Your trash, Lara’s treasure

ARTIFICE: By Lara Ireland
ARTIFICE: By Lara Ireland

Twenty-four-year-old fashion graduate Lara Ireland’s designs are garbage. 

But with garments made out of 100 per cent re-purposed plastic bags, the Eugowra local’s approach to high-end conceptual fashion is anything but trash. 

The UTS Fashion and Textile Design Honours student is now heading to Vancouver Fashion Week in September to present her graduate collection ARTIFICE.

“The collection is intended to trick the eye into perceiving the plastic bags – a product of waste – as something of pure luxury and excess, a complete transformation from one state to another,” Ireland says.

The collection is a powerful comparison of both the new and the old, the wanted and the undesirable, the luxurious and the unpleasant. 

Lara now has to up her six piece collection to 12 by Vancouver Fashion Week. Balancing fashion production and part-time work at Danielle Louise in Orange, Lara has her artisan hands full. 

Using $2 Homebrand Woolworths garbage bags, Lara knits, weaves, melts and metamorphoses the harmful beast into a product of beauty. 

“In a world of fast paced, throw away fashion, ARTIFICE represents fashion made from the thrown away,” she said.

The concept began as a project in Lara’s third year in fashion.

“I had to take a textile piece and turn it into lace,” she said. “I had plastic bags piling up at home. I decided to play around with those”. 

Her ‘Cradle to Cradle’ design of recycling garbage bags is a fashion statement that has international heads turning.

“I’ve always liked the touch and feel of fashion. I wanted to create something dynamic and graphic.”

The Sydney-born designer began drawing fashion illustrations in primary school.

“I’ve been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I don’t remember wanting to do anything else.”

Lara has also been chosen as a top 50 finalist for the Arts and Fashion competition in San Francisco in October.

Ireland has started a Go Fund Me campaign to help take her international. 

“I want to make people think,” she said. “I want to create thought.”

A fundraising night for Lara will be held at the Eugowra Bowling Club on Saturday 20th August, with live music and drinks.

Head to to help Lara.

ARTIFICE: Lara's UTS Graduate Collection Fashion Show

ARTIFICE: Lara's UTS Graduate Collection Fashion Show

ARTIFICE: Made of 100% re-purposed garbage bags

ARTIFICE: Made of 100% re-purposed garbage bags