Melbourne-based drag performer Onda Spectrum’s new three-piece dress with boots, which she created using 99c green reusable Woolworths shopping bags, has gone viral.
Onda, a PhD student who works at Woolworths, posted photos and videos of her new creation on her Instagram page last month. It soon went viral with over a million views. The dress had multiple reveals – the sleeveless dress gives way to a corset skirt, which then reveals a one-piece skin-tight leotard inside – all made with green shopping bags.
“Serving body hunty xx,” Onda posted on Instagram along with videos of her new dress. “Is that a Service 60 or are you just happy to see me?” In another post she tagged Woolworths. “Let me know if you need a new pride ambassador,” said Onda.
Onda Used Over 50 Shopping Bags For The Dress
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Onda is in the final months of submitting her PhD thesis. “It was ostensibly exciting, but mostly what’s getting me through now is adding post-nominals to my drag name,” Onda tells Star Observer. The Woolies dress was meant to be a joke for her friends, but the overwhelming response to it surprised her.
“I work at Woolies so I just thought it would be a funny joke for my friends. I really wanted to play on something being well constructed but out of a ‘joke’ material. And I enjoyed the challenge of creating something within narrow confines,” says Onda.
Working with unconventional materials posed some challenges. “It wasn’t difficult per se, but it was very labour-intensive. I think I used around 50 or so bags, plus the lining fabrics in the jacket and corset,” says Onda.
And if you are wondering if the dress was hot-glued, Onda reveals, “I sewed most of it and used hot glue for the boots.”
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Over a million people have seen her dress on social media, with many praising her for recycling and repurposing the shopping bags.
“I have really appreciated that a lot of people have aligned the dress with the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mindset. However it was not my intention at all, I really just thought it was a funny joke that my friends would see,” she says, adding “Had I known it was going to be seen by over a million people, I most definitely would have cleaned my apartment a little better.”
While fans might bump into her around Smith Street in inner north Melbourne, you can catch Onda in her viral outfit at one of her gigs.