Who: Bianca Jones-Pearson
What: Artist, designer and creator of Trashy Bow Couture
When: 5:30pm, Sunday March 25
Where: Weirdgirl Creations, Barrington
Why: The girl can work wonders with “trash”
Her motto is “Your Trash: Reworked, Reused, Restyled, Recycled.” Her email signature reads: “$tay Tra$hy.” Bianca Jones-Pearson, however, is anything but trashy. In fact, she is adorable, stylish, creative and hard-working. She’s also incredibly adept at transforming everyday refuse into remarkable (and often prodigious) hair bows and accessories. It’s pure fantasy. Sign me up.
I met with the young designer at Weirdgirl Creations, the pottery studio that her mother has owned for over 30 years. When Bianca’s not working with customers, she’s toiling away in the back room. “I’ve been drawing and sculpting since I was a kid,” she says. “I guess the art gene runs in the family.” One look at her, and I instantly felt as if I’d fallen into Alice’s looking glass.
Bianca has been making bows for two years now. In her early compositions, the materials (such as newspaper, plastics and cans) were easily identifiable. Believing that “there’s always room for improvement,” she began constructing them to appear less crafty and more high-end. A skilled ceramics artist, it seems natural that the bows would evolve to sculptural works.
Her sustainable designs have graced several catwalks thus far, and she’s only just begun. In preparation for the annual Catwalk to Campground fundraiser fashion show, the earth-friendly fashionista is currently constructing a newspaper couture piece that’s more boa than bow. Bianca, who attends art school in Providence, is also now working with plant materials.
There are a few designs that she keeps in regular production. Among them are “I Heart the Paper Boy” (newspaper), “Big Bird” (feathers) and “Hay Ride” (you guessed it). Yes, hay is no longer just for horses… it’s for runway models, too. Want a “bow job?” Bianca is happy to oblige: Just send her your trash and she’ll use deft fingers to swiftly spin it to wearable art.
Tell me, Bianca…
How did you begin?
“As a child, making ‘fashion’ drawings in one of my many sketch books. Also, back in middle school I made a duck tape bathing suit; it served me well all day — until dinner, when the strap promptly popped.”
What spurred the bow thing?
“Hair is something that has always fascinated, disgusted and inspired me. I remember one day just waking up and absolutely needing something in my hair. It’s strange really, I get an impulse idea and roll with it.”
Okay, so what about the trash?
“I was disheartened by the wastefulness of our culture, and our obsessive need to wrap things. Gum alone has four, sometimes five layers of packaging! Is it necessary? What can I do? I wanted my work to mean something.”
Between school and work, where do you find the time?
“I mass produce most of the pieces on my website once or twice a week, so that when orders come in I can package and send them out. I have bins set up with ‘skeletons,’ which I just add to. I make 50 or 60 of each staple bow per week.”
Who inspires you?
“Alexander McQueen. His runway shows are like nothing I’ve ever seen, and his tailoring is beyond razor sharp. Also, people like Steve Jobs who started from nothing.”
“After I finish my dual bachelor’s degree [in ceramics and education], I’d like to get another degree in fashion design while I obtain my MFA in ceramics. Then I’d like to teach – in an urban setting.”
Trashy Bow Couture can be bought at Weirdgirl Creations (33 Kent Street in Barrington) or online at www.trashybowcouture.com.