Designer Diaries: Upcycled Is The New Black

Meet Olivia Mears, the international costume and fashion designer who is disrupting the industry with a style all her own. Also known as @avantgeek on Instagram, Mears prides herself on creating beautiful, eco-friendly, and practically impractical designs.

Olivia brings her ideas to life by using 100% recycled (and 100% unconventional) materials including gift wrap, toilet paper, and plenty of other unlikely household items. She first started creating her unique outfits in 2014 after playing around with some left over holiday wrapping paper. Not wanting the delicate materials to go to waste, Mears began working on her first upcycled masterpiece.

Crafting dresses out of leftover holiday wrapping is only one part of Olivia’s sensational design catalog. She also prides herself on reusing materials that might otherwise end up in the trash. This includes fast food wrappers, broken toys, and even a deflated pool raft. That’s right, Olivia is the amazing creator behind that viral ‘pizza dress’ that you might have seen, I don’t know, *everywhere*.

And don’t forget about her equally as viral ‘Taco Belle’ dress that inspired many prom-goers and soon-to-be-brides to literally ‘beef’ up their fashion game. Olivia’s unique sense of style and passion for creating sustainable fashion has inspired people around the world to think more intentionally about the things we are so quick to throw away. After all, one person’s trash is @avantgeek’s treasure.

See more of Olivia’s designs on Instagram.