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Daisy Harris-Burland Turns Recycled Materials into Couture Fashion

A glimpse at one of Tiger Beer's "Uncaged" artists and an opportunity to join in the program

by David Graver
on 20 April 2018

"I want people to be stunned by my work before they realize what it's made out of," fashion designer Daisy Harris-Burland says. The co-founder of Dumpster Design (and "Radical Designer of The Year" according to the UK Fashion Design Council) Harris-Burland crafts striking, extravagant and future-forward couture pieces—from materials she's salvaged. In so many ways her work defies the age of fast fashion that's grabbed so many consumers. And rather than ignore her recycled source material, she brings out their identity in clever ways. It's a reminder to look for beauty everywhere—and it's refreshing. Harris-Burland is one of 12 Uncaged artists selected by the Singapore-based brewery Tiger Beer, in an effort to honor those whose craft offers a bit of light to the world. Harris-Burland, a master of the unconventional with uncompromising vision, certainly represents this.

"My constant challenge is turning the three-dimensional and physical into something beautiful and wearable without losing the origins of the source material," she continues. "It’s about making ‘trashion’ into something not to be scoffed at or looked down on. I’m not talking 'trashion' in the sense of ‘just because I love the planet, let's trail tin cans off the back of a bin bag dress,' I’m talking ridiculously intricate, stunning, wearable pieces of art... high fashion. That just so happen to be made out of recycled materials."

If I had a million pounds, I’d still be making clothes from a bin

As for process, Harris-Burland locates materials that move her. Rather than draw, she moves straight to a mannequin and begins to shape a piece. "I like it this way as I have no idea what the end result will look like when I first start," she adds. This is a passion so real that the more the artist speaks, the stronger it seems. "My studio, flat and car are filled with materials of every sort," she concludes, "If I had a million pounds, I’d still be making clothes from a bin."

Regarding the "Uncaged" honor, she says with a laugh, "Being around like-minded people, talents all thriving to live at a constant intensity, all striving through a need to create... it made me feel normal for once in my life—knowing other people are as unhinged." Tiger Beer still has one spot to fill on their roster of talent and is inviting musical artists to apply to join the Uncaged. Finalists will be chosen to perform in one of three events during June 2018—and from these performance, three acts will be selected to compete on stage one month later. The ultimate victor will take the stage at Venice's iconic Benedetto Marcello Conservatory of Music in September.

Images courtesy of Daisy Harris-Burland

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