Bike inner tubes transformed into little black dress for ‘Upcycled Fashion’ exhibit

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Every woman has certain staple pieces in her wardrobe, but perhaps the most versatile is the little black dress that comes in a variety of styles from strapless and body contouring to short or long lengths. But one fashion designer has completely reimagined the LBD — using recycled rubber from bike inner tubes.

Aidana Baldassarre’s rubberized dress complete with a matching purse is part of her “Trash Fashions” on display in the city of Boynton Beach’s Public Arts Program’s new art exhibition, “Upcycled Fashion,” through June 25 at the Boynton Beach Arts & Cultural Center.

The Lake Worth resident, who moved to South Florida from Buenos Aires over a decade ago, has participated in fashion shows and exhibits internationally in Paris and New Zealand as well as locally at the Armory Center in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach State College and the Cornell Museum in Delray Beach.

“I am driven by the idea of transforming trash into one-of-a-kind designs of wearable art,” Baldassarre said in a statement. “The designs are the product of reusing and repurposing rubber from car and bike inner tubes, plastic from bags and containers, as well as paper and silk from neckties.”

Also using materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill, Boca Raton’s Sonya Sanchez Arias, a photographic stylist, commercial photographer and photographic art director originally from Trinidad & Tobago, created mixed media design collections and jewelry.

“Hopefully, when you look closely at these dresses, they will inspire you to think of the ‘possibilities’ of recycling plastics and other materials,” she said in a statement. “Reminding you that many of the used materials that would ordinarily be thoughtlessly discarded have the potential to be repurposed and transformed into something really beautiful with an entirely new reason for existing.”

The exhibition hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free.