Tag Archives: Recycled Fashion

Vintage Shopping 101

27 Jun
by Samantha Gray
[This guest post is by Samantha]

We all know that green fashion can sometimes be a little pricey. For ladies still feeling the brunt of the recession or the college student who hasn’t made it into a full-time job yet, vintage clothingboutiques offer unique items at lower prices.

Purchasing vintage and resale fashion is another form of recycling, and it doesn’t take any manpower or chemicals to recycle a fabulous retro garment. All it takes is a little bit of time and creativity. Oh yeah, and a little bit of money.

If you’ve never shopped vintage before, you may be reluctant to try it. My first experience with vintage shopping was when I tagged along with my college roommate to the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores so she could find quirky vintage tees.

I’m not generally patient enough to treasure hunt through thrift stores, so I hop right on over to vintage boutiques or resale clothing shops. These stores generally have a specific set of buying guidelines and can sometimes offer alterations.

Vintage shopping presents a few challenges to those who are accustomed to shopping in a more organized store. Because there are no visual cues to help you build your outfits (mannequins, advertisements, and displays are sparse), the best plan is to do a little research before you dive in. Not only will this give you a direction, but it will help you appreciate the different styles.

Research fashion trends across decades so you will be familiar with styles beyond the millennium. You may already be interested in an iconic celebrity or two who will point you in the right direction. Edie Sedgwick, Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy are my go-to gals for inspiration in vintage looks.

Zooey Deschanel is a perfect example for the modern girl who can pull together looks from different decades. But even Zooey can look like she’s going to a costume party every now and then (sorry, love!), which brings me to the next challenge of vintage shopping. Sometimes vintage clothing can be so bold and overpowering that it looks overdone. You should always wear your clothing. Your clothing should never wear you.

Finding the balance between something borrowed and something you is a huge part of the fun of vintage shopping. Etsy, eBay and other online resale shops are a great way to search certain looks with vintage specifications. Remember, vintage shopping requires a whole lot of sifting through the good and bad; but you’re exercising your fashionista skills while helping the Earth! Yay, you!

Happy shopping!

Samantha Gray is an expert in online education and a freelance writer. Pursuing an online bachelor’s degree is often fraught with myths and misconceptions. Samantha shows her readers the way. She wants to hear your feedback and ideas, too,

Great To Be The Next Big Thing

2 Oct

By Paige Donner

It’s hard to believe that Fashion Greats such as Dior, Givenchy, Chanel were ever once teenagers with a dream.  But as with all of us, we started somewhere.

Paris is the birthplace of fashion and during this Spring Summer ’11 Fashion Week season the strength of that tradition is seen all around the city, with brilliant shows being staged in the Tuileries, the Grand Palais, reclaimed convents as well as on rooftops and in basements.

Pedro Laurenco, 19 Year Old Brazilian Designer. Photo courtesy Vogue Talents.

The Pedro Laurenço show took place on the Quai Malaquais in the Salle Melpomène whose ceilings are at least 10 meters high and where the convex upper arches are adorned with French National Heritage paintings.

It’s always fun to be where The Next Big Thing is happening. Greening Hollywood was there twice this past week at the start of Paris Fashion Week and we weren’t alone…Vogue editors, notably the team from Milan were also there. Vogue Italian Editor Franca Sozzani is on a mission to support new and young designers and she has staffed her ranks with writers and editors who are fanned out across the city en force on this same mission.

Pedro Laurenço

The vibe at this show was so Brazilian, relaxed, genial. As the famous models pulled up in their taxis and chauffeured vehicles to make it to the show’s hour-delayed start-time, the crowd was full of kisses and Portuguese greetings.

Hairstylist Guido Pila – for Redken – pulled up on a chauffeured motorcycle, www.win-win.com, one of the most brilliant urban transport systems I’ve seen in Paris. His driver stripped him of his helmet and motorcycle jacket as he dropped him off. [*Note this is the only Eco aspect of the show I’ve been able to discover byprint time.]

Nineteen-year-old Pedro’s father, Reinaldo, also a famous Brazilian fashion designer, greeted guests personally as they arrived.  Pedro who debuted for the first time in Paris only just earlier this year, is already pulling the stylemakers to his front row seatings and on only just the third day of the Paris Shows.

Pedro Laurenco Paris Spring Summer '11. Photo courtesy Vogue, Talents. Go to Vogue.it for complete photos of October 1st Paris Show.

For Complete Pedro Laurenco SS11 Show Photos, go to Vogue.it/Talents

His geometric cuts, his bold colors were blended with panels of nude netting – an effect that created the illusion that the haute couture designs floated along the runway accompanied by the models.

Models’ makeup was “Asian influenced,” according to makeup artist Mai Lee, first assistant to head makeup designer, Diane Kendal (for MAC).  Faces were nude with bright pink eyeshadow as color accent. Hair was pulled back severely and all models were blond.

Whether your parents are famous or not, you still have to have talent to make it in any business. Margarita, Missoni’s daughter, was also in the front row of Pedro’s show. She was seated next to Vogue New York’s fashion features editor.  A young designer I was speaking with while the show was getting prepped, told me how maybe if she could get the chance to work with one of these designers, it might help her get her break in the business. In the meantime she’ll be dressing the Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier shows during this Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2011.  Noting all the editors and Vogue writers in the audience of this second showing of a 19 year-old designer, it makes me believe that a teenage dream can, and does, come true.

Andrea Crews : Fashion, ART, Activism

When your world is not exclusively fashion, face it, a debut Parisian Runway Fashion Show is a daunting prospect.  Just trying to figure out what shoes to wear to something like this can be nearly paralyzing!

So showing up to Andrea Crews’ show in a sketchy part of the edgy-chic Bastille district, left me completely unprepared for what to expect.

Andrea Crews, Paris Fashion Week, Spring Summer '11. Photo courtesy Hélène Giansily.

What designer Maroussia Rebecq, who leads the Andrea Crews collective, delivered was every bit her folksy, French countryside, friends-on-a-picnic atmosphere that she strived for.

The runway show itself took place in an empty basement apartment where the floor was pasted with cardboard boxes, taped with brown packing tape.  The show started when her friend, a bearded folksinger, took the stage and started strumming his acoustic guitar.

Crews uses recycled pieces of vintage clothing for some of her creations. This collection’s theme was corn and bread. Fresh fruits and baskets of dried fruits were used to decorate the runway stage. Loaves of bread were used to decorate the models’ hair and used as pieces of jewelry hanging from the models’ necks.

Crews used open casting, so her models ranged from the size of a 12 year old boy to that of a mature and very saftig woman. If it’s true that a designer is measured by her street cred, then Crews is definitely Parisian Street Legit. The audience was rastas, artists, fashionistas, international photographers… Both N.Y.
English and Parisian French could be heard throughout the crowd as we all jammed together on the floor seating to watch the denim, lace, t-shirt and corn-printed cotton presentation.

Andrea Crews Spring Summer '11 Paris Fashion Week. Photo courtesy Hélène Giansily

Andrea Crews Spring Summer '11 Paris Fashion Week. Photo Courtesy Hélène Giansily.

When I asked,  Rebecq responded that her motive for choosing bread and corn as motifs were French countryside, religious values, family and friends.

After the show, bottles of red wine were passed around and glasses filled while everyone dove into the platters of fruit and cheese.

All Andrea Crews Photos credited to: Hélène Giansily

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Let Them Recycle!

21 Sep

Fighting Global Warming One Dress at a Time.

[Excerpted from Designed By Hollywood]… Hollywood Costume Designer Kresta Lins, has taken the discussion a little farther, and started a public campaign.

Her mission: To Green Hollywood One Costume At a Time.

Kresta’s green crusade started when she was writing green articles for the Costume Designers Guild newsletter. Her research for an article about recyclable materials in the costume department made her realize how much waste was never recycled due to the lack of information and proper systems for disposal.   But she didn’t stop there, Kresta took her mission to the next level, and created a dress “The Costume Department” dress, that would start a campaign that aims to educate and inspire the members of the entertainment industry to use less, recycle more and make Hollywood a greener industry.

Meet Kresta Lins, a costume designer with a mission to help Hollywood become greener by telling a story of recycling and sustainability through the art Sustainable Sirens 11-18of costume design.

MM –  Kresta, What motivated you to start on your mission?
KL – It all started with a link to the “LA City Department of Sanitation”, where I learned about the proper way to recycle and saw first hand how miss-informed I was about what can and can’t be recycled.  I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for over 12 years and the amount of paper and plastics we go through on a daily basis is shocking.  So much of what we use can be recycled but almost never gets disposed of correctly.

MM –  I know what you mean. As a Costume Designer myself, it bothers me the amount of trash we produce and although we try to recycle, sometimes I never know what to do with a lot of the waste. Why do you think Hollywood is not green enough?
KL – I think there is a disconnection between the people that organize the recycling systems and the actual execution of these systems.  Sometimes is as simple as not knowing where the recycle bins are, or not having the right information of what goes into which bin.  I think Hollywood wants to be greener, but there is a need for a department that coordinates the recycling program – green jobs so to speak, that helps the recycling process in the film industry with more PR and communication with the crew and employees.

MM – I can see that happening at some point.  So is that part of your mission, to green Hollywood?
KL – My main mission is to create awareness of what we could be doing to reduce waste and hopefully inspire folks to take action wherever they can.  That is why I created the first costume – The Costume Department dress.lethemrecycle

MM –  I love the dress you created, how did you come up with the idea?


KL – A little after I wrote an article about recyclable materials in the costume department, as I was watching The Duchess for the 15th time, I realized that panniers look a lot like laundry baskets… “That’s it!” – The rest hit me like a bolt of lightning. My mind raced as I realized that my two greatest passions—costume design and recycling—could come together to make a difference.

So I started with what I know best, Costume Design, and the materials that we use in the costume department such as old scripts, shopping bags, and created the first dress after an 18th century, Marie Antoinette -style gown, entitled

“Let them Recycle!”

Cover_BackCov CDG spr09.inddAll the items used for the construction of the gown are recyclable materials.I used shopping bags, scripts, fashion magazines, hangers, laundry baskets, ink cartridges and dry cleaning bags.


Each item was used to mimic the extravagance of the era, including a wig made of dry cleaning bags.recycle-detail3

Old script pages of

recycledetail1different colors are used as decoration as well as rosettes of recycled paper packaging and manila tags. The undergarments are also designed true to the period and incorporate a recycled denim corset and laundry basket panniers.

Once finished it was photographed and used for the cover of The Costume Designer magazine.Sustainable Sirens 11-18

MM – I heard the dress has been getting a lot of attention. What happened next?
KL – Since then, I teamed up with Lauren Selman, the founder of Reel Green Media, an environmental consulting company for the entertainment industry, and together we put together “The Sustainable Sirens” campaign project.

The project is designed around 6 costumes, each of them inspired by a different department in the film industry.  The first one is The Costume Department Dress – “Let them Recycle!” which has been in display in several boutiques and events around Los Angeles, and will soon be available as a poster.  My hope is that the poster will serve as an inspiration to use less and recycle more.kresta-w-corset

MM – So from concept to creation, what is your approach when you design one of these costumes?  How do you get inspired?
KL – I start by interviewing each department and asking them “What kind of waste do you produce in your department?”  Each department has different needs and therefore they consume different products.
For example the second dress of the campaign started by interviewing the Casting Department.  When I asked what kind of waste they produced, the answer was quite interesting; it was all about information disposal.  For example, CD’s, DVD’s head shot pictures, tons of scripts.  There were actually 3 towers of DVD’s that they were going to throw off.   So the concept emerged for the second costume entitled “Cast a Change”. The concept is a mermaid and the subject is e-waste and information disposal.   I won’t go into details now, because it’s not ready yet.  The “Cast a Change” costume will be done by the end of 2009, and you will be able to see it here at Designed by Hollywood.

MM – It seems that each dress has a story behind it doesn’t it?
KL – Yes, each dress has a story to tell about what choices we can make that are better for the environment.
When I became aware of what I could recycle, I reduced my trash to 50%, and I took those best practices to a show I just finished.  Yes it’s work, but it pays off at the end.Read Entire Article and Interview HERE

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One Noffs Upcycling

16 Sep

Prince William Supports One Noffs

We’ve written about companies who engage in upcycling to create scarves, bags, teddy bears, and more. Similarly, our latest spotting breathes new life into cast-off clothing, but adds a charitable twist. Launched by the Ted Noffs Foundation, Sydney-based One Noffs offers local aspiring fashion designers the opportunity to rework donated garments into one-of-a-kind designs, which are then sold to fund programs for disadvantaged kids.

The Ted Noffs Foundation concept store – One Noffs – is shouting out to all young and talented Sydney-based designers to come and show their creative flare. One Noffs is reinventing the idea of the cool thrift store. With a very LA feel about them, One Noffs is encouraging design students, designers and mums and dads from around Sydney to get involved.

Participants receive a big bag of pre-loved clothing which they have three weeks to remanufacture, either at home or on One Noffs’ in-store sewing machine. A section of the foundation’s second-hand stores will be dedicated to these one-off designs. Each designer receives 20 percent of the sale price and their bio is added to the item’s swing tag.

There’s nothing like one-of-a-kind designs to make consumers feel unique, but add stitch of upcycling, sew in a social cause element and the products become all the more desirable.

Website: www.noffs.org.au by: Gerard McLennan