Upcycler Jen Bell will feature her dresses in a fashion show.

From Steampunk to Goth: Passion evident in clothing/photos

Upscale up-cycler Jen Bells to feature clothing in fashion show

Sustainable fashion through up-cycling, re-cycling and re-working discarded couture


Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

From duct tape to floral tape, Jen Bell is a one-woman cyclist — up-cyclist that is. She has found a passion for fashion and is busy transforming her vision into reality. Bell began her run at the up-cycling fashion world with a roll of duct tape. She made a dress out of it for the Saanich Fair and that one little venture turned out to be the starting point for her artistic expression. She has a flair for the unusual, think steampunk meets a Russian princess, fairy tale meets Goth. That’s Bell’s world, a world where the past meets the present and worlds collide in a most beautiful and enchanting way. She calls her business Discard Couture.

Lately she is taking her up-cycling to a new scale. She is sending photos to magazines and is meeting with success. She is becoming known as a stylist for photo shoots for herself and others.

“My focus is to get more photos published in magazines and show what I can do with up-cycling,” she said.

Belll just has a series of photos published in the December issue of Gothesque magazine, six pages entitled Moonlit Solitude. Local photographer Becca from Rivkah Photography shot the photos and Erin Bradley was responsible for hair and makeup. In January she will see her work, and the work of local photographer Katie Bennett,  on eight pages in the the January issue of Gothesque. The magazine, says Bell, is a newer version of Dark Beauty magazine.

Bell has been working a number of talented local photographers and it appears magazine editors are paying attention.

Sustainability is of paramount importance to Bell. Her recycling, up-cycling, reworking of clothing and set design is all done with the discards of our society. She is not adverse to taking items from forays into dumpsters, thrift stores and garage sales. She finds beauty in well-made clothing from the past.

Bell is involved in the Winter Masquerade Fashion Show being held at the Prestige ballroom on Friday, December 13. The evening includes the fashion show, appetizers, desserts and drinks.

“I hope to have 10 pieces for the show,” said Bell. “I want to show what I have been doing in the last year, it’s a masquerade theme so there will be ‘costumes’.”

For more information on the fashion show, call 778-425-2442.



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