Type the words “trashy clothing” into Google and a banner of sponsored adverts will surface. Denim thongs from Shein, vinyl bodysuits from Oh Polly, french maid costumes from Ann Summers, and loads of those cut-out dresses beloved by Instagram influencers – all of which have been designed for good-time girls to step outside the margins of good taste. tRASHY Clothing, the fashion label founded by Omar Braika and Shukri Lawrence in 2017,doesn’t trade in disposable clubwear, but its bandana crop tops, metal mesh minis, and souvenir accessories do trash the same conservative sensibilities.
Braika and Lawrence approach fashion as a form of satire, prodding at Middle Eastern stereotypes and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Though the duo were forced to leave the region – hampered by separation walls, racist shipping companies, and state censorship – Trashy Clothing is “another form of resistance.” “We’re constantly adapting and creating our own ecosystems based on what is accessible to us,” they said, not long after launching the world’s first Cyber Fashion Week and collaborating with GmBH. Now operating from Jordan, their collections are punctuated with tongue-in-cheek statements like “I </3 colonisers” and “Ms Apartheid”, which come emblazoned across tourist-tat t-shirts and prom queen sashes – “poetic, political, and unapologetic.”
Text Daniel Rodgers