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2019 newspaper dress sparks debate

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A 2019 dress made from re-used newspapers has turned into a matter of debate by people on social media after renowned journalist Mallick Mnela posted his view.

Mnela wrote on his Facebook page about the dress, saying the idea of tarnishing something so holy (newspaper) to create something breathtakingly beautiful might have touched raw nerves with the most sensitive of souls.

“Admittedly, the art is beautiful. The model is gorgeous. But the idea is offending to something I revere,” Mnela said.

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Commenting on the issue, Nation Publications Limited journalist Andrew Mtupanyama said, considering the hours it takes to put a newspaper together, he was not happy with how newspapers had been ‘wasted’.

He was, however, quick to say that having bought the newspapers, the artist used them to create another masterpiece.

Mbanasi Ngongonda said the dress should be celebrated as a literal embodiment of the press, wearing, owning and loving it.

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“After all, they are both genres of art to be celebrated; fashion meets scribing. Powerful,” Ngongonda said.

Xandria of House of Xandria, who is also the brains behind All Shades of Beautiful Fashion show, said she released the piece in February 2019 and that she themed it ‘Beautifying Waste into Clothing’.

“I believe in doing Fashion for Change and I am really passionate about the environment and keeping it clean. As such, I made this dress to show that we can repurpose anything if we rethink, reuse and recycle waste. I used 1,000 used newspaper pages to make this dress,” she said.

She said she felt humbled that people were discussing the dress, which she indicated she sold in the United States (US).

“Someone wanted to use it as an art piece in the US and show how waste can be turned into something beautiful. I am still into this concept; the environment needs our ideas in whatever way we can to send a message to keep the environment clean,” Xandria said.

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