Haute Trash: An Artists Collaborative

A non-profit 501(c)3 Organization


Prima Debris – Kathi Griffis

Prima Debris has been involved with trash fashion since 1986. Her extensive background as a third generation seamstress was put to good use as she converted from needle and thread to duct tape and staples. Roadside debris often has her screeching to a stop on a narrow shoulder, to score some groovy piece of trash. Research never stops for Prima. Always testing new materials and keeping her designs on the cutting edge, she’s finding it hard to find time for a day job. Prima has produced dozens of shows since Haute Trash’s California “rebirth” in 2001. Roadtripping with Haute Trash is one of her favorite pastimes and she looks forward to branching out ever-farther. Kathi currently serves as Executive Director to Haute Trash.

Rayona Visqueen – Robin Worley

Rayona Visqueen is Robin Worley, a fine artist and fashion designer who presently makes her home in Hawaii. Her first experience with trash fashion design was in 1986 as a model for Polly Ethylena. 8-8-88 was Rayona’s first design gig, and she just never stopped. Her focus is one of community, and Rayona has produced many shows in many communities over the years. She conceived the fashion portions of such annual events as The Art of Trash in Hilo, Hawaii and the annual Recycled Art Show at The ReStore in Seattle. Rayona tours a mini show each summer when she can, with the New Old Time Chautauqua. She is looking to create more educational opportunities in the future. Visit Rayona’s blog!

Elvira Mental Werks – Judy Nielsen and Shaun Muscolo

Elvira and her dear friend, Mental, have a long standing history of artistic collaborations. But when Elvira moved from southern California to Nevada County in 1988, much of the wonderful werks came to a screeching halt. With Elvira’s artistic notions and Mental’s penchant for approaching her creative process with that of a fine-tuned engineer, the two can proclaim “Elvira Mental Werks”! Elvira has drawn Mental away from her conservative-ville lifestyle to become a trash fabricator, at least for a small portion of the year. If trash fashion can’t bind old buddies together, what will? They hope your enjoyment of Haute Trash is enhanced as Judy and Shaun celebrate another year of friendship, artistic endeavors, and trash fashion.

Lotta Rubbish – Nic Griffin

Originally from Britain, San Francisco designer Nic Griffin began her work with trash as a small child fashioning dolls from colorful chocolate wrappers. Decades later the fascination with waste diversion still endures as she is compelled to bring the alluring qualities of trash to the spotlight once more. Inspired by Cate Blanchet’s wedding gown in “Elizabeth”, she strove to reproduce it in unrecyclable trash, and while Queen Elizabeth was married to England, Nic became “Married to Trash”.

Trashy Designs – Kristi Byrd

Kristi is a long-time designer, seamstress and recycle proponent from oh-so-green Portland, Oregon, and a part of fabulous Haute Trash! She finds trash and recycled items to be an endless source of ideas and materials for great trashy designs, she also creates up-cycled, wearable art, and enjoys working with trashion camps and classes. Kristi is committed to bringing more attention to our need to become trash-less, and encourages everyone to try their hand at trashy design!

Redusa D’Trash – Cirrus Angelico

Redusa D’Trash was born at home in a humble 11-sided cabin made from recycled Campbell soup bins. You can safely say that she was born into the Haute Trash world. For over a decade, designer Redusa d’Trash has played a part in Haute Trash. Having two daughters that are dedicated HT models has given her the inspiration to keep on creating new designs throughout the years. In this day and age where everything is made to be disposable, Redusa feels it’s owed to our children to seek alternatives to our consumption and the waste it creates. Cirrus is currently a member of our Board of Directors, and one of our mainstay designers at Oregon Country Fair.

Toxic Blonde Productions – Aria Griffis

Aria first stepped onto the Haute Trash stage during intermission in 1988 when she was 6 years old, wearing a pink plastic tutu that her mom (Prima Debris) made for her. Surrounded by trash fashion in her formative years, it was only natural that she started her own design line in 2004. Her daughters Baylee and Hannah are now veteran models, representing the third generation! Aria is currently the president of our Board of Directors, and is also the owner and operator of Make Local Habit, a consignment store for local artisans.

Radiant Waste Productions – Katie Griffis

After recently spending a stint living in Portland, Oregon, Redeema Debris was both intrigued and inspired by the unique fashionistas flaunting avant-garde street apparel. With a revolving door of trends generating and expiring nearly before they hit the shelf, why not create sustainability in an over stimulated economy? Redeema envisions an attained awareness of our consumption’s impact on our fragile environment. Fashion, being a focal point of society’s limelight, presents itself as a delightful segue to bring recycling to the forefront of awareness. Redeema is grateful to be a part of Haute Trash, which has opened a venue to explore such artistic desires.

Myra Bish – Lauren Melevin

From a sturdy pair of sandals made from a used tire, to a crafty bracelet made out of can tabs, it takes only a small piece of rubbish to inspire this sustainable sister to design for the runway. Always having a strong desire to reduce waste, Myra spent two summers working in the compost only to realize that trash doesn’t have to be so dirty. She now prefers spending her time defying waste in her studio atelier in Whitefish, Montana, where design flourishes and trash does not pile up. Wait too long for her and she may be gone, this fashionista jumps at the chance for the next adventure. From Tokyo to Tanzania, Myra is always looking for the latest international flare. Even though she is often on the go, chances are you will find her at every Haute Trash show.

Dress for the Revolution – Mary Welch

When Mary answers the telephone with “What are you wearing?”, even a few daring telemarketers have been forthcoming with certain details. She has the Catholic church to thank for her early interest in runway fashion. After perusing the architectural structure and lighting in the cathedral she looked forward to the communion procession. Starting with the hat and working down to the shoes of everyone passing by, she became quite the connoisseur of Detroit church wear. And yet somehow, this wasn’t enough. Beginning in 1986 she has been designing everything from the divine to the ungodly. If not for Haute Trash, Mary would never have fully satisified her desire for adornment and recycling. She is currently living in Seattle and does design, sculpture and large scale installation.

Chako-San – Hisako Tarutani

Chako was first introduced to Trash Fashion when she modeled for Rayona Visqueen somewhere around 2004. She rapidly advanced to designer with her creation of the “Miyabi Kimono” created from the beautiful waste generated at her Sushi Restaurant in Seattle. Miyabi means “elegant” in Japanese, and it not only describes her designs, it’s also the name of her restaurant! In 2009 Chako’s photo in her Kimono appeared in a book of amazing stuff published by Guinness Book of World Records in London. Chako hosts a dinner & trash fashion show at her restaurant twice yearly, and invites you to join the fun!

Ivanna B. Greene – Dana Kiel

is a California native who was introduced her to Haute Trash at the age of 16. She is currently a senior at the University of Denver, majoring in International Political Economy. In her free time, she is the editor of the school business newspaper and a member of the debate team. Her interest in green living was strongly influenced by her exchange year in Germany, where she lived with a host family who introduced her to all of the sustainable practices that are commonplace in Germany.

Imported from Canada – Lorraine Kwan and Janet Lee

Lorraine and Janet have been Trash Fashion collaborators for the past two years. Janet is the plastics expert and Lorraine is the dressmaker. They met through ReVision the Art of Recycling, a group of artists dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues by using discarded materials in new and creative ways.