This is an eco-friendly alternative to slaughtering whales for fashion! Just kidding, but for nearly three hundred years, starting in the 15th century, whalebone was used as reinforcement in women’s clothing. Used in both corsets and dresses the flexible and thin whale bone could cinch in the belly and provide billowy structure to voluminous skirts. This was all in efforts to give the impression of a petit waistline. Whalebone was also commonly used in umbrellas as support ribs in the canopy. So, why not combine the concepts, take out the whalebone, use trashed umbrellas, and create a beautiful dress!
The Umbrella Project, brainchild of witty Berkeley Design students Feyeel and Anadamayi, takes umbrellas found abandoned and broken on the streets in Berkeley and New York (about 20 in total) and fabricates this corset dress with a back laced boned bodice.
“The goal behind the Umbrella Project is, as you might guess, to reuse the umbrellas that people casually toss aside when they (the umbrellas) fail structurally.”