A Buddhist approach to fashion might include this conceptual fashion disaster: waste as fashion, modeled by a beautiful and gifted gender-ambiguous Thai fashion designer, Madaew. When the Buddha gave instructions for his Bhikkhus to make their robes, he told them to gather old, used garments from corpses or garbage heaps, and sew them into the monk’s three basic garments. In this video, can we see an echo of the Buddha’s instructions to turn garbage into garments?
Deconstruct everything, Buddha.
(From Time Magazine online)
If great art can spring from the most unlikely places, then so too can great fashion, as Apichet “Madaew’” Atirattana could tell you.
The 17-year-old grew up in Thailand’s impoverished region of Isaan, the country’s rice-growing heartland in the northeast, where from a young age he would pore over tattered fashion magazines in the village barbershop. Soon Madaew — the nickname he goes by — was creating chic costumes from everyday objects found near his family’s market stall; chicken wire, concrete blocks and dyed cabbage leaves. “I want people to see that ugly things that don’t seem to go together can become something beautiful,” he says. “And that looking good doesn’t depend on money.
Like the Black and Hispanic queer street kids that created their own fashions for NYC’s gay balls in “Paris Is Burning” , this 17 year-old Thai artist exhibits sheer genius in the face of incredible adversity.