For a woman who has worn everything from a flying dress to slabs of meat, coffee filters must seem positively quotidian. Yet there Lady Gaga was at Jimmy Kimmel Live at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Thursday night, wearing an elaborate ruffled dress, cape, and giant Pharrell Williams-style hat made with the kitchen-counter staple. “Upcycling,” the chanteuse quipped as Kimmel fawned over the Gareth Pugh-designed confection, which debuted at Paris Fashion Week late last month. Those coffee filters look awfully white, however, so unless they were scrubbed and bleached post-brew, upcycled they ain’t.
We can’t give Gaga too hard a time, though—“upcycling” is still a relatively new concept. “Recycling,” the term we’re more used to, refers to the process of making something new from something that has been used before. “Upcycling,” on the other hand, requires finagling a material in such a way that creates a product of higher quality or value than the original, placing it in the “trash to treasure” category.
“You can do anything with your crazy ideas if you put your mind to it,” Gaga told Kimmel
Of course, one could argue that anything under the hands of Gareth Pugh would fit that definition—it’s all a matter of semantics, after all. But what the lady probably meant to say was that the coffee filters were “repurposed,” meaning they were altered for use in a different context.
Gaga did make a statement we can all agree on, however. “You can do anything with your crazy ideas if you put your mind to it,” she told Kimmel.
So say we all.