Paterson museum recycles fashion

Paterson museum recycles fashion

A vintage dress form mannequin at the Paterson Museum’s permanent exhibition display. (Cristina Deutsch)
A vintage dress form mannequin at the Paterson Museum’s permanent exhibition display. (Cristina Deutsch)

The Paterson Museum presents “Paterson Eco-Chic: An Eco-Friendly Fashion Exhibition.”

On September 17, the museum will display its first fashion exhibition, showcasing 16 designs made with recyclable, discarded, and upcycled materials donated by Paterson’s manufacturing companies, including Greenbaum Interiors and Feldman Brothers.

“As a museum with roots in the industrial history of the Paterson, such as cotton and silk, we are excited to expand our lens to look at fashion,” the museum’s director, Giacomo Destefano, said.

In a challenge made possible in part by a grant from the Passaic County Cultural & Heritage Council, students and artists were asked to produce runway looks using upholstery fabrics, metal, plastic, paper, and recyclable fabrics from Paterson’s thrift shop.

“Young designers from all levels of society can be empowered to create something extraordinary from objects deemed worthless,” said Victoria Pero, the co-director of the Performing Arts at Bergen County Academies. “Give a child the power to make something from nothing and they will have all they need — imagination, problem-solving, collaboration skills, self-confidence, and a deep love for design to make the world a better place.”

Designs are drawn from images of Victorian fashion at the height of Paterson’s most fashionable era, combined with modern trends in the local multicultural immigrant communities now residing in Paterson.

An opening reception on September 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. will include a special fashion runway show presented by the Berkeley College Fashion Club of Woodland Park, a student-run organization that arranges events and charity initiatives to provide students ways to explore their interests in the fashion industry.

The Paterson Museum, at 2 Market St., is inside the Great Falls Historical National Park district and housed in the site of a locomotive factory, the former Thomas Rogers Building. For information, call (973) 321-1260 or go to

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