Uniforms Unraveled: Upcycled Beauty

Beauty is an element that is constantly changing its definition and challenging different perspectives. We can’t completely define it, but we know it when we see it, and it can be presented in infinite ways.
Beauty is an element that is constantly changing its definition and challenging different perspectives. We can’t completely define it, but we know it when we see it, and it can be presented in infinite ways. For this selection of editorial images, Styling students from Miami International University of Art & Design (The Art Institutes) have put together their visions of beauty from an environmental perspective. Editorial photos based on a mission created by the Upcycle Project for Fashion Design students from Ai Miami solve via their creativity and talent. Fashion Evolved: Uniforms Unraveled was born using deadstock uniforms donated by Estée Lauder and upcycled by the graduates into unique creations. “Fashion Evolved is a yearly exhibit that raises awareness of the fashion industry’s profound environmental impact on our planet. Each year Fashion Evolved is themed to challenge conventional designers to bring attention to different issues affecting our environment”. Designers such as Agatha Ruiz de La Prada, Angel Sánchez, Oscar Carvallo, Nicola Felizola, Shantall Lacayo, Adrienne Bon Haes, Viviana Gabeiras, have participated in previous challenges. Goddesses from Asia, galactic warriors, and wild animals losing their habitat are some narratives created to tap the reality of our planet’s faces. Discover the different faces of beauty seen through the images created by upcoming Stylists to give life to the creations of the graduated designers.
FASHION STYLING Amalia Ivaldi & Ana Cecilia Noronha FASHION DESIGNER Natasha Tabunova HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST ANNA PRIMAC model MARIA soler dubreuil MODELING AGENCY THE WALK COLLECTIVE photographer flávio iryoda
“For this photoshoot, inspiration came from the Hindu God, Ganesha, with his anthropomorphic elephant head and ability as the remover of obstacles and symbol of good luck. It’s said that Lord Ganesha’s mother, Goddess Parvati, carved an idol of a boy out of turmeric powder and breathed life into it, unbeknownst to her husband, Lord Shiva. So, when Ganesha denied Lord Shiva entry into his abode -- because Goddess Parvati was bathing inside -- Shiva decapitated Ganesha’s head in anger. According to legend, an elephant was the first animal that Lord Brahma later found when he went out to look for one to replace Ganesha’s head. Ganesha became the perfect metaphor as we created our story about upcycling. We wanted to demonstrate that even after destruction, an object can become even more exciting and powerful. Ganesha’s origin legend represents strength and revival after death. We wanted our model to represent the Hindu God by giving her accessories and garments that referred to Ganesha. The turban and conch were our most vital elements as they are straightforward and literal interpretations of Ganesha’s appearance. However, we decided to add other accessories such as shoes and heavy jewelry to add details to the editorial. We originally wanted our model to have straight plaited hair, but once we saw her beautiful natural curly hair, we changed our minds right away. It was evident to us that we would keep her hair natural with the turban, and it became a striking visual. In terms of the color scheme for the makeup, we chose to keep a yellow palette as it was our primary color for the editorial. The garment itself incorporated shades of yellow, gold, white, and navy blue. This final project really gave me a glimpse of what being a stylist will be and it is true to say that I didn’t realize how much responsibility a stylist has during photoshoots. It was fascinating to learn more about the role itself but also what a stylist needs to bring and how much adjustment is required during a photoshoot. I also realized that stylists required to be alert at all times as they kept track of the clothes and accessories. A stylist is constantly required to jump in and fix whatever needs to be adjusted.” -- Amalia Ivaldi & Ana Cecilia Noronha
FASHION STYLING Eman Beshara & Angela De Azevedo FASHION DESIGNER Anastasio Giannoutsos HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST ANNA PRIMAC model MARIA soler dubreuil MODELING AGENCY THE WALK COLLECTIVE photographer flávio iryoda
“The moon is seen as a symbol of beauty in most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures. In fact, the word “Moon” translates to “Amar (رمق)” in Arabic, which means beauty and is used to describe a beautiful person. For this project, we were inspired by the moon and the 60’s Space Age. We drew inspiration from designers such as Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges, and Jean Paul Gaultier and movies like Barbarella and The Fifth Element. For the photo shoot, we styled the dress, which was made from a deconstructed jacket, with a fitted cropped silver turtleneck and white patent leather boots. The model was also wearing a black bob wig and a stewardess hat, which were inspirations drawn from the movie “The Fifth Element.” The model’s makeup was a direct reference to the ‘60s and included a strong eyeliner wing and white eyeshadow for a pop of color. To finish the look, the model was wearing elongated silver cuffs and a silver choker while carrying a half-moon black purse in one hand and a moon lamp in another. For poses, we referenced photoshoots from Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges during the Space Age and recreated them.” -- Eman Beshara & Angela de Azevedo
FASHION STYLING Katrina Ghantous & Isabel Arenas FASHION DESIGNER Dana El Ghoul HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST ANNA PRIMAC model SHU LIN YAO MODELING AGENCY ELITE photographer flávio iryoda
“This story originated with the garment’s designer, Dana El Ghoul, who was inspired by the beauty of sunflowers, the allure of the earth, and how our existence relates to nature. As stylists, we utilized the sunflowers along with the dress style, which has Japanese features and made it the heart and soul of this photoshoot. Researching sunflowers and how to represent the sun, we discovered that there are Gods and Goddesses who represent the sun in different ways. The photoshoot itself was inspired by the Japanese Goddess of Sun, Amaterasu. She is the goddess of light and, therefore, all of humanity. She directs the sun to wake up all living things each morning and, most importantly, sunflowers. Sunflowers symbolize how the sun lights up each day like magic over the earth. We utilized Amaterasu’s origin and based our photoshoot on the betrayal of her younger brother, Susanowo, a multifaceted deity with contradictory characteristics. That betrayal left Amaterasu in great distress, and she went into hiding deep inside a cave blocking the entrance with stones. This caused the world to become dark and evil spirits came out of concealment to take over humankind. The gods quickly met punished Susanowo, and decided to host a party near the cave to lure Amaterasu to come out. A large mirror was placed in front of the cave, and stunning gemstones were hung from a tree. Uzume, the goddess of laughter, began dancing with excessive noise accompanying her. Amaterasu was so intrigued by the music and laughing that she went outside to see what was going on. When she stepped outside the cave, she caught her own reflection in the mirror and was instantly mesmerized. Then, at last, the world was illuminated and filled with light once again.” -- Katrina Ghantous & Isabel Arenas
FASHION STYLING Aisha Rodriguez, Valentina Tabares & Kathy Benarroch FASHION DESIGNER Vania Zelaya HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST Valentina Tabares model SHU LIN YAO MODELING AGENCY ELITE photographer flávio iryoda
“Our inspiration is about the excessive and unnecessary waste of cardboard and paper that companies, like Amazon or Shein, use when they ship their products. We focused on wild animals like the Bengal tiger, whose territory has been compromised because of the vast deforestation enormously enhanced by the policies of such companies that overuse paper goods. If we think about it, when we purchase online a single lipstick, or frankly anything that comes in a small package, this object is later wrapped in paper or a padded envelope, and over it, all is the final shipping package that is sent to our home. We end up receiving paper and boxes within boxes, all for a small, single purchase. Why? It’s ridiculous and is harmful to nature, wildlife, and us as well! With this photoshoot, we wanted to portray the excessive use of cardboard in shipping along with the presence of the Bengal Tiger, which represents the beauty of the wild and the fragile nature of the world. A world that we should be honoring and taking better care of.” -- Aisha Rodriguez, Valentina Tabares & Kathy Benarroch