Cuffs as Wearable Art

Live from NYC

We're delighted to welcome back Debra Rapoport, Advanced Style icon and wearable art innovator for a second hands-on session. 

In our monthly series - featuring conversations that inspire us, Debra shared the story of how her creativity got sparked at a young age of 3, and that she has been 'dressing up' creatively ever since. This New York style icon shared how she uses paper towels to make fabulous hats in a recent hands-on session. Now she's returning to share the crafting secrets behind her opulent wrist-cuffs.

Tune in on Saturday 17th April at 11AM EST, for another demonstration of how Debra takes everyday objects and turns them into wearable art. Bring your cardboard toilet paper rolls along with any other found objects and embellishments, and make your own spectacular cuffs. Debra doesn't create with a preset vision, her process is intuitive, "a playful exploration for beauty"

Immerse yourself in a glorious mess of creativity while enjoying the company of this inspiring innovator. If you are new to the colorful world of Debra Rapoport, this will be a fun introduction to sustainable fashion and wearable art

All levels are welcome and there is no prior experience required. There will be plenty of time to share, get feedback and meet other participants from around the world.

If you are not in EST time zone, be sure to convert the time.

What you'll need

  • A cardboard toilet paper roll
  • Your own paints or embellishments - postcards, magazine cutouts, scraps of yarn/string/thread, masking tape, buttons, shells, ribbon, foil, fabric, recyclables, mesh produce bags...etc
  • Strong white glue (Aileens Tacky Glue is ideal)
  • Scissors
  • Clothes pins or paperclips (for support while gluing)

How to join

We'll be hosting this VAWAA Online on Zoom. We'll send link and details to join via email 1 day and again 30 mins before it begins.

About Debra

A passionate revolutionary, Debra's approach to fashion is radical and exciting; "I don't come from tradition". Her fashion creations start with found materials, turning trash into high-end fashion. Her great skill is finding life in the everyday objects around her, from which she builds relationships. Renowned since the 1960s for her unique wearable art, she has become an Advanced Style fashion icon, and her designs have been exhibited in museums across the US including Metropolitan Museum of Art, the L.A. County Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has taught at NYU, University of California at Davis, Museum of Art and Design and Neue Galerie.

Read more: Living through Transition: Debra Rapoport and the healing power of creativity

Watch: New Yorkers are paying more than 400 for fashionable garbage


"Debra reminded me that we need to build in time for getting lost in creative exploration." - Eva 

"What a delightful, young and vibrant spirit Debra is! Anyone with a pulse can learn from this woman. Wow. My favourite quote from her: 'With creativity there are no rules and with no rules, there is no fear' " - Jenny

"An amazing experience to be able to join the chat from around the world. Loved hearing about and seeing Debra's stunning work." - Rachel

"Debra Rapoport said many wise words to live by. What a wonderful and inspiring experience to learn from her about where she's been and where she's going." - Carmen

"It was amazing to hear how she uses everyday objects like toilet rolls and paper towels to make amazing hats, necklaces and bracelets. She is a walking piece of art. I'm truly inspired and went away and made a necklace of a tin foil tray and have started to make a hat from a tea cosy. It would be my dream to be mentored by this lady." - Vanessa

"I was blown away with the wisdom Debra shared. Not just art, but life." - Theresa

Sessions are ticketed to support artists, makers and our small team. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, please do reach out. We may have a generous participant who has paid it forward. We would ask that you pay the love forward by sharing online sessions with friends.

Photo by @sabaphotography