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Lexus CT Hybrid Recycled by Fashion Designers

Lexus hands over a dismantled CT Hybrid to four designers for The Lexus Fashion Workshop

According to Lexus, their CT hybrid is 90 percent recyclable. Normally that recycling would take place at the end of the vehicle’s life cycle, but in a new twist on both recycling and advertising, they handed over some 2,000 parts from a dismantled Lexus CT hybrid to fashion designers Moss Lipow, Eddie Borgo, John Patrick and Alejandro Ingelmo to see what they could create. The results are on display December 1 and 2 at the 10th Annual Art Basel Miami Beach, an art show in Miami Beach. They’ll be sold at private auction during the show, with proceeds to go to the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund. The winning bidders will certainly be acquiring something unique, but I wonder if they’ll ever wear it.

The resulting designs are quite ingenious and don’t scream junkyard chic. Each will be featured in a several page Lexus advertisement in Vogue’s January 2012 issue. They can also be seen on Vogue’s website, together with videos and interviews with the designers. My favorite quote from the first video is, “Unfortunately, we can’t cut and sew the engine.”

What did they come up with? Moss Lipow used a transmission starter and an exhaust manifold gasket to create the “Environmental Crown of Virtue.” I wouldn’t wear it myself, but it certainly wouldn’t be out of place on any catwalk.

Jewelry creator Eddie Borgo designed “The Valve Collection,” based on valve lifters, hose clampbs and crank bearings. I actually like it, but designing jewelry was probably the least challenging assignment.

Designer John Patrick came up with “Nomadic Sanctuary,” a trench coat, shorts and purse assembled from floor mats (made from plant-based plastic), sustainable sound-dampening material, cargo covers, leather seat covers and wire harness.

Finally, Alejandro Ingelmo fashioned “The Luna Shoe” from clear plastic tubing and armrest leather.

"Merging the worlds of luxury automobiles, art and fashion is another example of how Lexus is 'Engineering Amazing' or maybe more appropriately, 'Engineering Unexpected,'" said Brian Smith, vice president of marketing for Lexus. "We were able to challenge four designers to turn one of our most progressive hybrid vehicles into innovative fashion pieces, inspiring the designers, and the world, to see things differently."

Maybe I should check out my local automotive parts store while doing my Christmas shopping. Who knows what great fashions I could find there.