Although some designers have been working in this way for many years - the French firm Maison Martin Margiela has been reworking garments for over twenty years - completely changing the nature of a garment has often been viewed as avant-garde. But with the current emphasis on protecting the environment, together with the worldwide economic downturn, the reuse of an existing item makes sense. And to completely change the form of an item cannot help but expand our fashion and creative experience.
Slowly more and more designers are taking up the challenge to think outside the square – or the skirt, as the case may be. Here, Clementines Closet has turned a long wool sweater dress together with a knit cropped top into a simple high waisted winter dress.
And there’s no need to limit yourself to your own wardrobe. Redesigning can be undertaken with items from the opposite sexs’ wardrobes too. Auh2odesigns has turned a blue and white plaid mens shirt turned into a high waisted skirt.
Sometimes, particularly after dark, we want to make a bold statement. This gorgeous cape from Kris1911 was once a coat.
Lori Marsha has designed a handbag using a variety of preloved elements. ‘The leather is recycled from a skirt, the striped panels are salvaged from a vintage saltillo, the celluloid and Bakelite buttons from my private collection and the lining fabric is designed by Alexander Henry. The handles are cut from English saddle leather which I stamped with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, echoing the image in the lining’ she writes.
If you’re after something a little more kitsch, Australian designer, Zingaling, has turned a tourist tea towel into a passport bag.
Let’s not forget the ubiquitous denim jeans that come and go from our closets as the fashions, and our sizes, change. This fabric brooch from DJ Bebe is hand stitched from rescued fabrics, including turquoise denim from shortened jeans.
Over forty pairs of jeans went into this dress designed by Gary Harvey.
Redesigned clothing is becoming more popular with high profile clients. US designer Libertine recuts and reassembles preloved clothing and then screen prints each piece with nineteenth century images. Items from the label’s collections have been worn by Karl Lagerfeld, Mick Jagger, Michael Stipe, Dave Navarro, Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler and Gwyneth Paltrow.
And, if you're thinking that this is all a little too 'out there' check out this 1930s ‘futuristic fashion predictions’ video!