maxing out #insideout for #fashionrevolutionday: Just another reason to love #vintage —there is way less chance sweatshops were involved… This here is 1930s agricultural worker’s pants from Norfolk, England; a 1950s satin rose shell and a 1970s short-sleeved Greek Key design lurex short sleeved jacket. Vive la Revolution! De la mode!

The Fashion Revolution is official. #InsideOut Trending #1 & RanaPlaza #2

The Fashion Revolution is official. #InsideOut Trending #1 & RanaPlaza #2

Sarah Lazarovic. Major girlcrush.

It’s Fashion Revolution Day! 

Here’s Amber Valetta, certified original USDA organic Supermodel, to tell you all about it. See yesterday’s post, below, for deets—including the competition for a $3000 wardrobe. Pssst, you have a VERY good chance of winning if you post your #insideout pic by eod today… 

WEAR #INSIDEOUT: SAVE WORLD, WIN WARDROBE

On April 24th, we’re turning fashion into a force for good with the first annual Fashion Revolution Daya worldwide movement in over 50 countries demanding fair treatment for all garment workers and clothing that is made ethically and humanely. 

We are honoring the lives of the 1133 sweatshop laborers killed & 2500 injured in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh last April 24, 2013. The ultimate aim is to create transparency and justice in the global fashion supply chain. Here’s why.

20-year-old Rana Plaza survivor Aklima Khanam has an all-too-typical story. Working in clothing factories since age 14 to support her family, Aklima’s average shift ran from 8am to midnight, seven days a week. On April 24th last year, her managers were aware of a crack in the building but threatened to dock a month’s wages if she refused to work.

Aklima was trapped under her sewing machine for 15 hours before being rescued. Before the accident, she made $125 per month. With injuries to her head, back and legs, she can no longer work but has received little to no compensation from her employers. Rana Plaza is but one example of the many atrocities occurring daily in the name of fashion.

 

Fashion Revolution says enough is enough. Join the movement! 

Post a photo of yourself wearing an outfit #insideout on the Fashion Revolution Day USA facebook fan page by 11:59pm PST on April 24th, 2014 and you could win an ethical designer wardrobe worth over $3,000 courtesy of FRD brand partners including 2ETNBhoomkiDeborah Lindquist,Dhana Eco KidsGUNASLoomstateMata TradersMink ShoesNomadistaOrg by VioPashenSeamly.coSimply Natural ClothingStewart + BrownTabii JustUnder the Canopy and Vaute.

#INSIDEOUT

Hey it’s Fashion Revolution Day tomorrow! And since yesterday was Earth Day, we spent it in a booth in Union Square, wearing #insideout and talking to people about “Who Made Your Clothes”. Brandon, of course, trumped everyone’s insideoutness by rocking this vintage Gaultier that looked even better on the wrong side. Me, you can’t even tell (vintage Gigli for Callaghan since you asked). 

Buy my totally great very limited edition unbelievably sustainably produced Who Made Your Clothes tee at Modavantiproceeds  go to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund honoring the victims & survivors of April 24, 2013. More in next post on that… 

AMY’S RADICAL CLOSET REFASHION PART X

In my last post I finally shared the results of my wardrobe inventory. 

I’ve been having another type of wardrobe clear-out this week: launching a Keep & Share sale to help me clear the cupboards of my ready to wear collection as I shift to becoming a commission-only label, remaking styles from my archive. 

But, returning to my own wardrobe, new clothing-related questions are now popping into my head. The one I’d like to focus on this time is: just how long do we keep our clothes? As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, there isn’t a whole lot of research on the contents of our wardrobes— and information about the length of time we keep things is particularly scant. 

While I have a lot of clothes, I don’t add to my wardrobe very often these days. This is partly because I love many of the things I already have - I know that any new item would have stiff competition. It’s also based on a conscious decision to adopt a slow approach to fashion - informed by my own design philosophy and linked quite specifically to an article I read whilst studying for my MA over ten years ago.

The article was in View on Colour, a trend prediction journal, and it argued for a move towards slowness and satisfaction. Here are some excerpts that I found particularly inspiring at the time:


"Pollution, over-production, and the possible scarcity of raw materials became a general concern some twenty years ago. The main answer has been recycling … but recycling still demands energy and produces waste. The more definitive solution is to keep…"

"We want to invest. Buying for now and for the future, designing our own sustainable style as years go by…"

"Putting together a wardrobe and a home will become a life-long process and something of a quest…"

"You will not be searching for the perfect object but the perfect object for you. Putting together this alphabet of basic and loyal items will spell out who you are…"

 
These words - particularly the line about a life-long quest - have stayed with me, more than any other book or article about sustainable fashion. I do feel like I have been searching for the perfect ‘Amy pieces’ - and when I find them, I want to hang on to them and keep wearing them for a long, long time.

Flicking through my wardrobe this morning, I tried to figure out the average length of time I’ve owned the contents. It’s hard, because of course, the answer varies - there are recently-acquired items sitting alongside pieces I’ve had for many years. And while I’ve got lots of secondhand/vintage clothes, which might be decades old, I’m interested (right now) in how long they’ve been in my wardrobe, rather than how long it is since they were made. 

I reckon I’ve acquired the majority of pieces in the last ten years, and I’d estimate the average at 5-6 years.

As I browsed the rails of my wardrobe, a few older items stood out and so I took them out into the garden for an impromptu washing-line-based photo shoot…


The longest-standing pieces are a number of shirts and Indian tops that I’ve had since I was in my early teens (think grunge era). I wore them a lot then, and then didn’t wear them for a long time… but they’ve recently come out of hibernation and feel both emotionally significant and totally right for now, so I’m very glad I kept them.

Then there are a few pieces - t-shirts and a sweatshirt - that were handed down to me by family and friends, and so have a longer ‘known life’ (if we include the time worn by the previous owner). The stand-out item here is a well-worn Bob Marley tour t-shirt bought by my parents in 1976. I love to wear it, but keep it for special occasions as it is so delicate, beautifully disintegrating into a constellation of holes. 



I had a quick look at my shoes, and realised that the older pairs tend to be ‘posh’ heels - I wear them so seldom that they don’t have chance to wear out! The oldest ones still knocking about are a pair of Red or Dead patterned slingbacks - which I loved so much, I bought two pairs. Man, I love those shoes - though I’m not sure I’m ready for that 90s heel again, quite yet.



And finally - here I am (above), wearing what I think is the longest-standing item I have worn continuously, without a break, since acquiring it over fifteen years ago—a Belle & Sebastian band t-shirt). I’ve paired it with what I think is the oldest-in-actual-age item in my wardrobe —a lovely handmade black jacket— and my most frequently worn garment, my black Old Town trousers. 

What is YOUR oldest garment friend? I’d love to know. 


  - Amy Twigger Holroyd
One-woman British fashion disruption engine Amy Twigger Holroyd is completing her PhD on folk fashion, while conducting stitch-hacking workshops, developing the practise and philosophy of reknitting, and producing fantastically restructured garments under her label Keep & Share. Read (and shop) more here. 
AMY’S RADICAL CLOSET REFASHION PART X
In my last post I finally shared the results of my wardrobe inventory. 
I’ve been having another type of wardrobe clear-out this week: launching a Keep & Share sale to help me clear the cupboards of my ready to wear collection as I shift to becoming a commission-only label, remaking styles from my archive
But, returning to my own wardrobe, new clothing-related questions are now popping into my head. The one I’d like to focus on this time is: just how long do we keep our clothes? As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, there isn’t a whole lot of research on the contents of our wardrobes— and information about the length of time we keep things is particularly scant. 
While I have a lot of clothes, I don’t add to my wardrobe very often these days. This is partly because I love many of the things I already have - I know that any new item would have stiff competition. It’s also based on a conscious decision to adopt a slow approach to fashion - informed by my own design philosophy and linked quite specifically to an article I read whilst studying for my MA over ten years ago.
The article was in View on Colour, a trend prediction journal, and it argued for a move towards slowness and satisfaction. Here are some excerpts that I found particularly inspiring at the time:
"Pollution, over-production, and the possible scarcity of raw materials became a general concern some twenty years ago. The main answer has been recycling … but recycling still demands energy and produces waste. The more definitive solution is to keep…"
"We want to invest. Buying for now and for the future, designing our own sustainable style as years go by…"
"Putting together a wardrobe and a home will become a life-long process and something of a quest…"
"You will not be searching for the perfect object but the perfect object for you. Putting together this alphabet of basic and loyal items will spell out who you are…"

 

These words - particularly the line about a life-long quest - have stayed with me, more than any other book or article about sustainable fashion. I do feel like I have been searching for the perfect ‘Amy pieces’ - and when I find them, I want to hang on to them and keep wearing them for a long, long time.
Flicking through my wardrobe this morning, I tried to figure out the average length of time I’ve owned the contents. It’s hard, because of course, the answer varies - there are recently-acquired items sitting alongside pieces I’ve had for many years. And while I’ve got lots of secondhand/vintage clothes, which might be decades old, I’m interested (right now) in how long they’ve been in my wardrobe, rather than how long it is since they were made. 
I reckon I’ve acquired the majority of pieces in the last ten years, and I’d estimate the average at 5-6 years.
As I browsed the rails of my wardrobe, a few older items stood out and so I took them out into the garden for an impromptu washing-line-based photo shoot…
The longest-standing pieces are a number of shirts and Indian tops that I’ve had since I was in my early teens (think grunge era). I wore them a lot then, and then didn’t wear them for a long time… but they’ve recently come out of hibernation and feel both emotionally significant and totally right for now, so I’m very glad I kept them.
Then there are a few pieces - t-shirts and a sweatshirt - that were handed down to me by family and friends, and so have a longer ‘known life’ (if we include the time worn by the previous owner). The stand-out item here is a well-worn Bob Marley tour t-shirt bought by my parents in 1976. I love to wear it, but keep it for special occasions as it is so delicate, beautifully disintegrating into a constellation of holes. 
I had a quick look at my shoes, and realised that the older pairs tend to be ‘posh’ heels - I wear them so seldom that they don’t have chance to wear out! The oldest ones still knocking about are a pair of Red or Dead patterned slingbacks - which I loved so much, I bought two pairs. Man, I love those shoes - though I’m not sure I’m ready for that 90s heel again, quite yet.
And finally - here I am (above), wearing what I think is the longest-standing item I have worn continuously, without a break, since acquiring it over fifteen years ago—a Belle & Sebastian band t-shirt). I’ve paired it with what I think is the oldest-in-actual-age item in my wardrobe —a lovely handmade black jacket— and my most frequently worn garment, my black Old Town trousers. 
What is YOUR oldest garment friend? I’d love to know. 

  - Amy Twigger Holroyd

One-woman British fashion disruption engine Amy Twigger Holroyd is completing her PhD on folk fashion, while conducting stitch-hacking workshops, developing the practise and philosophy of reknitting, and producing fantastically restructured garments under her label Keep & Share. Read (and shop) more here

Refashioner v.1.0 memorabilia…  So: we have changed to a simple beautiful webstore). And oops we forgot to post this when it happened so here, completely gratuitously, is our page from InStyle’s #BestOfDigi from November last year. Belated thank you InStyle!

Thought we’d re-emphasize the mission… 

LAURENCE AIRLINE: BEST MENSWEAR LABEL YOU (PROBABLY) DON’T KNOW

In a recent websurfing incident I found the shot above, and could not rest till I’d tracked down the whole story. And it’s a great story…

Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud (that’s her, above) was born in Adibjan, Ivory Coast, raised in Switzerland, and is now based in Paris, where she founded her line in 2011. She called the label Laurence Airline—her name, and, well, airlines—because she says she’s always traveling. This is because the clothes are made up in Africa, because, after training at Studio Berçot, and putting in time with Marc Jacobs at Vuitton and as a trend reporter on Canal+, that’s where Laurence’s passion lies. The work is both deeply African and mulitculti high fashion —no ethnic themery or worthily eco tribal kabuki here. Scroll down and let it speak for itself. Maybe you clocked her work on the Diesel+Eden Studio Africa project last year; I didn’t—and can’t believe I missed it. Those peacock pants! Sigh.

I asked Laurence a few qs, as she prepares to launch the e-shop next week:

Refashioner: At your atelier in Abidjan, how many local artisans do you employ and did you train them? 
Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud: We have trained and now employ 10 fully qualified workers proficient in manufacturing high quality level apparel.
 
Where/how do you source the fabrics? 
We source our Premium cotton fabrics mainly from Italian companies and we complement with print materials from West Africa.
 
Do you design and have them made up or are they existing patterns?
We now start to design our own patterns. We will still use existing African patterns produced and bought locally, it is part of our DNA.
 
Why menswear?
Before launching LaurenceAirline as it is now, while showcasing my womens line,  men constantly expressed to me their desire to design clothes so they could express their own creative taste. They were sensitive to my work, I detected their desire to express more personal aesthetics. The idea of offering colorful basics in a contrasted range of colors and fabrics to men willing to express their individuality was born.  It is a challenge to propose pieces that men are ready to adopt and make their own.
 
Any plans to add womenswear?
I love to explore the minimal structure of the masculine wardrobe as a base to explore unexpected color and material associations. I imagine them as a unisex pieces.
And finally: Are you working on more USA outlets? Where can we buy your pieces? 
We would love to work with more USA stores, doing business with America is cool!
Thank you Laurence! Meanwhile, till the e-shop goes live, some highlights from the lookbooks of the past five collections… 
 

 

SHE IS BEYOND ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS

Q: What connects AbFab, London’s revolutionary upcoming $250m Garden Bridge, a mid-1970s pudding-bowl-cut action hero, and industrial-scale clothes recycling? A: Joanna Lumley, of course.

Brits all adore Joanna Lumley, who played the divinely unbearable Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous, and the cool kick-ass Purdey on The New Avengers—and stars in the Wolf of Wall Street— she’s a proper National Treasure. But since the extent of it isn’t so known over here, here’s a guide… 

Not only did Lumley create our favorite ever fashion icon, the Vogue-ed-like Bolly-Stoli-swigging Patsy Stone, but the 67-year-old also fronted the Marks & Spencers/Oxfam clothes-recycling campaign called Schwopping, and now has caused, single-handedly, the most exciting new building project in London: a garden over the Thames at Temple, by Olympic architect Thomas Heatherwick. Really. She envisioned it 15 years ago, then fundraised and campaigned relentlessly, and often alone, till the Gov just the other week greenlit the Garden Bridge —and threw in $50m. It’ll open in about 3 years.

Then today she divulged fashion/beauty tips to Good Housekeeping UK. Every one a winner.

• What’s the point in plastic surgery? I’m looking to play older. 

• I put my own looks together: a favourite coat, a bit of vintage, a bit of high street

• I like clothes with a bit of a swagger

• Buy the next size up. I never care what size my clothes are. 

  I cut my hair myself and colour it. It’s so much easier to do it yourself.  

 I don’t exercise. I’m just unable to sit still. 

You see? Divine. Sometimes I miss England.

                             —-Kate Sekules

THE DEALERS OF NEW YORK: STACY IANNACONE, RITUAL 

Stacy Iannacone, owner of Ritual Vintage and Ritual Archive, finds the sacred in dressing. The experience she provides is not only about shopping but about education, since her store highlights the history of clothes—then what’s great is you can carry that on with you into your modern life. When throwing on a garment that’s pre-1950 or even pre-1900, one can’t help but feel the special energy that these garments carry. Ritual is also a reminder that downtown NYC used to be a meeting place for creative minds and businesses. 

Refashioner: Stacy, How did you get started?

Stacy Iannacone: I started collecting in the third grade! I really did. I grew up in Vermont and was collecting 40s dresses at yard sales. I just thought they were fascinating. Eventually, I went to school for photography to be a fine artist and upon moving to NYC was dazzled by the fashion world and went down that path. 

It seems that the fashion world in NYC just finds you.

Yeah, I was originally a stylist’s assistant but I couldn’t deal with it, so I decided to open a store. I just loved vintage so much, and had so much of it and knew without a shadow of a doubt that I could do this really well. This upcoming week will be our 8th anniversary.

Congratulations! That’s a big deal in this city. We love your new store, Ritual Archive, on Mott Street! 

Yeah, not many people know about it. The only reason I’m able to do it is because I’ve been collecting for so long and it’s begun to pile up. I want to sell old things so I can get new old things! That store is really special. Where else in NYC can you get something that’s Victorian for 20 or 30 dollars? It’s all about making things accessible, so they’re actually worn and loved. 

There’s a part of the Refashioner manifesto that says, “Shopping is mystical.” There’s a ritual to it.

I agree that’s basically where the name of our store came from. Actually (a): I was stoned and I thought it sounded cool but, (b): Shopping for vintage IS a ritual. Dressing is a ritual. The making of clothing is a ritual. There’s so much ritual involved with fashion. It IS mystical

Speaking of mystical, who is this adorable little kitty friend of yours?

Waffles! Everyone is always like, “That poor cat. He’s stuck in this store all day!” They don’t realize that he owns this entire block and everyone feeds him. It’s like cat heaven. He has millions of friends and so much space to explore and cause trouble in. 

There are two stylish cats at reFashioner as well. We’re so excited to collaborate with you! We can have cat dates!

You know I’ve been doing things on my own for so long but no man is an island. I think that having a collective of cool fashion people, you know a little more DIY would be a very good thing at this time downtown. We’re losing a lot of independent businesses down here. 

Yeah, so many people in the industry are searching for something more real and independent. 

I don’t know when was the last time I picked up a magazine or looked at a fashion show. I simply don’t care. It’s lost its way. 

Yeah, well again that’s what happens when only a few huge corporations control everything. That’s why vintage is so important. The design seems pure. What time period do you focus on?

If you want something from 1850 to 1950 this is the place to go. Being able to see, feel, and wear things that were made 100 years ago is such a cool experience.I think people get a bit of an education when they come here in terms of materials and styles that were popular per decade. They may have not known the difference between Victorian and Edwardian when they arrive, but they’ll leave with a better understanding. There weren’t a lot of well-known designers pre-1960. I buy things based on eccentricity and attention to detail. We do have designer labels, but I like to keep it to more unique items with cool details, even if lesser-known designers make them.

Yeah, it’s so much fun discovering a new/old designer! It adds to the story of your clothing.

We just had a mini-obsession with Escada. And we had a ton of crazy printed stuff from the 90’s in here. So, I guess a lot of what I buy actually depends on how and what I’m feeling at the moment.

Yeah, I love that button print Escada jacket you have. It really popped out at me. At first I thought it was Moschino, which is a constant obsession. 

Yeah, I’m not sure who was imitating whom really.

Lets talk your favorite pieces in the store at the moment…

I do have a special rack. It’s all pre-1950s and it’s all pretty amazing. I love more avant-garde draped historical pieces, like all these late-Edwardian cocoon type jackets. I like each piece here to have something that’s outstandingly special about it. 

Is there anything specific you’re feeling?

This jacket with the fox fur with heads on it is probably one of my favorites. Isn’t it insane? It’s from the 1920s. Also, I recently got a brilliant velvet Saint Laurent blazer. I really only get his early stuff from the early 70s circa Le Smoking. I love an amazing high-waisted wide legged trouser paired with a fitted ribbed turtleneck. It has this whole Overlook Hotel vibe going on. 

Without divulging your secrets how do you source all these very special pieces?

You know I’m a traveler. I’ll go wherever I get the call. I’ve certainty done trips where I literally knock on doors. I’ll go to a town and start talking to people and let the trail lead me. That’s really fun. There were many years, where I loved traveling by myself. I always have to leave New York to do this because the things I deal are really old and you need to literally look under rocks to find them. There isn’t a secret vintage warehouse I go to that’s just full of stuff from the 1880’s! I really have to look all over for it. I feel like pieces have more of a story to them, when you buy them directly from their owners.

What is your ultimate grail?

Maybe a trunk full of old Biba or Granny Takes a Trip. That 60s Carnaby street stuff. The 60s aren’t even my thing but it’s rare and it’s an interesting period of early boutique culture in fashion. They were dressing themselves and their friends and making these small runs of collections that were really groovy and psychedelic. It’s pretty rare to find at least Stateside.

Boutique culture is still so important: small business owners getting to know their clients. What type of person are you buying for?

We have a very eclectic bunch in here. You never really know what you’re going to get. Sometimes at the end of the day someone blows in the door and they go through the historical rack and find a bunch of 40’s dresses that they’re going to wear all over NYC. The woman I buy for has her own defined style and knows how she wants to wear these pieces. They don’t wear her. It wouldn’t be anyone in particular that’s famous, just people who know themselves and have defined taste. 

It must be nice when somebody really gets it.

It’s easier for us too. I don’t want to have to talk someone into buying something they don’t feel comfortable in. It’s just nice when somebody understands what you’re trying to do and makes it his or her own. Sometimes people will see something totally unique and interesting in pieces that another would overlook. There are pieces that I’m totally sick of and I don’t think it’s my thing anymore and then the right person comes in and puts it on and says I’m going to wear this with dot dot dot and they look amazing. Thank god for them!

And we say: Thank God for Ritual. Thank you Stacy!

                                                     ——Brandon Giordano

Ritual Vintage: 377 Broome Street; Ritual Archive, 167 Mott Street, Soho, NYC, tel. 212 966 4142       

If you can’t get to Soho, Ritual’s Refashioner Closet is HERE… 

AMY’S RADICAL CLOSET REFASHION PART IX
At last, I’m ready to unveil the HARD FACTS of my recent wardrobe inventory.
First, let’s have a quick recap of why on earth I decided to count my clothes anyway. It all started with my PhD research into homemade clothes, which involved me looking at the number of items we own, and why we keep garments we don’t wear. 
As I wrote in my second post  “Research for a recent report by British recycling organisation WRAP called Valuing Our Clothes found that the average number of clothing items owned by adults in the UK (including underwear) is 115. Meanwhile, social anthropologist Sophie Woodward, in her excellent book Why Women Wear What They Wear, inventoried the wardrobes of 27 women. She counted a total number of items (not including underwear, this time) ranging from just 35 to a whopping 182, and the average total was 98 items…”
Having found these figures, I was keen to make an inventory of my own heaving wardrobe. I was pretty sure I’d beat that maximum of 182 items. 
So, over Christmas, I bit the bullet and counted the contents of my wardrobe. With a house move imminent, I took the opportunity to also have a good sort out —so here are both ‘before’ and ‘after’ figures!
Without further ado:
KNITWEAR (cardigans, jumpers, fine knits) 59 »> 49
TOPS (t-shirts, vests, sweatshirts, blouses and other tops) 189 »> 120
BOTTOMS (trousers, skirts, shorts) 37 »> 21
DRESSES 45 »> 44
UNDERWEAR (including hosiery) 159 »> 153
HOMEWEAR (and sportswear) 35 »> 28
COATS & JACKETS 31 »> 28
In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll mention that I also counted my shoes (52 »> 35); that I haven’t yet considered accessories — scarves and such; and that, in the move, I discovered yet another bag of tights that I haven’t dared open!
So - that gives a grand total (including underwear) of:
607 ITEMS »> 465 ITEMS 
Even after the sort out, that’s an impressive four times the WRAP figure of 115 items. (However, I’m a bit dubious about that figure, as it’s based on asking people to estimate their wardrobe - a tricky task!)
If we strip out underwear, my post-sort-out total is still 312 items — way above that maximum figure of 182. 
Whichever way you split it, I think it’s fair to say, I have a lot of clothes. This is pretty much down to hoarding, rather than rampant purchasing— I reckon I acquire a new item once every month or so nowadays.
I do like to hold on to things, though I found the sort-out - which resulted in a total reduction of 25% - rather cathartic! And I think I can go further — having started to look critically at what I have, and what I wear, I think there’s more to do. Interestingly, standing back and looking at what I have has also highlighted the gaps (yes, incredibly there are some) - spaces where having just the right item would help me to wear more of what I already have. More on that in the next installment… 

                                                                                        - Amy Twigger Holroyd

One-woman British fashion disruption engine Amy Twigger Holroyd is completing her PhD on folk fashion, while conducting stitch-hacking workshops, developing the practise and philosophy of reknitting, and producing fantastically restructured garments under her label Keep & Share. Read (and shop) more here