Well if I was to honor a rubber tube design award, the winner would be the Pieces Goddess, Christa De Leeuw Van Weenen for Zuss Fashion Design in The Netherlands. This freaky, fashionable, wearable art is not only cool, it’s fashionable recycling at it’s best!
Sorry, this Strapless Adventure sun dress is SOLD. But you get the idea. Check out the site. All items could be appropriately displayed in an art gallery or museum, and in the ranks of haute couture, stage costume, and for the young at heart. The materials are used rubber tubes from bicycles and mopeds, sometimes decorated with beads and stuff.
Everything is handcrafted, including every hole, every lace, every knot. There are no machines involved. Just hands, scissors, a pincer, and imagination. To wear a Zuss is not only a fashion statement, it’s a physical delight. You see the wearer is very conscious of it, especially if worn skin-tight. That’s because it feels cool when it first hits your flesh, but becomes warm by your body heat and then becomes soft; — termed the Zuss Sensation, which is wearable in all climates.
Actually, from 1997 until autumn 2007, Zuss was two sisters turning old inner tubes into eye-catching hot couture for those intent on making a BOLD fashion statement. Since elder Virgo Goddess Krijnie, retired, Christa is taking Zuss to the future with established global fans, — solo style.
Yet neither of the two sisters ever went to art or design school. Christa’s inspiration started in 1997 at a symposium about art and rubber. She made a top and skirt. Then Krijnie got creative with hats. That same year the sisters had their first fashion show. Hence, they traveled the road to fame and appreciation. They drew the attention of American TV and domestic press, BIG-time!
“Beautiful artwork from wasteland,” says Christa. “It feels more like sculpturing than sewing. Recycling is our tribute, and the way mother earth teaches us about evolving. Every piece of art is made with love and is original and unique. Even when we tried to make a copy, the tubes wouldn’t allow it because every piece of waste is different. New materials may be consistent, but every tube-life follows different ways. And just as our life, isn’t it?”