netting, duct tape.
trashion_maiello_pinkInner tube, deer netting, plastic tarp, paper bag, trash bag, bubble wrap, gift bows, a discarded belt.

Find It

Trashion at Revolution Hall
425 River St
Troy, NY 12180


just fyi, the TNO afterparty is free after the trashion show from 11-3am. So by all means come down and enjoy the amazing Trashion show, but if for some reason your night runs late dont be afraid to show up later in the night, free of charge!

thanks for posting this and supporting trashion / The Official Unofficial Troy Night Out Afterparty! hope to see some of you there!


I'm always so impressed with peoples creativity and hipness. These people create fashion out of garbage!!! And here I am, feeling like I deserve a medal because I wore matching socks today. Or, to put in mathematical terms:

M.T. Maiello > Pantaloons

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